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NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Energy approved ConocoPhillips’ request for one million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for its refinery in Wood River, Ill., reported Reuters.
Due to disruption caused by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, the 306,000 barrel per day refinery has trouble receiving crude supplies. However, ConocoPhillips, which received 200,000 barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, is not alone as President George W. Bush’s administration is actively looking to increase fuel supplies in other regions.
The Energy Department also granted the request of Marathon Oil Co. for 500,000 barrels and Placid Oil for 130,000 barrels of crude oil. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency has waived certain fuel requirements to promote enhanced fuel deliveries. States impacted by easing of regulations include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and parts of Ohio.
The Federal Government is monitoring fuel prices to ensure American consumers are treated fairly at the pump. To this end, the Energy Department opened its price gouging hotline and its Web site—gaswatch.energy.gov—for consumers.
In related news, Houston-based ConocoPhillips will contribute $5 million to assist Hurricane Ike victims. Monies will be distributed to the American Red Cross, United Way, Salvation Army and the Texas Disaster Relief Fund.
"People in our community and in surrounding areas need our help, and we are hopeful that this contribution will provide relief to those most affected by the storm," Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by Hurricane Ike, including our company’s approximately 6,000 employees who live in southeast Texas and southern Louisiana. Our focus is also on helping our employees and their families, and in safely resuming our impacted operations so that we can continue to supply energy to the nation."