U.S. blames 'state actors' for manipulating, shocking oil markets

WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) - The United States on Monday accused "state actors" for manipulating global oil markets, saying their actions contributed to a big drop in oil prices but adding that American energy suppliers were well placed to withstand the volatility.

"These attempts by state actors to manipulate and shock oil markets reinforce the importance of the role of the United States as a reliable energy supplier to partners and allies around the world," U.S. Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said in a statement. (Reporting by Tim Gardner; Editing by Tim Ahmann)