The Department of Energy has ended its controversial reliance on the oil industry's trade association, the American Petroleum Institute, for information about petroleum production, imports and stocks, the DOE announced yesterday.
Many have questioned the propriety of the government relying on information from a trade association in such an important and sensitive area.
Lincoln Moses, director of the DOE's Energy Information Administration, said that beginning with the current issue of the department's Weekly Petroleum Status Report, all the numbers will be based on reports collected by the EIA from individual oil companies. Moses added that the reports routinely are spot checked in the field.
The EIA also has developed a system for reporting the size of oil and natural gas reserves in the United States, which API and the American Gas Association have done in the past. With the availability of the new EIA reserves figures, the petroleum institute will drop its reserve estimates once the 1979 calculations are finished.
The latest weekly petroleum report shows U.S. stocks of crude oil and refined products at 1.279 billion barrels in the week ended June 6, a record level for June and close to the all-time high for November 1977.
Gasoline stocks of 267.7 million barrels were 17.6 percent higher than a year ago, while stocks of distillate -- home heating oil and diesel fuel -- stood at 186 million barrels.
Moses, who is leaving his post at the end of the month to return to Stanford University, said EIA has found no "glaring discrepancies" between its number and those also publishing on a weekly basis by API.