Lifting U.S. crude export ban would help counter Russia: oil CEO

By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lifting the 40-year ban on U.S. crude exports is the fastest way the American drilling boom could be used to bolster energy security in Europe and Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, the CEO of the biggest operator in North Dakota’s vast oil fields will tell lawmakers on Wednesday. In the wake of Russia’s invasion and annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine, several U.S. lawmakers have introduced bills pushing the Department of Energy to speed approvals of U.S. liquefied natural gas exports from more than 20 projects. The extra U.S. LNG, the argument goes, would provide Europe an alternative to gas supplies from Russia, from which it gets nearly a third of its fuel, or at least it would help lower prices in natural gas markets.

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