On April 3, 175,000 barrels of Hess light crude left St. James Parish, La. for a refinery in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The shipment was the first reported sale of Bakken crude outside the United States since a 40-year ban on exporting U.S. crude was lifted by Congress and signed into law by the president last December.
Hess CEO John Hess was a leading advocate of lifting of the ban, going on record to say that it inhibited fair trade by keeping U.S. crude out of the free market. "By putting more crude in the open marketplace, you're going to create more energy security," Hess said. Lifting the ban will create jobs and ultimately lower fuel prices, he explained.
The company's call to lift the ban was joined by other industry leaders and government officials, especially North Dakota senators John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy Committee and Heidi Heitkamp.
Following the announcement of Hess' first Bakken crude export to Europe, Hoeven and Heitkamp each issued releases hailing the Hess shipment overseas.
Hoeven said: "For over a decade we worked to build North Dakota’s oil and gas industry by building a strong business climate in our state, and today we're the second largest oil-producing state in the nation. Now, we mark another important milestone for North Dakota. Lifting the ban on crude oil exports will create jobs, grow our economy and keep the price of gasoline lower at the pump for consumers. Importantly, it will also bolster national security by providing our allies with alternative sources of oil and free them, as well as us, from reliance on energy from unstable parts of the world. We are just beginning to see the benefits to our state and our nation."
And in her statement, Heitkamp added: "Just four months after Congress lifted the 40-year-old ban on exporting oil, we're already seeing the impact for North Dakota as Hess Corporation exported its first shipment of Bakken crude. Lifting the oil export ban was my top priority in Congress because of the effect it would have on enabling North Dakota oil to reach new markets around the world, both in the short term and for years and decades to come."