Turmoil in the oil rich Middle East helped bolster energy prices, with an oil-related exchange traded fund moving toward a key resistance level.

The United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO) has gained 16.6% over the past three months.

The escalating Syrian crisis has made oil traders jittery. [iShares: Middle East Tensions, Oil Prices and the U.S. Economy]

“Any type of retaliation or conflict in Syria could lead to a very rapid surge higher in USO,” Fabian Capital Management said in a blog. “The easiest way to benefit from a surge in oil prices is to use an ETF that is directly correlated with crude such as USO.” [Oil ETF Highest in Over a Year on Syria]

However, other oil observers note that USO is now struggling around another problem area witnessed in 2011 and 2012. TickerTank points to a “congestion” around the $39.75 level, writes Victor Reklaitis for MarketWatch.