France poised to release strategic oil reserves

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PARIS (AP) — France's government says it is considering releasing oil from its strategic reserves as part of a U.S.-led effort to increase supply to bring down high prices.

Industry Minister Eric Besson said "the United States asked, and France welcomed this hypothesis."

Government spokeswoman Valerie Pecresse said France is waiting for recommendations from the International Energy Agency before tapping its oil reserves.

She said the French government is also pressing oil-producing countries to release more oil on the markets to ease prices.

Like in the United States, high gasoline prices have been an issue in the campaign for France's presidential elections.

Crude prices have jumped from $75 in October to near $106 a barrel Wednesday.

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