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United States Businesses Power

BP Finds Way To Bypass US Crude Export Ban 247

Posted by samzenpus
from the letter-of-the-law dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Bloomberg reports that the oil industry is pressuring President Barack Obama to end the 41-year-old ban on most crude exports but British Petroleum (BP) isn't waiting for a decision. The British oil giant has signed on to take at least 80 percent of the capacity of a new $360 million mini-refinery in Houston that will process crude just enough to escape restrictions on sales outside the country. 'It's a relatively inexpensive way around the export prohibition,' says Judith Dwarkin 'You can lightly ruffle the hydrocarbons and they are considered processed and then they aren't subject to the ban.' Amid a flood of new US oil, the demand for simple, one-step plants capable of transforming raw crude into exportable products such as propane is feeding a construction boom along the Gulf Coast. The first such mini-refinery, built for 1/10 the cost of a complex, full-scale refinery, is scheduled to open the first phase of its 100,000 barrel-a-day crude processing plant in July, The mini-refineries take advantage of the law that allows products refined from oil to be sold overseas, though not the raw crude itself. 'The international buyers of these products will likely need to refine them further, so this is basically a veiled form of condensate exports,' says Leo Mariani."
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BP Finds Way To Bypass US Crude Export Ban

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  • nothing new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gbjbaanb (229885) on Friday March 07, 2014 @09:14AM (#46427169)

    crude oil, lightly shaken, and exported to the world.
    revenues, lightly tossed, and exported to Bermuda.

    Both cases just avoiding the law through legal means. In other words, the law's an ass.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday March 07, 2014 @09:14AM (#46427171) Homepage

    They're only breaking the spirit of the law, not the letter.

    That makes it perfectly OK, just ask the NSA if you don't believe me.

  • Re:Yes, but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2014 @09:24AM (#46427209)

    Not BP's problem, and until we make it theirs, why should they bother?

  • It's fascinating (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2014 @09:31AM (#46427243)

    The number of slashdotters that bleat about "teh evil corporations that break teh law!"
    But support bypassing copyright law and getting their content for free because "information must be free".

    It's the same thing people.

    Frankly I'm not sure what the point of the oil export ban is for... My gas is near its all time high here so all this theoretical excess oil isn't helping the price any.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2014 @09:32AM (#46427247)

    BP haven't been known as British Petroleum for many years. It seems to be a tag most used (now) by the US. [I wonder if there have been any recent events that might cause the folks in the US to think that US folks weren't involved? Better to point the finger elsewhere.]

  • by rwise2112 (648849) on Friday March 07, 2014 @09:33AM (#46427251)

    They're only breaking the spirit of the law, not the letter.

    True. They are 'getting around' the law against exporting crude, by not exporting crude. It seems the law needs to be amended to define better what is considered exportable if they want to stop this.

  • by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Friday March 07, 2014 @09:46AM (#46427329) Homepage Journal

    If the USians want to cast it in a bad light, they call it "British Petroleum". It makes it sound sinister and evil.

  • by paulpach (798828) on Friday March 07, 2014 @11:25AM (#46427899)

    They're only breaking the spirit of the law, not the letter.

    True. They are 'getting around' the law against exporting crude, by not exporting crude. It seems the law needs to be amended to define better what is considered exportable if they want to stop this.

    Perhaps they should get rid of the ban altogether? Seriously, with the trade deficit spiraling out of control [ourfuture.org], it makes no sense at all to ban exports.
    Rather than question BP for 'getting around' the law, we should question why we have such bad law in the first place.

  • Re:Yes, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by colin_faber (1083673) on Friday March 07, 2014 @01:00PM (#46428649)

    The easiest way to reduce demand is to just tax fuel

    Sorry no, there is no easy way to reduce demand of OIL. If you want to truly reduce demand of OIL you need to find a VIABLE alternative fuel, electricity and NG are not VIABLE alternative fuels

  • Re:Yes, but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2014 @01:55PM (#46429119)

    Of course there is. Just to do a completely extreme example: If gas was taxed so it got priced at $1000/gallon, people would hardly drive at all.

    Now, that's not realistic due to the dependence on oil for society to work; but an incremental increase will lead to lower demand. If $10 won't get enough of a decrease in demand, $20 or $50 would certainly have an impact. ($10 wouldn't really impact my use - gas isn't a significant cost for me - but $50 would hit me enough that I would probably drop road trips, or at the very least be really careful about how I structured them.)

  • Re:Yes, but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Friday March 07, 2014 @02:47PM (#46429569)

    Taxing things to change behavior does not work, because one thing government likes as much as power is MONEY. Once they have succeeded in reducing demand through taxes, the revenue will go down and they'll cry that some other tax (probably the income tax) will have to go up to make up the "shortfall".

    But if the behavior is changed so much that other taxes are needed to make up the shortfall, then it sounds like it worked.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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