Senate bill offers oil relief measures

The U.S. Senate has approved two oil industry relief measures as part of a $2 billion fiscal 1999 supplemental appropriations bill. Both of the bills, approved last week, were sponsored by Sens. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). One amendment would create a $500 million Emergency Oil and Gas Guaranteed Loan Program. A board would oversee the initiative with a $2.5 million budget. Independent producers and service/supply companies could obtain loans of up to $10 million at "a reasonable interest rate." The program would end in 5 years, although the loan terms could exceed that period. The second amendment would allow any company operating a marginal wel...

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