Kerry, Saudi King discuss oil supply, U.S. official says

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (R) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wait for a meeting at the King's private residence in the Red Sea city of Jeddah June 27, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool

SHANNON Ireland (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah briefly discussed global oil supplies during a meeting on the crisis in Iraq on Friday, a senior State Department official said.

During the talks, Kerry referred to recent comments by a Saudi oil official that the world’s largest oil producer would increase supplies should crises in Iraq or Syria disrupt supplies, the official said.

“The secretary noted positively a recent statement from an oil official in the kingdom reflecting the kingdom’s desire to do what will be required in the event of any turbulence,” said the State Department official, who briefed reporters on the talks.

The official said Kerry believed the Saudi official’s comments were “constructive.”

U.S. officials have expressed the belief that concerns in oil markets will ease once a more inclusive government is formed in Baghdad that can deal with a Sunni insurgency threatening to break apart Iraq.

Saudi Arabia was Kerry’s last stop in a week-long tour of capitals in Europe and the Middle East, which included a visit to Baghdad, to address the crisis that threatens to tear apart Iraq. The United States wants the Saudi Arabia to use its influence among fellow Sunnis in Iraq to press them to join the new government.

Brent crude oil was little changed in trading on Friday following one of the international benchmark’s biggest weekly falls this year due to reduced concerns over exports from Iraq.

Prices have dropped more than $2 from a nine-month high of $115.71 hit on June 19 as output from Iraq’s southern oilfields, which produce most of that nation’s 3.3 million barrels per day (bpd), remained unaffected by fighting in the north and west.

Editing by Will Dunham