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Oct-23-2007 15:08printcomments

Average Gasoline Prices on the Rise

The cost of diesel is soaring too, reasons for the price hikes include unrest in the Middle East

German gas station
The United States is slowly escalating toward European prices
Salem-News.com

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Oregon's gas prices jump from eighth- to fifth-highest in the nation this week, behind Hawaii at $3.189, California at $3.165, Washington at $3.086, and Alaska at $3.056. Idaho's average is $2.901, and Nevada's climbs to $2.984. New Jersey has the least expensive gas in the country at $2.590 per gallon.

The state’s best deal on a gallon of regular was found in Salem where drivers are paying an average of $2.969. Portland came in second with an average price of $2.974. Next is the Eugene/Springfield area where drivers are paying an average of $3.016. The average in Medford/Ashland is $3.064. Motorists in Vancouver, Washington are paying an average of $3.057 for self-service regular.

"This is the time of year when gas prices normally decline, but that's not the case now." AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says, "The national average increased six cents in the past week to $2.82, the highest level since early August. And Oregon's statewide average jumps 11 cents to $3.00 per gallon this week, the highest level since mid-July. The increase in gas prices comes after crude oil hit a record $90 per barrel last Friday."

Other reasons for the price hikes include unrest in the Middle East, the declining value of the U.S. dollar, increased demand for oil in China and other developing nations, and concerns about winter supplies of fuel.

Gas prices remained stable over the past two months because of traditionally lower demand in September and October, and U.S. refiners were able to build a larger inventory of available fuel. But this situation is not expected to last as demand once again catches up to supplies and prices push higher at the pumps.

Gas prices have increased in all four of Oregon's measured metropolitan areas. In Portland, Eugene/Springfield and Medford/Ashland, prices jumped up 11 cents per gallon in the past week. In Salem, the average increased by ten cents per gallon.

Dramatic increases also continue in the diesel fuel market. In the past week, Oregon's average diesel price gained another 12 cents and currently averages $3.45 per gallon. In the past month, diesel prices in Oregon have shot up 40 cents per gallon.

The national average for diesel is currently $3.148, up nearly six cents. Hawaii has the highest statewide average price for diesel at $3.699. In Washington, diesel averages $3.610; California, $3.449; Idaho, $3.457, and Nevada, $3.354.




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