Congress halts SPR sale, oil royalty rule

The U.S. Congress has approved a spending bill that will prevent the sale of additional oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve this fiscal year. The Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill reversed a 1997 budget law that required the sale of $207.5 million worth of oil to fund SPR operations. The latest legislation also included a provision that prohibits the Minerals Management Service from issuing a controversial royalty valuation rule during the current fiscal year. President Bill Clinton has promised to sign the bill. SPR drawdown Energy Sec. Federico Peña recently postponed the planned SPR sale, which he had opposed, after receiving assurances f...

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