Refiners Battle Biden Administration on Oil Products’ Export Ban Option

Refiners Battle Biden Administration on Oil Products’ Export Ban Option

The U.S. oil industry is imploring the Biden administration to stop considering limits on exports of gasoline, diesel and other refined petroleum products as a way to increase regional fuel inventories and bring down pump prices.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that White House officials have asked the Department of Energy to analyze the possible impacts of an export ban.

Reports say U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and other White House officials last Friday repeated an earlier warning to refining companies urging them to focus more on building domestic inventories of gasoline and diesel and less on exports, or the administration could consider “emergency measures.”

Last week’s discussions “raise significant concerns that the administration might pursue a ban or limits on refined petroleum products,” which would disrupt energy markets, discourage investment in the oil sector, cut off European allies in a time of need, boost Russia’s strength as an energy exporter, and raise fuel prices domestically, said a joint letter by the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufactures.

The letter also noted limits on pipeline capacity and U.S.-flagged tankers capable of carrying gasoline and diesel from the Gulf Coast to the northeastern U.S. mean the area depends on imported fuels, whose prices could rise with fewer U.S. fuels on the world market.

Seeking Alpha by Carl Surran, October 7, 2022