(O'Melveny & Myers LLP)
On Tuesday, December 30, 2014, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued FAQs on crude oil and petroleum product exports, including guidance on the restrictions on the export of crude oil, and the types of liquid hydrocarbons that are considered crude oil under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
Most importantly, the FAQs provide guidance on the type of processing required for non-exportable crude oil to be considered exportable petroleum products. Under the EAR, liquid hydrocarbons that have not been processed through a crude oil distillation tower are classified as crude oil and, therefore, are not exportable. 15 CFR 754.2(a). Liquid hydrocarbons that have been processed through a crude oil distillation tower are classified as petroleum products, and are exportable.
Release of the FAQs followed months of uncertainty regarding the breadth of commodity classification decisions that BIS issued earlier in 2014 to Pioneer Natural Resources and Enterprise Products Partners regarding condensate stabilized at the field level through a distillation process. Click here to read more.