France, US among those ready to tap oil reserves
Gasoline prices in an election year may be a factor
Francois Fillon, the French prime minister, suggested Thursday that a deal was near among developed countries, including the United States, to tap strategic petroleum reserves to reduce gasoline prices. There are “good prospects’’ for a deal, Fillon told France Inter radio, adding his voice to those of other French officials who have said in recent days that the idea, which they attributed to the Obama administration, was under discussion among countries including the United States, Britain and Japan. “If we reach an accord with the other developed countries, we’ll draw on our stocks, push down the price for a limited time,’’ Fillon said. “It’s a way to face a crisis that is largely due to the situation today in Iran. But we shouldn’t expect any miracles. It could allow us to stabilize the price, reorient it a little lower.’’ The price of U.S. crude oil futures for May delivery fell nearly 2 percent Thursday.