Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Monday that it was up to the United States whether or not it would release more supply from strategic petroleum reserves.
President Joe Biden's administration said in November it would release about 50 million barrels from its reserves in conjunction with other consumer nations, such as China, India and South Korea, to combat the rising cost of fuel.
Brent crude futures had gained 40 cents, or 0.5%, to $86.46 a barrel by 0641 GMT. Earlier in the session, the contract touched its highest since Oct. 2018 at $86.71.
"It is the prerogative of the U.S. government," the Saudi minister told reporters in Dubai, in response to a question on whether the United States could add more oil to the SPR release given rising prices.
The minister was attending the opening of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit at the Expo 2020 site.
Sources told Reuters that China plans to release oil reserves around the Lunar New Year holidays between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6 as part of a plan coordinated by the United States with other major consumers to reduce global prices.
(Reporting by Maha El Dahan; writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Christian Schmollinger and Clarence Fernandez) ((Maher.Chmaytelli@thomsonreuters.com;))