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US Crude Exports Resume After Four Decades

FILE - An undated photo provided by the Energy Department shows crude oil pipelines near Freeport, Texas.

The first export of U.S. crude oil in four decades departed a Texas port Thursday, just weeks after a ban on such exports was lifted.

The ship is carrying a cargo of oil from ConocoPhillips' wells in south Texas that was sold to Swiss trading house Vitol Group.

In December, President Barack Obama signed legislation lifting the ban put in place during the mid-1970s in the wake of the Arab Oil Embargo.

The embargo, which began in 1973, had many short- and long-term effects on global politics and the global economy.

By the time it ended in 1974, the price of oil had risen from $3 per barrel to nearly $12 globally. U.S. prices were significantly higher.

Crude oil prices are now around $37 a barrel.