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Oil glut stirs debate over US crude exports

Houston Chronicle: As a new year dawns in the nation`s capital, the Obama administration and Congress find themselves grappling with a scenario that was unthinkable just a few years ago: What to do with the domestic oil flowing out of West Texas, North Dakota and other states? The climb in domestic crude production has created a dilemma for both lawmakers and the White House, who are facing new pressure from oil companies to relax the nation`s 38-year-old ban on exports of the unprocessed product. The current...

House passes another bill authorizing Keystone XL

Houston Chronicle: The House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday that would speed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline - a largely symbolic measure with probably no chance of clearing the Democratic Senate and overcoming a presidential veto. The bill approved 241-175 on Wednesday is the latest attempt by the Republican-controlled House to pressure the Obama administration to approve the pipeline that would transport oil sands crude from Canada to the Gulf Coast. TransCanada Corp. first sought approval...

Canada: Economy, environment, politics figure in Keystone fight

Houston Chronicle: WASHINGTON -- Shell, ConocoPhillips and other energy companies with deep Texas ties are betting billions on investments in Canadian oil sands prospects, with hopes of refining that crude and selling it to customers in the U.S. and overseas. The firms see Canadian oil sands developments as the next North American oil boom and a major part of their onshore exploration and production portfolio. But making those investments pay off -- and getting that Canadian crude to Gulf Coast refineries --...

China invests billions in oil sands

Houston Chronicle: As U.S. companies look toward oil riches in northern Canada, they're encountering increasing competition - as well as some much-needed cash infusions - from the Far East. U.S. and Canadian companies have dominated Alberta's oil sands for decades. Now, though, Chinese firms are rushing to snap up Canadian oil sands resources and invest in ongoing projects - to the tune of $15 billion in the past 18 months in Alberta alone. They are motivated by a desire to jump into one of the world's lowest-risk...