President Barack Obama is mulling tapping U.S. oil reserves to ease gas prices, British officials said after Prime Minister David Cameron left the White House.
The timing and volume of any releases, which would be coordinated with releases from Britain, have not been agreed upon, but a detailed plan is expected by the summer, the officials told the British newspaper The Guardian.
White House spokesman Jay Carney refused Thursday "to get into specifics" about the leaders' White House talks on "energy issues and the situation globally with the rise in the price of oil."
He did not deny Obama and Cameron discussed the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the world's largest emergency oil supply, with a current reserve inventory of 695.9 million barrels, a United Press International review indicated.
This amount equates to 36 days of oil at current U.S. consumption levels of 19.5 million barrels a day.
Cameron spokesman Steve Field told reporters in New York Thursday, "The issue of oil supply was discussed, but no decisions have been taken."
Obama and Cameron are under similar political pressure from motorists and consumers from soaring fuel costs, public-opinion polls indicate.
High oil prices could derail the fragile U.S. economic recovery in a presidential election year, analysts say.
Obama said Thursday there were no easy solutions to soaring gasoline prices.
"There's no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to high gas prices," he told students at Prince Georges Community College in Largo, Md., near Washington. "Anybody who tells you otherwise isn't really looking for a solution."
Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has promised to reduce the price of gasoline to $2.50 a gallon if he wins the White House.
The United States started the petroleum reserve in 1975 after oil supplies were cut off during a 1973-1974 oil embargo.
Washington tapped 30 million barrels from the reserve last summer in an International Energy Agency member-state effort to offset oil supply disruptions caused by Arab Spring upheavals in Libya and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East.
The amount was matched by IEA countries, for a total of 60 million barrels released from stockpiles around the world.