The United States asked France to join it for a possible emergency oil stock release, the French Energy Minister said on Wednesday.

Asked by reporters after the weekly ministers' meeting whether France would join a U.S.-UK move to release strategic stocks, Eric Besson said: "It is the United States which has asked and France has welcomed favorably this hypothesis."

Le Monde daily said on Wednesday, citing presidential sources, that France was in contact with Britain and the United States on a possible release of strategic oil stocks "in a matter of weeks" to push fuel prices down.