A senior Obama administration official says the White House is considering a potential release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The U.S. is monitoring gas prices to see whether they fall before making a decision, said the official, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Gas prices in the U.S. have risen an average of 39 cents since early July, because of an increase in oil prices and refinery problems in some regions.
Benchmark crude is up 22 cents to $95.82 in midday trading in New York. It has gained three percent this week on positive economic data and a drop in U.S. oil supplies. It's up 23 percent since late June.
Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties, fell almost 2 percent.
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