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The Irony of Ending the U.S. Oil Export Ban Is Imports May Rise

  • WTI discount to Brent narrows, making imports more profitable
  • U.S. imports in week ended Dec. 11 rose to highest since 2013
Bloomberg business news

WTI-Brent Spread May Hinder U.S. Oil Export Plan

The lifting of the U.S. ban on oil exports might actually make imports more appealing.

By allowing American oil to compete globally, the price for U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude is inching closer to the international marker Brent, which has traded at a premium for most of the past five years. As the two prices converge, U.S. refiners may seek overseas cargoes priced off Brent if they can buy them cheaper than oil linked to WTI, according to JBC Energy GmbH.