The Department of Energy announced yesterday that it will deposit $15.8 million in 79 minority banks around the country -- including 10 in the Washington region -- as part of the largest single deposit into minority-owned banks ever by a government agency.

The funds were received from various oil companies under consent orders and agreements stemming from oil company overcharges and deposited as part of the administration's minority bank development program.

Currently the funds are in a deposit fund account with the U.S. Treasury.

The money will be placed in six-month time deposit accounts and will bear interest at the prevailing rate of six-month Treasury bills.

Under the plan, each of the 79 institutions will receive a $200,000 deposit through two trust agreements administered by Bank of America and Citibank.

Minority-owned banks in the area which will receive deposits are: in the District, American Indian National Bank, Hemisphere National Bank, Industrial Bank of Washington and Women's National Bank of Washington; in Maryland, First Women's Bank of Rockville and Prince George's State Bank; and in Virginia, Atlantic National Bank of Norfolk, Consolidated Bank & Trust Co. of Richmond, First State Bank of Danville and The Women's Bank of Richmond.

The trust agreements were arranged with Opportunity Funding Corp., a private, nonprofit firm which administers the minority bank development program.