August 30, 2012 / 7:08 PM / in 6 years

Tapping SPR an option, no announcement to make: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House repeated on Thursday that releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to lofty energy prices remains an option but that it had no announcements to make on the topic.

Private security contractors patrol the U.S. Department of Energy's Stategic Petroleum Reserve in Bryan Mound, Texas May 20, 2008. REUTERS/Donna W. Carson

“That remains the case but I have no announcements to make about that specific option or any other option,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

The White House is monitoring the impact of oil prices on the U.S. economy and the global economy, he said.

“We ... are studying our options,” Carney said.

Oil prices have surged as Western sanctions on Iran led to a loss of about 1 million barrels per day in crude exports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries member.

However, worries that Hurricane Isaac would disrupt oil supply in the United States dissipated after the system was downgraded to a tropical storm and caused no discernible damage to refineries or offshore oil and gas platforms.

Washington considered tapping emergency reserves in March but held off after oil prices declined. Reuters reported earlier this month that the White House was dusting off those plans and Isaac had been seen as a potential trigger for such a move.

U.S. crude futures fell on Thursday as the weather-premium associated with concerns about Hurricane Isaac evaporated and as oil companies assessed damage and prepared to restart operations that had been shut ahead of the storm.

Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Sandra Maler and Eric Beech

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