Filled oil drums are seen at Royal Dutch Shell Plc's lubricants blending plant in the town of Torzhok, north-west of Tver, November 7, 2014. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
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A reversal of U.S. transparency requirements for the natural resources industry could give American oil companies an edge over Canadian and European rivals who face some of the toughest rules in the world, according to company executives, legal experts and trade groups. The U.S. Senate passed a resolution early Friday to overturn the "resource extraction rule," an Obama administration regulation that required companies to disclose taxes and other payments to foreign governments. The rule was among a handful of regulations ushered in during the final months of Barack Obama's presidency that the Republican-controlled Congress has targeted as overly burdensome for the U.S. economy.Overturning the regulation leaves Canadian and European natural resource companies with far more stringent reporting standards for payments to foreign governments than U.S. behemoths like ExxonMobil Corp. and Chevron Corp.American oil companies, including ExxonMobil, meanwhile, say the regulation had threatened to put them at a competitive disadvantage to huge state-controlled oil companies like Russia's Rosneft Ltd. and China's CNOOC Ltd.
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