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Shell seeking license to export US crude oil-spokeswoman

Thursday, 11 Oct 2012 | 4:33 PM ET

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell has applied to the U.S. government to export domestic crude oil, a Shell spokeswoman said on Thursday.

"We have applied to the Department of Commerce to export domestic U.S. crude oil," Shell spokeswoman Kayla Macke told Reuters, adding that as a global commodity, imports and exports would follow supply and demand.

Macke declined to comment on the likely export destinations or the volumes of crude involved.

A surge in domestic production from shale oil reserves in the Bakken of North Dakota and Eagle Ford of Texas is yielding an unexpected surplus of light, sweet crude in the United States.

But U.S. law nearly a century old bars crude oil exports without a special license. Until recently, there has been no demand for overseas shipments, apart from a trickle of crude from Alaska that has been routinely exported.

The Financial Times first reported the news. The FT said Vitol and BP were also among the companies that applied for the license from the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security, citing people familiar with the matter. It said both companies declined to comment.

(Reporting by David Sheppard and Jonathan Leff; Editing by Gary Hill)

((d.sheppard@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 646 223 6057)(Reuters Messaging: d.sheppard.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: SHELL USEXPORTS/CRUDE