Y2K could affect flow of U.S. oil imports
March 21, 1999
From Correspondent Kate Snow
(CNN) -- When you're filling your car up at the pump you probably don't give much thought to where the gasoline comes from.
The Department of Energy says the United States imports about half of its oil, mainly from countries that might not be ready for the year 2000 computer problem.
"Here in the U.S., we have oil refineries and companies doing pretty well," says Lou Marcoccio, Research Director of the Gartner Group. "But many of the refineries located in these countries that are far behind are at risk, especially in countries like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East."
Venezuela supplies the United States with most of its imported oil. Analysts warn that country is nine to 15 months behind the United States in its Y2K preparations.
So what does this mean for Americans? Will gasoline make it to the pumps?
Stockpiling not necessary
The Federal Emergency Management Administration recommends keeping the gas tank in your car at least half full, as if you were expecting a winter storm.
But government and independent analysts agree stockpiling gasoline is not necessary.
"I think we'll have gasoline at the pumps," Marcoccio said. "I don't think we'll have oil or gas shortages anything like what he had in the 1970s, however, I think it will be impacted by some price increases."
A recent World Bank survey found that only a fraction of developing nations are taking concrete steps to prepare for the Y2K computer problem. The United Nations and World Bank have created a Y2K Cooperation Center to try and change that.
"The World Bank has recently made a call to industrialized countries to say that we're all in this together," said Joyce Amenta, World Bank Y2K Initiatives Coordinator. "We have a global economy, we're interdependent, one upon another, and they have a challenge now to go forward and assist developing countries in fixing their Y2K problem."
Y2K: Perceptions could be biggest problem
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