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Gas Price Hikes Follow Crude Oil Price IncreasesSalem-News.com
Gas prices are up for the third week in a row, as the national average for regular unleaded jumps eight cents this week to $2.64 while Oregon's average shoots up ten cents to $2.79.
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Oregon AAA says pump prices have increased every day since July 21, until today, when the national average dropped two-tenths of a cent overnight.
Gas prices are up for the third week in a row, but are still well below last year's record levels. The national average for regular unleaded jumps eight cents this week to $2.64 while Oregon's average shoots up ten cents to $2.79.
AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says, "Pump prices have increased every day since July 21, until today, when the national average dropped two-tenths of a cent overnight. Most of the increase is a result of higher crude oil prices, which reached a five-week high last week before settling a bit lower."
Crude today is trading around $69 today, down from $71 a week ago. Dodds says, "Last week, crude prices went on a mini-roller coaster ride as crude surged to $73 in trade before coming back down to near $70," Dodd said.
"We continue to follow the pattern where investors are looking for signals on the health of the economy and whether the global recession might be easing. Positive economic news has sent crude prices higher, while negative news has had the opposite effect."
Another factor likely to influence oil and gas prices is hurricane season. One encouraging development is that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has lowered its hurricane outlook and now expects a near-to below-normal Atlantic hurricane season.
Even the mere threat of a hurricane can cause spikes in oil and gas prices. Another factor suggesting fairly stable oil prices is word from OPEC that the oil cartel is okay with crude at around $70 per barrel. This may mean that OPEC is unlikely to make further cuts in oil production. Barring unforeseen events, AAA expects we'll continue to see pump prices go up and down, in response to changes in the price of crude oil.
Despite the recent increases, pump prices are well below a year ago when the national average was $3.81 and Oregon's was $3.99.
Salem has the lowest current average in the state with gas selling for $2.733. Portland is just behind with drivers paying an average of $2.755 a gallon for regular. In the Eugene/Springfield area, gas is going for an averafe of $2.789. Medford/Ashland area motorists are seeing an average of $2.859. Residents in Vancouver, Washington are paying an average of $2.804 for regular.
Three states have averages for regular unleaded at or above $3 a gallon, up from two last week. Hawaii has the most expensive gas in the nation again this week with regular unleaded at $3.20, followed by Alaska at $3.16, California at $3.05, Washington at $2.88 (holding steady at 4th most expensive for the ninth consecutive week and up ten cents in the past week) and New York at $2.83. Oregon is seventh most expensive for the second week in a row. South Carolina has the least expensive gas in the country again this week at $2.42.
Diesel prices are climbing, but are still almost $2 a gallon cheaper than a year ago. The national average jumps seven cents to $2.66, while Oregon’s average also gains seven cents to $2.67. Hawaii has the highest statewide average price for diesel again this week at $3.91, followed by Alaska at $3.42, California at $2.95, Connecticut at $2.89, and New York at $2.89. Oregon's average diesel price is 17th most expensive, down from 16th last week. Washington's diesel price gains seven cents to $2.79 and is eighth highest, same as last week. A year ago, the national average for diesel was $4.54 and Oregon's average was $4.63.
Source: Oregon AAA
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