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Bush may tap strategic oil reserve as prices soar (USA Today)

NEW YORK -- The Bush administration said Monday that it would consider loaning crude oil from the government's emergency stockpile, if requested by U.S. refiners facing delayed shipments due to Hurricane Katrina.
"Certainly that option is on the table and it is a possibility based on what we have done in the past with other hurricanes," an Energy Department spokesman said.

However, the Energy Department has not yet received a formal request for loans from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), a crucial administrative step that starts the decision-making process, the spokesman said.

(...)

An estimated 633,000 barrels of daily crude oil production, 42% of the daily average output from the Gulf Coast, was halted as of Sunday because of Katrina.

At least eight refineries with a combined capacity of 1.8 million barrels per day were also shut down, according to operators.

The government loaned, or "exchanged," some 5.4 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve last year following supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Ivan.

The government stockpile consists of more than 700 million barrels of crude oil stored in underground salt caverns in Louisiana and Texas.

Note that the fact that the SPR is in affected areas may complicate access to it...


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 29th, 2005 at 11:41:51 AM EST

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