U.S. did not call for strategic oil release: G20 sources

Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:26pm EST

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (C) and Chairman of Grupo Financiero Banorte Guillermo Ortiz (L) arrive to a meeting of Group of Twenty (G20) leading economies' finance ministers and central bankers in Mexico City February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (C) and Chairman of Grupo Financiero Banorte Guillermo Ortiz (L) arrive to a meeting of Group of Twenty (G20) leading economies' finance ministers and central bankers in Mexico City February 25, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Tomas Bravo

MEXICO CITY, Reuters (Feb 25) - The United States did not openly call for a release of countries' strategic oil reserves during Group of 20 meetings this weekend, Group of 20 sources said on Saturday.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Friday the United States is considering a release from its strategic oil reserves as rising tensions between Iran and the West over its disputed nuclear program fueled a rise in oil prices.

At meeting of G20 economies on Saturday, two people familiar with the discussion said finance officials had discussed the risk to the world economy from oil prices, which rose above $125 a barrel on Friday, but the United States did not push for a release of strategic reserves.

Countries hold oil reserves as a buffer against sudden drops in supply.

A draft communique for the G20 meeting, which is still under discussion, said high oil prices were a risk to the global economy, the sources said, although the outlook was cautiously optimistic.

"The communique says that there are some positive signs in the global economy, coming especially from the U.S. economy, but they are tentative," one G20 official said.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini and Dave Graham; Writing by Krista Hughes)

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