March 7, 2011 8:30 AM, EST

U.S. May Open SPR as Oil Nears $107 a Barrel

Bill Lang/Trans Pixs

Oil prices continued their upward trend, nearing $107 a barrel early Monday, and President Obama’s chief advisor said the administration is considering releasing some oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to staunch soaring prices.

William Daley, the president’s chief of staff, told the NBC News program Meet the Press on Sunday that the administration was considering releasing oil from the SPR if it deems continuing oil high prices a threat to the U.S. economic recovery.

“There’s a sense that this recovery is real and is strong and is growing, but there are factors like the price of energy that can have a serious impact on it,” Daley said on the program, Bloomberg reported.

Crude futures were trading at $106.94 in pre-market New York Mercantile Exchange trading Monday. They closed the week Friday at $104.42 a barrel — the highest since September 2008, when prices were falling from record high of more than $145 a barrel set in July 2008.

Oil has risen $20 in the past three weeks, pushing diesel and gasoline to their highest levels since October 2008, according to Nymex records provided by Bloomberg.

Diesel leaped 14.3 cents to a national average $3.716 a gallon last week — its biggest jump in almost two years — while gasoline spiked almost 20 cents to $3.383, its largest single-week jump since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Diesel has risen for 13 straight weeks and gas has increased in 12 of the past 13. The Department of Energy will release its weekly survey of filling stations Monday afternoon in Washington.