Oil audit From the Wall Street Journal comes a report confirming the sus picion that Uncle Sam has relied on inaccurate information about the size of the oil reserves controlled by U.S. energy companies. According to the Journal, an independent study commissioned by the Department of Energy shows that in some cases 50 or 60 percent of the oil held by the major oil companies may go unreported because the government hasn’t been asking the right questions in its surveys of inventories of crude and other petroleum products. For example, over half of a company’s supplies at any given time may be in tankers on their way to the U.S., but DOE does not require the companies to include such amounts in their reported reserves. DOE’s independent consultant, anaccounting firm, reviewed the books and investigated the oil storage facilities of five major corporationsExxon, Standard Oil of California, Texaco, Gulf, and Shell Oilwhich together control over a third of U.S. refining capacity. The accountants say they found no evidence of deliberate deception by the companies, but did find that information was sometimes assembled rather casually. \(They didn’t review oil company pricing and stance, does not check its reports filed with the government against original records but only against its earlier filingsso that DOE may get an internally consistent but thoroughly distorted picture of Texaco reserves. Because the government wants a lot of weekly data while the companies prefer to collect it monthly for their own purposes, the weekly figures submitted to DOE are often verified by nothing more than phone calls between company departments. And a company may not understand \(or may claim it doesn’t underfor instance, told DOE’s consultants it didn’t realize it was obliged to report data on oil transported by any means other than pipelines, such as barges and ships. DOE officials told the Journal they intend to start asking smarter questions perhaps as soon as “within six months.” low-key, patient, attentive to your situation member firm with RELO complimentary nationwide home locatorsmember brokers in all major cities ED BENNETT 10102 N. Lamar, Austin 78753 JBG4xdwin Company THE COMMODORE HOTEL On Capitol Hill Owned and operated by Texans 520 N. Capitol St., NW Washington, D.C. 20001 No. 2 311 E. First Simply the best record shop in the state of Texastry us first for hard-to-find, local and regional records, lowest prices 1111 1111F am 504 west 24th austln, texas 472-9459 imammommsav King of Meiican Foods MATT’S EL RANCHO RESTAURANTS, INC. Serving the best Mexican food in the world Always good Owner: MATT MARTINEZ Austin, Texas Cocktails at both locations No. 1 303 E. First 40 12’s A Texas Tradition Since 1866 No games, no gimmicks, no loud music. Just good conversation with the most interesting people in Austin. And the best of downhome cooking. 1607 San Jacinto Closed Sundays 477-4171 DON’T BOTHER TO CALL . . late dining service until midnight for plotters and schemers and the best Gumbo in town ENGLISH’S Restaurant & Bar 3010 Guadalupe Austin, Texas THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17
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