Image courtesy of Royal Dutch Shell/Flickr.

Royal Dutch Shell won approval from U.S. regulators Wednesday to export lightly processed crude produced at its U.S. operations.

The Anglo-Dutch company will now move forward with plans to export condensate that meets guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS).

Shell has not yet provided a timeline for its export plans.

The company said that it will not begin exporting products until crude prices start to recover from current six year lows.

“The timing of any potential future export of this product will be determined by the economics of the transaction,” Shell said.

The BIS had previously awarded export approval to Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners, Irving-based Pioneer Natural Resources and Houston-based Peaker Energy.

The approvals are the first to be granted since a crude export ban was signed into law during the Arab oil embargo in 1975.

In November, UK-based BHP Billiton said it would export about $50 million worth of ultra light sweet oil from its Texas facilities to foreign buyers even though it had not received approval from federal regulators.

Under current guidelines, U.S. suppliers can export crude produced at Alaska’s Cook Inlet, certain types of California heavy crude, and condensate that has been processed through a crude oil distillation tower.


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