WASHINGTON — Rising gasoline prices and production cuts tied to a storm named Isaac churning across the Gulf of Mexico have some energy analysts predicting the United States will announce a release from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Gasoline prices climbed Monday to the highest level since May as Isaac, which became a hurricane Tuesday, caused evacuation of oil platforms, shutting 93 percent of the Gulf oil output and several refineries. An explosion and fatal fire at the largest refinery in Venezuela also has crimped supplies.

“Isaac and the Venezuelan refinery explosion increase the chances that we will have a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” Whitney Stanco, a Washington-based analyst with Guggenheim Securities, said in a phone interview. The announcement “might happen this week or early next week,” she said.

White House spokesmen have said the administration is monitoring oil markets and that a release is among the actions being considered if prices were to rise or supply was disrupted.

“That option remains on the table,” press secretary Jay Carney told reporters traveling with President Obama to a campaign event Tuesday in Iowa. “We have no announcement to make today.”

Without a release, gasoline prices may approach $4 a gallon, making Obama vulnerable to attack when he faces his presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney during the presidential debates in October, according to Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group, an energy consulting firm in Villanova, Penn. Obama will probably seek to avoid such criticism, he said.

“And so the easiest way to do it, for everyone to see, would be releasing barrels” from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Schork said. “It has to happen, I think, within the next week.”

Releasing oil from the stockpiles has proven no guarantee of lower prices at the pump over the past eight years. Gasoline went up in the week following the announcements in four out of six cases since 2004. In 2008 and 2011, tapping stockpiles brought down the cost of a fill-up, according to data from AAA.

Pump prices increased 0.6 cent to $3.76 a gallon Monday, the highest level since May 7, according to AAA, the largest U.S. motoring group.

“Price increases at the pump are money immediately out of the pocket of consumers,” Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said. The oil reserve “is a short-term tool, and obviously doesn’t address long-term issues, but it’s proven to be effective in similar circumstances, and I encourage the president to use the authority he has.”

Gasoline prices fell 2 percent in the week after Obama’s release of 30 million barrels last year, done in coordination with 27 other countries belonging to the International Energy Agency.

Finance ministers from the Group of Seven nations issued a joint statement Tuesday calling on oil-producing countries to increase output and said they “stand ready to call upon the International Energy Agency to take appropriate action to ensure that the market is fully and timely supplied. We remain vigilant of the risks to the global economy,” the G-7 said.

The oil market has enough supply and there is no need for the release of emergency inventories for the moment, the head of the IEA said prior to the G-7 statement.

“We don’t have a serious disruption of supply,” Maria van der Hoeven, head of the Paris-based energy adviser, said Monday in Stavanger, Norway. “The market is sufficiently well supplied, and when there is the collective action needed as there was last year, it can only be when we are talking about a serious disruption of supply.”

Gulf Coast refineries, including those owned by Exxon Mobil, Phillips 66 and Valero Energy, were temporarily shut down as Isaac headed toward the Louisiana coast.