Murkowski asks if administration has approved any Mexico oil swaps

US Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) sent a letter to US Commerce Sec. Penny Pritzker asking whether any oil exchanges with Mexico have actually been approved, months after the Obama administration said it would allow such transactions (OGJ Online, Aug. 14, 2015).

“The administration’s failure to approve all oil exports to Mexico on the same basis as exports to Canada are authorized constitutes a missed opportunity for rare bipartisan action that would enhance North American energy security, even if crossborder flows would likely be limited,” Murkowski said in an Oct. 22 letter to Pritzker.

“Markets, after all, can change,” the senator observed. “It is unfortunate the administration chose inaction over forward thinking.”

She said she welcomed reports that the US Department of Commerce would be “acting favorably” on license applications related to swapping oil produced in the US for oil produce in Mexico. “I called for such action in early 2014 and joined with several colleagues in doing so again in early 2015,” Murkowski said.

“As you know, such transactions are permissible under existing law,” she noted.

Murkowski said she was troubled by conflicting information that has emerged in recent weeks concerning these crude-oil exchanges. “Despite great fanfare in the press, there are no indications that such transactions have actually been approved,” Murkowski said. “I would greatly appreciate clarification on this issue.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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