President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sought to quell fears on Thursday that unrest in Libya would put oil prices on a long term upward trajectory.

We actually think that we'll be able to ride out the Libya situation and it will stabilize, Obama, referring to fuel prices, told a group of corporate chief executives.

Geithner said the world had plenty of reserves that could be deployed in the event of a sustained disruption to supply.

We have substantial capacity across the major economies in the strategic reserves, he told the same meeting.

Hopefully, by reminding people of that and calling attention to the fact there's a fair amount of excess capacity in parts of OPEC ... hopefully that will make it less likely the market ... starts to build in higher prices over time.

Geithner and Obama spoke at the first meeting of a new panel of business leaders the president has asked to come up with ideas to boost U.S. competitiveness and hiring.

Obama encouraged the business leaders not to worry about inflation, an issue executives said was a growing concern.

The executives expressed optimism about their companies' growth prospects in 2011, but some said access to credit and skilled workers was a persistent problem.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Todd Eastham)