WILLISTON -- Sen. John Hoeven plans to tell oil industry leaders in Williston tonight about his proposal to lift the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports.
Hoeven, R-N.D., is expected to tell attendees at the Williston Petroleum Banquet about his plan to attach legislation to lift the crude export ban to a highway bill.
“Lifting the U.S. ban on crude oil exports will benefit not only our nation and our allies, but also North Dakota and the men and women in the Williston Basin whose dedication and ingenuity is helping our state lead the nation in energy production,” Hoeven said in a statement released Thursday morning.
Hoeven said he’s working to include legislation lifting the ban in the new highway bill that Congress is on track to pass.
“It is must-pass legislation, which means it will be hard for the president to veto, and the benefits of allowing crude oil exports are multiple,” Hoeven said.
Low oil prices have triggered a slowdown in oil activity in North Dakota as operators cut back on drilling and postpone well completions until economics improve.
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But lifting the ban on crude oil exports could reverse that trend, North Dakota’s top oil regulator said last month while meeting with reporters in McKenzie County.
“We think it has the potential to lift North Dakota crude prices by $10 to $12 a barrel,” said Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources. “That’s a substantial change.”
The Williston chapter of the American Petroleum Institute is holding its annual banquet tonight at Williston State College.
Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley also will speak at the event.
An effort to add an amendment to the highway bill that would lift the ban on crude oil exports failed in the House this month.
Meanwhile, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., has been working with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to build bipartisan support for their legislation that would lift the ban on crude oil exports.
“We recently started negotiations with a group of Republicans and Democrats to try to reach a compromise to pass our bipartisan legislation that would lift the oil export ban while pairing it with support for renewables, conservation, and energy efficiency,” Heitkamp said in a statement Thursday.