August 29, 2005

U.S. govt to consider loaning crude to refiners-DOE

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration said on
Monday it was willing to 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," an Energy
Department spokesman said. "There hasn't been a request yet,
and we aren't going to make a decision before there is a

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

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