Obama Says U.S. May Tap Oil Reserve



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 Updated:
3/11/2011 3:00:00 PM

Crude Prices Slips Friday to Near $101 Per Barrel

President Obama said Friday he is prepared to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve if needed to prevent any oil supply disruptions, even as oil prices slipped, news services reported.

The president  â€” who also said he favored expanded domestic oil exploration — attributed the recent run-up in oil and gas prices to increased global demand, combined with uncertainty in oil markets due to political turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East, CNN reported on its website.

Obama’s Chief of Staff William Daley said last week that the administration was considering tapping the SPR to help stem soaring oil prices.

Crude oil futures fell about $1.60 Friday to just over $101 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after closing over $105 on Tuesday, the highest price since September 2008, Bloomberg reported.

“Everybody should know that, should the situation demand it, we are prepared to tap the significant stockpile of oil that we have in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,� the president told reporters in Washington.

Higher gasoline and diesel prices are forcing people to change their driving habits, while boosting truckers’ surcharges and potentially driving some carriers out of business, USA Today reported in a front-page story Friday,

Obama did not specify what price level would trigger a release from the SPR, but said the U.S. and its allies would do what it takes “to make sure that oil supplies remain stable and that economic growth will continue,� CNN reported.

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Diesel and gasoline prices spiked this week to their highest levels in more than two years since coming off all-time records in 2008, with both fuels moving toward $4 a gallon, and over that in some regions.




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