What Lifting the U.S. Oil Export Ban Means for Canada

Lifting America’s 40-year ban on crude oil exports is significant, but not monumental – particularly not for Canadian producers

December 17, 2015
Tucked away inside a broad piece of tax legislation unveiled by members of the U.S. Congress this week is a motion to lift the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports. The motion has yet to be accepted by Senate Democrats, but at this point it appears to be a done deal.

On face value, the shift sounds monumental. But like any monument, its real value is mostly symbolic. Removing the ban would mark a reversal in legislation that dates back to the price-shock of the Arab oil embargo and subsequent worries over U.S. energy independence. But what would the lifting of the ban mean for exporters of Canadian heavy oil, and for the international oil market in the near term?

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