The U.S. House voted Friday to give President Bush authority to triple the Strategic Petroleum Reserve oil sale he announced Wednesday, but - amid mixed administration signals - a White House spokesman said he has no intention of doing so.

On a voice vote with no dissent, the House raised to 15 million barrels the ceiling on test sales from the government stocks after Energy Secretary James Watkins told lawmakers Thursday a 5 million-barrel test was inadequate.Watkins' surprise testimony and the House's prompt response to it amid a doubling of crude oil prices since July left the administration struggling to find a single policy voice on use of the rainy-day stockpile built at a cost of $20 billion to taxpayers after the 1973 Arab oil embargo.

White House spokesman Steve Hart said the administration was taking no formal position on Watkins' suggestion as the Energy Department sent out bid notices Friday for just 5 million barrels.