Cameron and Obama talk oil reserves

The BBC has learned that Prime Minister David Cameron and President Obama discussed the possibility of releasing emergency oil reserves when they met in Washington yesterday.

Though no final decision was taken this is a sign of President Obama's concern at the high level of US fuel - petrol or "gas" - prices.

The UK has previously released oil from its reserves as part of co-ordinated efforts to dampen soaring global oil prices.

Some close to the prime minister point to this as one of the things which Mr Cameron can do to be helpful to President Obama.

Both the prime minister and the president are known to be extremely concerned that instability in the Middle East and talk of a war between Israel and Iran could drive up oil prices with serious consequences for global economic recovery.

UPDATE 2215 GMT: What do you know. The first words Barack Obama delivered publicly after David Cameron's departure from Washington were on the problem of US gas prices.

The idea of releasing oil stocks has happened twice before. In June last year the UK and its partners in the International Energy Agency (IEA) released 60 million barrels of oil with the UK contributing three million.

It's happened before too - in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and at the time of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990/91.

Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

Russia: how tough a response?

Will David Cameron's rhetoric about punishing Russia in the wake of the MH17 plane crash be matched by reality?

Read full article

More on This Story

More from Nick

Features

  • Shinji Mikamo as a boy, and Hiroshima bomb cloudLove and the bomb

    The Japanese man who lost everything but found peace


  • Northern League supporters at the party's annual meeting in 2011Padania?

    Eight places in Europe that also want independence


  • scottie dogShow-stealers

    How Scottie dogs became a symbol of Scotland


  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet


  • The outermost coffin of Tutankhamun 'Tut-mania'

    How discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb changed popular culture


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.