From Times Staff and Wire Reports

BP Says Shipping Unions Agree on Export Deal: British Petroleum Co. has reached a deal aimed at winning support of key U.S. maritime unions toward lifting a ban on Alaskan oil exports, the company said. In exchange, BP said it has agreed to use U.S. ships and crews to transport oil to foreign markets if the ban is lifted. Law requires that cargoes transported from one U.S. port to another move on U.S. ships, but no such law applies for goods moving out of the country. Shippers have long feared a loss of jobs if companies producing oil in Alaska won permission to export it. Winning the support of the maritime unions was a key hurdle in efforts to lift the ban.

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