Britain is poised to cooperate with the United States on a release of strategic oil stocks that is expected within months in a bid to prevent fuel prices choking economic growth in a US election year, according to several sources who spoke to Reuters.
A formal request from the United States to the UK to join forces in a release of oil from government-controlled reserves is expected "shortly" following a meeting on Wednesday in Washington between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron, who discussed the issue.
Britain would respond positively, two sources said, and Cameron said a release was worth considering.
"We didn't make any decision, this has to be discussed broadly. We've got to look at this issue carefully, it's something worth looking at. Short-term should we look at reserves? Yes, we should," Cameron said during a meeting with students in New York.
"We'd both like to see global oil prices at a lower level than they are."
Details of the timing, volume and duration of a new emergency drawdown have yet to be settled but a detailed agreement is expected by the summer, one of the sources said.
Other countries may also be approached by Washington to contribute, a further source said, Japan among them.
City A.M. Reporter