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White House eyes oil reserves as prices rise

March 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
White House officials are considering tapping the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve as oil and gasoline prices continue to rise.

A new survey says the average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. has jumped 33 cents per gallon in the last two weeks. It's believed to be the biggest increase over a two-week span on record.

Unrest in oil-producing countries in the Middle East, particularly Libya, have sent oil above $100 a barrel.

Gas is averaging more than $3.50 a gallon.

The U.S. has tapped the oil reserve emergency supply on occasion to stabilize prices. It contains 727 million barrels of oil.

A White House official said there is concern about the impact of oil prices on the fragile economic recovery.

Billings, Mont., had the lowest average price among cities surveyed at $3.15 a gallon for regular.

At $3.87, San Diego was the highest among surveyed areas

Fresno had California's lowest gas prices at $3.70 for a regular gallon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.