Oil exports reach 15-year high

Despite heavy restrictions on the practice, exports of crude oil from the United States hit their highest volume in 15 years in April, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

Exporters shipped an average 268,000 barrels of crude per day in April, an 8.9 percent increase from March and the highest since April 1999, EIA said in a Monday report.

The increase in exports is mainly due to historic highs in domestic crude production, which hit 8.2 million barrels per day in March.

A 1970s law all but bans crude exports, and the must be approved individually by the Commerce Department. Nearly all of the oil goes to Canada, but companies have also obtained permission to export crude from Alaska’s Cook Inlet, in connection to the strategic petroleum reserve, temporary exchanges and other cases.

In recent months, lawmakers have explored lifting the oil export ban as a response to the domestic oil boom.