ENERGY BRIEFS

ENERGY BRIEFS

RI Cuts off Comments

On 'Gas' Formula RulePROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has set today as the cutoff date for comments on its proposal to reduce the volatility of gasoline in order to reduce harm to the ozone layer.

DEM officials estimate that while the cost of gasoline will go up 2 cents a gallon because of the formula change, automobile engine performance will improve so the actual cost is 1.5 cents a gallon.

Volatility requirements, which vary from state to state according to weather and altitude, are measured by in terms of the pressure exerted by vapors from evaporating gasoline. The so-called Reid Vapor Pressure is given in terms of pounds a square inch.

At a hearing early this week, representatives of three oil companies and the Rhode Island Petroleum Association opposed the proposal to reduce gasoline volatility from 11.5 to 10 pounds a square inch between July and September of this year. The volatility level would drop to nine pounds a square inch for summer months beginning in 1989.

Representatives of Mobil Research & Development Corp., Mobil Oil and Sun Oil Co. told a hearing the gasoline formula changes may harm some cars and are too severe to expect offsetting air quality improvements.

Schlumberger Net

Increases in Quarter

NEW YORK - Schlumberger Ltd. reported net income for the first quarter of 1988 of $101 million, or 37 cents a share, compared with $5 million, or 2 cents a share, for the same period last year.

Revenue was $1.30 billion in the quarter, compared with $1.10 billion a year ago, an increase of 18 percent.

The oil-field recovery that started in mid-1987 continues in spite of the oil price weakness experienced in the first quarter, the company said.

Oil-field services revenue gained 24 percent to $662 million. Revenue from North American services to locate and evaluate oil and gas reservoirs - wire- line and testing - increased 61 percent.

NJ Utility Reports

Electric Sales Up

NEWARK, N.J., - Public Service Electric & Gas Co.'s electric sales in the first three months of the year increased 6.2 percent compared with the same period of 1987.

Residential sales were up 7 percent, commercial sales were up 8.6 percent and industrial sales were up 1.9 percent.

Natural gas sales for the quarter were up 4.6 percent.

Residential sales increased 7.2 percent, commercial sales increased 5.5 percent, while industrial sales decreased 6.3 percent.

Mexico to Boost

Price of Crude Oil

MEXICO CITY - The state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos said it would raise the price of heavy Maya crude oil exported to Europe by 20 cents a barrel as of May 1.

Pemex said the increase was meant to align the price of the Mexican crude with those charged by other exporters to that market.

The average European price for Maya crude was $10.99 in March, up from $10.17 a barrel in February.

Brazil's Oil Import Bill

Rose Sharply in March

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Brazil's oil import bill rose in March to $439.49 million, with consumption also increasing to 1.06 million barrels a day, said Petrobras, the Brazilian state oil company.

Oil imports in February cost $237.7 million, and in March 1987 the import bill was $346.3 million.

Consumption in February was 1.02 million b/d. March 1987 consumption was 1.01 million b/d.

Brazilian oil exports also rose in March. Total exports of refined products were 162,000 b/d, compared with 135,000 b/d in February and 115,000 b/d in March 1987.

March crude oil production was 625,500 b/d, up from 615,900 b/d in February and 585,200 in March, 1987.