Bloomberg News

IEA Says U.S. Decision on Allowing Oil Exports Would Be Helpful

April 04, 2013

A U.S. decision on whether to allow oil exports would be “very helpful,” amid constraints on spare production capacity, according to the International Energy Agency.

Global oil markets face a “zone of tension” because of limited amounts of unused crude that can be tapped in case of supply disruptions, IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said at a conference in Paris today. The pressure could be eased if the U.S., which largely prohibits shipment of its oil, makes a decision on whether to change its policy, van der Hoeven said.

“There is a zone of tension that has to do with spare capacity, that needs to be bigger,” van der Hoeven told reporters at the International Oil Summit in Paris. “I hope that the United States is going to make a decision on exports,” which “would be very helpful.”

The main obstacles to shipments from the U.S. are transportation capacity and granting export licenses, van der Hoeven said.

Any decision on the U.S. exporting its crude is ultimately one for that nation to determine, van der Hoeven said. The U.S. is one of the IEA’s 28 member nations.

To contact the reporters on this story: Grant Smith in London at; Tara Patel in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at

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