NEW YORK, DEC. 23 -- The United States now depends on imports for 42 percent of its domestic oil needs and could face another energy crisis within a few years, the president of the American Petroleum Institute warned today.

API President Charles DiBona, in a year-end statement, urged Congress to repeal the windfall profit tax on domestic oil production and to open the the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to drilling.

{In Washington today, the Commerce Department agreed to institute a study to see if the high level of oil imports threatens U.S. national security. The study was requested Dec. 1 by a group of independent U.S. oil companies and trade associations.

{"The purpose of the study, of course, is to lay the groundwork for presidential action to control oil imports," Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Tex.) said in a letter to Commerce Secretary C. William Verity in which he urged the investigation.}

DiBona said U.S. oil production has fallen by 900,000 barrels a day since early 1986, while U.S. dependence on foreign oil has surged by about two million barrels a day in the same period. Import oil's share of U.S. oil consumption has risen to 42 percent from 31 percent in 1985.