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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman announced today that the Department of Energy has approved an additional loan request of one million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

"We are committed to doing everything in our power to meet the immediate needs of those directly affected by Hurricane Katrina. By utilizing the resources from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, we will help minimize any potential supply disruptions as a result of the hurricane. With the Reserve fully operational, we will be able to start delivering this oil as soon as tomorrow," Secretary Bodman said. "In addition, we are continuing to review loan requests as they come in. When a loan becomes finalized, we will announce it."

Today’s agreement between the Department of Energy and Placid Refining is for one million barrels of sweet crude oil. The crude oil will be loaned from the SPR under short-term contractual agreements and returned to the Reserve once supply conditions return to normal. Earlier today, the department announced a loan of six million barrels to ExxonMobil, bringing the total release from the SPR to seven million barrels to date.

In considering this and any future use of the SPR, the Department of Energy is in consultation with major oil producing nations and the International Energy Agency, which represents major consuming countries.

Oil has been released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve seven times under exchange arrangements. Most recently, the Department entered into similar loan agreements following Hurricane Lili in October, 2002 and Hurricane Ivan in September, 2004.

Media contact:
Craig Stevens, 202/586-4940