GUESSING GAMES IN AN OIL CRISIS

Reacting to crisis without benefit of policy, the U.S. Department of Energy may be headed for a trap with regard to crude oil inventories. DOE last week pointed confidently to commercial stocks as a ready source of near term supply and kept the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on the sidelines. Embargo of Iraqi and Kuwaiti crude exports hasn't created a U.S. disruption sufficient to warrant SPR withdrawals, the agency said.

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