The White House has lauded comments by Saudi Arabia's energy minister that consumer nations need not release emergency petroleum reserves to calm oil prices.
Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said in a statement on Sept. 10 that the world's largest crude exporter was concerned about high oil prices, would take steps to moderate them, and would meet any additional demand from its customers. The kingdom would continue to work with other Gulf Cooperation Council countries and with OPEC to defend the stability of the oil market, Naimi said.
High US oil prices, which hit more than $100 a barrel, the loftiest since May 4, have led industry watchers to guess whether President Barack Obama will tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) ahead of the Nov. 6 election.
The White House reiterated it was keeping all options on the table to calm prices, but also applauded Naimi's comments.