The order was the latest legal blow to U.S. President Donald Trump's effort to increase oil and gas production on federal lands by rolling back environmental regulation.
Another drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles in official weekly data to be released on May 20 could support oil prices more, said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital Management in New York.
Among those receiving loans, but which had not disclosed whether they would return the funds as of May 18, were exploration firms Amplify Energy and Battalion Oil.
About half of the top 60 independents could face bankruptcy this year.
$3 billion measure would replace purchase struck from the stimulus bill.
Wyoming governor recently signed a bill to help oil and gas producers reduce severance and conservation taxes.
Trump said April 2 he had brokered a deal between Russia and Saudia Arabia, but made no offer to reduce U.S. output, and benchmark Brent oil futures surged 21% in a record one-day rise. Here are analysts’ views on the deal.
The U.S. Department of Energy has withdrawn a solicitation to purchase oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve citing a lack of certainty around funding.
The economic fallout of the outbreak combined with a price war between major oil producer nations Saudi Arabia and Russia has triggered a slump in crude oil prices that threatens the once booming U.S. drilling industry.