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U.S. Sells Barrels of Oil from Emergency Reserve

U.S. Sells 11 Million Barrels of Oil from Emergency Reserve

Move intended to keep up refineries' production, Energy Department says

The U.S. Energy Department has announced the sale of 11 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) aiming to alleviate disruptions in energy supply caused by Hurricane Katrina.

In a September 14 news release, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said that the move ensures that refineries have enough crude oil to “keep gasoline and diesel fuel flowing” while oil platforms in the U.S. gulf coast region damaged by the disaster recover.

Earlier in September, the administration also released 12.6 million barrels of crude oil from the SPR in loans to refiners.

Bodman said September 8 he expects these actions and other steps taken by the United States and other countries to calm “jittery” energy markets and push record-high U.S. gasoline prices down.

All 26 member countries of the International Energy Agency (IEA), including the United States, decided September 2 to release 60 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products from their emergency stocks over the following 30 days.

Part of the IEA release -- 30 million barrels of crude oil – is to come from the U.S. SPR.

Following is the text of the news release:

(begin text)

U.S. Department of Energy

September 14, 2005

Secretary Bodman Announces Sale of 11 Million Barrels of Crude Oil from the Nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve

WASHINGTON, DC -- Secretary Samuel W. Bodman announced that the Department of Energy has approved bids for the sale of 11 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Combined with the 12.6 million barrels of crude previously approved for loans these SPR releases, in response to the disruptions caused by Hurricane Katrina, will provide 23.6 million barrels of crude for the U.S. market.

"The United States is committed to using all of the tools at our disposal to help keep our oil and gasoline markets well supplied," Secretary Bodman said. "This sale ensures that refineries have the petroleum they need to keep gasoline and diesel fuel flowing to American consumers while production facilities in the gulf region regain their capacity. As we move forward, we will continue to monitor the overall supply of petroleum available and the needs of the nation as we determine next steps."

A list of the successful offers, the abstract of offers, the Notice of Sale, and other related documents are available at the following internet address: http://www.fossil.energy.gov/.

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