US Senate approves heating oil reserve

The US Senate voted Tuesday to create a 2 million bbl home heating oil reserve in the country's northeastern region. The House has authorized creation of a permanent reserve, without appropriating funds. A House-Senate conference committee now will merge the two versions.


Washington, DC�The US Senate voted Tuesday to create a 2 million bbl home heating oil reserve in the country's northeastern region. The Senate amended the Department of the Interior's appropriations bill to include a provision for the distillate stockpile.

The House has authorized creation of a permanent reserve, without appropriating funds. A House-Senate conference committee now will merge the two versions.

Last week, President Bill Clinton ordered the Department of Energy to establish a temporary home heating oil reserve in time for use this winter. This week, DOE plans to advertise for bids to fill that stockpile.

It would exchange crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for distillate and tankage in the Northeast. Bidders would store the home heating oil on, or before, Nov. 1.

DOE said the distillate reserve would be located at no more than four sites in the Northeast. It said a 2 million bbl regional distillate reserve will provide relief from weather related shortages for about 10 days, the time needed for ships to bring heating oil from Gulf of Mexico refineries to New York harbor.

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