US Gasoline price at new record, diesel falls: EIA
Wednesday, 07 May 2008

REUTERS, WASHINGTON - The US average retail price for gasoline rose a penny over the last week to a new high of $3.61 a gallon, while the price of diesel fuel fell, the federal Energy Information Administration said on Monday.

The national price for regular, self-service gasoline is up 56 cents from a year ago because of expensive crude oil prices. US crude on Monday hit a record $120.36 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The price of crude oil accounts for about 72 percent of the cost for making gasoline. The White House said President George W Bush would discuss with Saudi Arabian officials during his visit to the kingdom this month how high oil prices were hurting the US economy.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, along with other OPEC members, has turned down US requests to ramp up production, saying markets are well-supplied. OPEC blames a weak US dollar and speculation for high crude prices.

The EIA's latest weekly survey of service stations showed gasoline was the most expensive on the West Coast at $3.80 a gallon, up 1.4 cents. San Francisco had the highest city price at $3.93, up 1.5 cents. The Rocky Mountain states had the lowest regional price at $3.49 a gallon, up 1.6 cents.

Denver had the cheapest pump price, down 0.7 cent, at $3.47. Consumers of diesel fuel saw a week-to-week decline in prices, down 2.8 cents from the previous week to $4.15 a gallon, the EIA said. Still, diesel remained up $1.36 from a year earlier. The central Atlantic states had the most expensive diesel at $4.35 a gallon, down 3.1 cents.

The Gulf Coast region had the cheapest fuel at $4.08, down 2.9 cents, the agency said. The EIA is expected to revise up its estimate for the peak prices for diesel and gasoline this summer, when the agency releases its new short-term energy forecast on Tuesday.

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