July 20, 2014

Leaked document from EU wants US oil and lift ban on exports

A European Union document leaked that was meant for the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership meetings that said it wanted "free access" to U.S. fossil fuels.

A European Union document leaked that was meant for the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership meetings that said it wanted “free access” to U.S. fossil fuels, the Mint Press News reported.

Hydraulic fracturing in the nation has given a new life to fossil fuel recovery in shale developments. Bank of America research recently discovered the U.S. now produces more crude oil than Russia and Saudi Arabia, which has the nation's allies looking for a piece of the pie.

However, while fracking continues to increase oil and natural gas production in the U.S., there are still regulated export bans preventing the country from sending resources across borders. The ban is more than 40 years old, but the EU not only wants the U.S. to lift it, but to give free rein to other European countries to purchase resources.

The leaked documents were discovered just before the U.S. and EU started a new round of talks in which the two are settling a significant trade agreement called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Mint Press News reported.

“The EU proposes to include a legally binding commitment in the TTIP guaranteeing the free export of crude oil and gas resources,” stated the three-page document from the Council of the European Union, according to the Washington Post.

Document still not verified from either side

Neither the U.S. nor the EU has vouched for the document and admitted to its authenticity, but it doesn't come as a surprise to major oil and gas companies. Currently, the U.S. doesn't have a large enough infrastructure to ship and send resources across the nation, which results in flaring. Outside nations needing new energy resources are willing to pay for the gas and oil being flared off, but the 40-plus year old ban is still preventing that from happening.

“In order for the U.S. to export to the European Union, current law requires that the president undertake what's known as a national interest determination,” said Ilana Solomon, the director of the Responsible Trade Program at the Sierra Club, a conservation and advocacy group, according to the Mint Press News. “The EU is now urging that this process be scrapped: no analysis, no national interest process, no review - exports to the EU must be automatically granted. That's extremely concerning.”

Proponents of exports believe it could help nations such as the Ukraine that are under Russia's control for energy through political turmoil. The Iraqi insurgency that took over the country's largest oil refinery also has had an ill effect on the world's energy supply, which has more people coming to the U.S. for resources.

Three Republican senators recently started a new bill that would expedite exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) resources to ally nations in Europe, the source reported. However, many believe the ban might not be lifted still for a few more years.

Oil and gas well owners are still trying to keep up production through the world events. Wells need maintenance and new parts to run their best. Broadwind Energy provides precision gearing and maintenance to original equipment manufacturers.