Obama, Sarkozy chat about oil markets

Carney said they “agreed to continue their consultations about the tightness in global oil markets.”

White House and Energy Department officials have repeatedly said in recent weeks that tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which currently holds 696 million barrels of oil, is on the table.

Bloomberg and other outlets, quoting senior French officials, in March reported that U.S. officials have had discussions with France and the United Kingdom about a potential coordinated release from emergency stocks.

However, it remains unclear whether officials will conclude such a release is needed.

The International Energy Agency on Thursday offered a positive assessment of global oil supplies, noting that they have moved ahead of demand for the first time since early 2009.

“The cycle of repeatedly tightening fundamentals since 2009 has been broken for now,” IEA said in its monthly oil market report.

However, the Paris-based IEA noted that oil prices remain high despite some recent easing, and noted “uncertainty” over summer supplies and the potential loss of as many as 1 million barrels per day from Iran due to sanctions.