WASHINGTON, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The head of energy company Royal Dutch Shell said on Tuesday that U.S. policymakers should lift the crude oil export ban because allowing the shipments would make global energy system more stable.
"Policy makers here in the U.S. should embrace a truly liberalized diverse and global energy market," Shell CEO Ben van Beurden told a conference on energy at Columbia University. U.S. oil and natural gas exports "would reinforce the long term future of North American energy production," significantly improve the U.S. balance of trade, and "help to make the global energy system much more stable," he said.
The United States has banned oil exports since the 1970s Arab oil embargo, but pressure on the Obama administration and on Congress to overturn the ban has risen amid the domestic shale energy boom of the last several years. Washington has approved several applications to export natural gas with the first shipments expected next year. (Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by David Gregorio)