Stockpiles of oil held by nation states may be used to reduce the price of fuel at UK filling stations, according to Business Secretary Vince Cable.
Discussions are being held on an international level over whether to release some of the stored material, he told delegates at a meeting of the Federation of Small Businesses in North Yorkshire.
One delegate criticised rocketing fuel prices, stinging drivers already paying out for motoring costs such as road tax andcar insurance .
Mr Cable said: "The dilemma the Government has got is this: there's an oil price shock taking place at the moment because of what is happening in the Middle East; the problems around Iran. This is putting up prices.
"The Government has a stockpile of oil for emergencies.
"There have been moves in the last few weeks, which are coordinated with the Americans and others, to release some of that stuff into the market to keep prices down.
"We do realise, at the end of the day, this is tied up with our future as a country."
The scrapping of the fuel escalator last year means people will pay 6p less per litre of fuel on average come the summertime, according to Mr Cable.
He said: "We're taking action but we can't just sign vast cheques to solve all the problems of motorists. But we've done quite a lot."
Copyright Press Association 2012