Europe to Send Emergency Oil to U.S.
PARIS — Europe will dip into its emergency stocks of gasoline to help the United States through an energy crisis that began when Hurricane Katrina smashed into Gulf coast refiners, EU governments said Sept. 2, according to Reuters.
France, Germany, and Spain said they were ready and able to send fuel across the Atlantic in an operation coordinated by the West’s energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency. A U.S. government official confirmed Washington had asked for help and said most of the gasoline would come from Europe.
EU nations have watched in horror as the world’s richest country struggles with the aftermath of Katrina. Thousands are feared dead and troops in the flooded city of New Orleans have been told to shoot-to-kill to crack down on looting.
Gasoline prices have soared by nearly a fifth over the past week and President George W. Bush has urged Americans to go easy on fuel. Unlike the IEA, the United States has only emergency reserves of crude and a small stockpile of heating oil.
According to the Reuters report, an expected 2 million barrels per day of oil to be shipped to the United States over the next month. The United States has lost about one million bpd of gasoline output.