U.K. confirms U.S. talks on releasing oil reserves

Associated Press

LONDON — Britain and the U.S. are in talks about the possible release of oil stockpiles in an effort to drive prices lower, a U.K. cabinet minister confirmed Friday.

Crude prices have been hovering above $105 a barrel in recent weeks due to concerns that an international standoff over Iran’s nuclear program will affect oil supplies.

Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama reportedly discussed releasing some oil from stockpiles when Cameron was in Washington earlier this month.

Vince Cable, Britain’s business secretary, confirmed the talks were ongoing.

“The government has a stockpile of oil for emergencies,” Cable said during an appearance before the Federation of Small Businesses.

“There have been moves in the last few weeks, which are coordinated with the Americans and others, to release some of that stuff into the market to keep prices down. We do realize at the end of the day this is tied up with our future as a country.”

On Wednesday, French Energy Minister Eric Besson said his country was involved in the oil stockpile talks.