The federal budget reconciliation bill is like the Lord: It not only taketh away, but it giveth also.

Because it contains the bulk of the deficit reduction called for in the $30.2 billion budget agreement between the Reagan administration and congressional leaders, the reconciliation bill now before a House-Senate conference committee is supposed to emphasize the taking over the giving.

But no end-of-session fiscal bill would be complete without a few special favors, and this year's reconciliation bill -- intended to cut about $24 billion from the deficit through higher taxes, spending cuts and asset sales -- is no exception.

One of the most cleverly disguised items came out of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, which earlier this year enjoyed a brief moment of fame for meeting its deficit-reduction target in part by charging Kuwait $250,000 per vessel for the U.S. tanker reflagging and escort operation.

Another part of the committee's contribution to cutting the deficit would consolidate several federal oil pollution cleanup funds into one superfund known as the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

Initial seed money for the superfund would come from transferring about $114 million from two existing funds -- the Deepwater Port Liability Fund and the Offshore Oil Compensation Fund.

But the oil companies that originally contributed the $114 million would eventually get it back through tax credits, and the superfund would subsequently be funded through a new 1.3 cent-per-barrel tax on crude oil received by U.S. refineries.

In addition, about $180 million contained in a third existing fund, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Fund, would be returned to those who have contributed to it through a 5 cents-per-barrel fee on Alaskan North Slope oil. Among the major beneficiaries of the rebate are Atlantic Richfield Co., British Petroleum Co. PLC, Standard Oil Co. and the state of Alaska.

The rationale for returning the money, said an aide to Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), is that the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Fund is a "privately held fund" that does not involve federal money.

"When they say the oil companies get rich and the state gets rich, that's nonsense," said Young.

But one environmental lobbyist called the provision a "windfall" for the state and the oil companies.

Whether a windfall or not, the provision is extremely well disguised in the reconciliation measure. The only clue is the following language on page 1443 of the House reconciliation bill: "Neither the transfers to the new fund nor the disposition of the Pollution Fund or Trans Alaska Pipeline Fund {TAPF} balances would have any net impact on the federal budget."

As scored by the Congressional Budget Office, in fact, the provision would result in a net decrease in the federal deficit of $2 million.

Not only would the provision give back to the oil companies the money they pumped into the fund, it would also preempt state liability laws that allow individuals and states injured by oil spills to sue to recover damages.

The fate of the oil spill funds is now tied up in a subconference committee of the reconciliation bill conference, with some forces on the Senate side adamantly opposed to it.

"This is a major issue and our people are not prepared to deal with it in reconciliation," said Philip T. Cummings, chief counsel to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

"They haven't talked to {Alaska senator} Ted Stevens," replied Young's aide.