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    Chevron Seeks Fuel Payments

    Oil company claims Defense Department shorted it $354 million.


    The U.S. Defense Department's fuel-buying office said it faces $354 million in claims from Chevron Corp. over allegations that it paid less than what is stipulated under federal regulations for fuel contracts.

    The Defense Energy Support Center (DESC) said the claims concern 25 fuel contracts awarded them between 1984 and 1999, and accuse DESC of selling fuel below fair market value, Reuters reported.

    Officials at Chevron were not immediately available for comment.

    "DESC's contracting officer has examined a number of similar claims and has found no merit in any of them," said DESC Director Jeff Jones, adding that DESC has contracted with Chevron for more than 18 years.

    Chevron merged with White Plains, N.Y.-based Texaco Inc. earlier this year to form the number-two U.S. oil company, now known as ChevronTexaco Corp.

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