Czech Republic ready to release oil in accordance with Katrina Hurricane

The Czech Republic said Tuesday it is ready to release about 10,000 barrels of crude oil every day to eliminate possible market shortages caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The state-run Administration of the State Material Reserves said it had not yet received any requests to release its reserves, but that it was ready to pump extra crude oil to the local market for 30 days, an agency statement said. It was ready to release 1,400 metric tons (9,800 barrels) daily.

The agency said it is coordinating its efforts with the International Energy Agency.

Also Tuesday, Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said the Czech government will ask the European Union to pressure the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, to increase oil production, according to the AP.

Sobotka said his government would make an official request to pressure OPEC at the EU finance ministers' meeting in Manchester scheduled for this weekend.

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