Energy Secretary Sam Bodman says it's likely that Gulf Coast oil and natural gas production won't be fully back on line till next summer.
He says up to a third of those two sources remains off-line because of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, he said America's energy infrastructure "took a real blow" from the two storms.
Bodman's renewing administration pleas for homeowners to conserve energy this winter.
The Energy Department recently forecast that shortages will drive up the cost of heating natural gas homes by as much as 50 percent.
Advocates for the poor have argued that $5 billion in federal assistance is needed to keep up with high prices this winter.
Congress authorized that much, but has yet to approve a bill actually spending the money.