Proposed financial disclosure regulations were sharply critized by the nation's major oil producers yesterday as unnecessary, expensive and insensitive to their needs for confidential information.
But the proposal by the Department of Energy won praise from small refiners and retailers. Jack Blum, counsel for the Independent Gasoline Marketers Counsel, predicted the regulation would "end 50 years of government policy made on the basis of whatever information the oil companies thought government should see."
The regulations would establish a financial reporting system to gather information from energy producers. The information could be used to determine national policies on energy production and regulation.
Oil company spokesmen repeatedly criticized the proposal at a Department of Energy hearing for requiring too much detail and for falling to safeguard information the companies believe is vital to protect their competitive interests.
Mobil Corp. controller Charles Lause said the regulations requires "more financial and statistical detail than managers in Mobil would ever see for our company, would want to see, or would find of any help."
The scheme "must be the most voluminous government reporting system ever imposed in this company - one that involves 59 pages of highly detailed schedules, 92 pages of instructions, and a 38-page glossary," he said.
Edgar Robinson, deputy controller for Exxon, said the reporting requirement for domestic operations was "a manageable burden" but added "that the burden of collecting the foreign data being requested is unduly excessive."
Spokesmen for an association of small oil refiners and a group of independent gasoline retailers scoffed at the criticisms by the major oil companies.