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  • Independent US oil producers seek limit on crude imports Country recently imported 8.1m barrels per day of crude oil, 11.2% above last year

    (Financial Times) © Bloomberg Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Print this pageSave 4 JULY 17, 2016 by: Gregory Meyer in New York Months after the US energy industry triumphed in overturning an oil export ban, a group of independent producers wants to take policy one step further and curtail crude imports. show more Sample the FT’s top stories for a week Sample newsletter email Close Sample the FT’s top stories for a week Receive a free daily email briefing containing the 3 top stories from one of our top news themes. Select the topic you are interested in: Email address: Enter your email address Invalid email Get briefing By signing up you confirm that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions, cookie policy and privacy policy. Unsubscribe at any time. Free stories only last for 1 week. The Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative has begun campaigning for quotas on all foreign suppliers excluding Canada and Mexico. Its founders, Texas and New Mexico oilmen, said Saudi Arabia is trying to crush their industry and it’s time to fight back. “It’s not fair and it’s not free when a country is trying to drive individual producers in the United States out of business,” said Tom Cambridge, an oil producer in Amarillo, Texas. “What we would like to do is limit imports.” The push comes two years after crude first dropped below $100 a barrel. In late 2014 Saudi Arabia and other Opec members resolved to keep taps open despite falling prices, hastening bankruptcy for dozens of US producers. Since then the Middle East’s share of world oil supplies has risen to 35 per cent, the highest since the 1970s, according to the International Energy Agency. The number of US oil drilling rigs has dropped 78 per cent to 357, according to Baker Hughes. The US recently imported 8.1m barrels per day of crude oil, 11.2 per cent above last year. US refineries processed 16.6m b/d of crude, roughly unchanged from 2015. US oil companies persuaded Congress to abolish a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports in December. But leaders of the new initiative, named for northern Texas’s Panhandle region, said that was not enough. “Did lifting the export ban achieve the objectives, which were new or expanded jobs? No,” said Daniel Fine, adviser to the initiative. “This is another tool to support US domestic producers to put people back to work, to end the bust conditions.”