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Jan-08-2008 14:09printcomments

Crude Oil backs off the $100 Mark, but Gas Prices Continue to Rise

It's only January, and already the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is less than 13 cents away from hitting a new record high. At the same time, the price of crude oil has backed down slightly from last week's record of $100 per barrel.

Gas nozzle
Image courtesy: inglis.house.gov

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - "The price of gas is up a few cents again this week, even though the price of crude oil has backed down slightly from the record $100 per barrel set last week."

AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says the national average and the Oregon average are just a couple cents apart now, and the national average is less than 13 cents away from setting a new record high.

The national average is up about six cents in the past week to $3.105 per gallon, while Oregon's statewide average is up five cents to $3.12. The price of crude is hovering in the mid-to-upper-90-dollar range per barrel, where it's been the past several weeks." Reasons for the high price of crude oil are familiar: low domestic oil inventories, geopolitical tension in oil-producing parts of the world, the weak dollar, the increasing demand for oil and gas in developing and developed countries, and the creaky U.S. oil refining infrastructure. A year ago the price of crude was near $50 per barrel. Nationally we're paying about 80 cents more per gallon at the pumps than a year ago, and in Oregon 44 cents more.

Gas prices this week are up in all four of Oregon's measured metropolitan areas, and in Vancouver, Washington. In Salem, prices are up seven cents, in Eugene/Springfield prices are up five cents, and in Portland, Medford/Ashland and Vancouver, prices are up about four cents this week.

Portland rang in with the lowest measured average cost for a gallon of regular at $3.084. Salem's average is a very close $3.089. Drivers in the Eugene/Springfield area are paying an average of $3.152, the Medford/Ashland region is seeing an even higher average of $3.181. Vancouver, Washington is seeing an average price of $3.166 for regular.

Oregon's gas prices are now 22nd highest in the nation, down from 18th highest last week. Hawaii continues to have the most expensive gas in the country at $3.49, followed by California at $3.35, New York at $3.32, Connecticut at $3.28 and West Virginia at $3.23.

Colorado has the least expensive gas in the country again this week at $2.89 per gallon. At this time only 10 states have average prices below $3 per gallon. Most of these are in the west, although traditional low price leaders such as New Jersey and South Carolina are on the list.

The price of diesel is also up slightly. In the past week, Oregon's average diesel price has increased two cents to $3.43 per gallon, compared to $2.91 a year ago.

The national average for diesel is up three cents this week to $3.45 compared with $2.66 last year. Hawaii has the highest statewide average price for diesel at $3.91.




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