ConocoPhillips, NuStar say they’re first to export U.S. oil

ConocoPhillips and NuStar claim they have taken the lead in the race to export the first U.S. crude oil since Congress lifted the 40-year-old ban.

The two companies said they plan to finish loading the Eagle Ford crude cargo on Thursday at the Port of Corpus Christi. The announcement seemingly puts them in the lead over Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners, which said just last week that it will load 600,000 barrels of domestic light crude oil to Houston and load it onto a tanker in the first week of 2016.

Houston-based ConocoPhillips said it will sell the crude oil to Switzerland-based Vitol, which is an international trading company also buying the crude from Enterprise. San Antonio-based NuStar was contracted to transport and load the crude oil in Corpus Christi.

ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance has long served as one of the most vocal proponents of lifting the crude oil ban. While the Congress’ actions this month are his real victory, making the first export shipment could also serve as an additional symbolic win.

ConocoPhillips and NuStar did not immediately provide the volume or destination of the crude cargo being exported.