Tanker With First U.S. Crude Export in 40 Years to Set Sail

December 31, 2015, 1:53 PM UTC
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An oil tanker sits moored to a loading dock at the ConocoPhillips Co. refinery in Richmond, California, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011. ConocoPhillips Co. is expected to announce third-quarter earnings on Oct. 26. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil companies ConocoPhillips (COP) and NuStar Energy (NS) are welcoming in the new year with a send-off of a oil tanker carrying U.S. oil for export.

The tanker’s departure from Corpus Christi, Texas, which could occur as soon as New Year’s Eve, will mark the first carrier of freely traded U.S. crude in four decades, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“Based on our investments in Corpus Christi and our South Texas pipeline system, NuStar was well-positioned, equipped and staffed to immediately begin loading cargoes for export,” NuStar president and CEO Brad Barron said in a press release. “And we plan on further expanding our Corpus Christi operations to provide more options to our customers to move Eagle Ford Shale crude oil, whether it is being moved domestically or internationally.

Two weeks ago, President Obama signed legislation lifting the 40-year ban on exporting American crude. The ban was created during oil shortages after the Arab oil embargo in 1973. But oil traders don’t expect oil to flow much thicker immediately after the ban’s removal, since crude prices are so depressed around the globe, according to Reuters.


The ConocoPhillips and NuStar Energy tanker will sell its wares to a Dutch oil trading firm, Vitol Group.