PDF _ RS22142 - West Coast and Alaska Oil Exports
25-May-2006; Larry Kumins; 6 p.

Update: July 30, 2006

Abstract: As a reaction to oil price and supply concerns, questions about the export of crude oil produced on Alaska’s North Slope are often directed at Members of Congress. The export of this oil had been prohibited by the 1973 law allowing the construction of the pipeline system now transporting oil to the ice-free, southern Alaska port of Valdez. But following a period of depressed oil prices, legislation was enacted in 1995 permitting export. Relatively small amounts — never more than 7% — of Alaskan crude were sold to Korea, Japan, China, and some other countries. These exports stopped by 2000. Currently, no crude is exported from the West Coast.

Ownership of Alaskan oil fields has changed. BP Amoco and Arco merged in May 2000, and as part of this transaction, Arco’s one-third stake was sold to Phillips. BP Amoco is using the formerly exported crude in California refineries acquired in the Arco deal. And Phillips (now part of ConocoPhillips) exports no Alaskan oil and has said it has no plans to do so. The crude oil export issue keeps recurring, especially in West Coast states, where gasoline prices have been higher than in the rest of the nation. Concerns about exports contributing to regional fuel price differentials have been voiced, and opponents of oil leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) fear oil production from this environmentally sensitive area could be exported.

This report will not be updated.

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Topics: Natural Resources, Mining, Economics & Trade

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