The International Energy Agency (IEA) could release more emergency supplies of oil onto the market, according to French Industry Minister Eric Besson.
Although no release is currently planned, he said: “For the future, nothing is programmed but we aren’t ruling it out either.
“We are telling speculators that consumer countries could do this at any time, without warning and without making it some kind of ritual.”
He added that the IEA’s decision to sell 60 million barrels of oil over a 30-day period from 23 June had “temporary but real” effects.
Crude for August delivery in New York has now reached $97.50 per barrel, its highest level for almost two weeks. Oil futures have risen 27 per cent in the past year.