U.S. Energy Dept has funds for oil purchase for petroleum reserve-official

WASHINGTON, March 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Energy Department has enough money set aside for a potential purchase of oil for Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a senior official said on Thursday, after the department withdrew a tender due to lack of funding in the congressional stimulus package.

“The funds exist for a potential purchase and the Energy Department is working with Congress on the details,” the official said. It was not immediately clear how much money was available.

Sources said on Wednesday that some money could come from the department’s strategic petroleum modernization fund raised by previous sales from the reserve. (Reporting by Timothy Gardner, Editing by Franklin Paul)