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Saudi oil chief pledges to offset shortfalls
Saudi oil minister pledges to offset possible supply shortfalls from regional tensions
By The Associated Press

KUWAIT CITY (AP) ' Saudi Arabia's oil minister says his country and other oil exporters are ready to offset any shortfalls in supply because of market volatility ' an apparent reference to showdowns with Iran over its nuclear program.

Ali Al-Naimi made the comments during a major oil conference in Kuwait where he was scheduled to speak alongside Iranian oil minister Rostam Ghasemi. A transcript of Al-Naimi's remarks Wednesday was given to reporters.

The U.S. and Western partners have urged key Iranian oil customers in Asia, such as China and India, to look to other suppliers such as OPEC giant and Western ally Saudi Arabia.

There are fears that military action against Iran could severely disrupt global oil supplies.

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