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U.S. eases 40-year oil export ban

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Staff writer ▼ | January 3, 2015
Condensate
New rules   Allowing limited export of condensate

The United States has eased the ban on the exportation of domestically produced oil, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has stated.

The regulator said it had granted a license on exportation of "condensate", light shale oil, to several unspecified companies.

However, the overall prohibition on exports of US oil, adopted over 40 years ago as a responsive measure to the crisis, caused by Arab nations' oil embargo, remains in effect. Global oil prices have fallen by almost half compared to the mid-2014 level. In November, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to keep its production volumes unchanged, triggering an even sharper decline in oil prices.

The decision not to decrease oil output, heavily criticized even inside the OPEC, has been explained by the intention of the oil producing nations of the Persian Gulf to drive US shale oil out of the market by keeping prices at a low level for a limited period of time.

Saudi Arabia and several other Gulf monarchies possess currency reserves worth hundreds billions of dollars, enough to ride out the slide in oil prices, while other oil-exporting countries like Venezuela and Russia are currently facing significant economic problems.

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