Gas prices up for second week in a row, to $1.93 per gallon
WASHINGTON – The retail price of gasoline rose for the second week in a row, climbing to nearly $1.93 per gallon, after declining during the five previous weeks, the Energy Department reported Monday.
The government survey said the average price nationwide of regular-grade gasoline rose 1.1 cent to $1.928 per gallon last week. Prices are 40.4 cents higher than a year ago.
Average nationwide prices peaked at $2.06 a gallon during the week ending May 22.
Pump prices are highest on the West Coast, averaging $2.113 per gallon, and cheapest on the Gulf Coast, averaging $1.818 per gallon. In the Midwest, gas averages $1.892 per gallon.
One of the key factors behind the soaring gasoline prices is the high cost of oil.
The price of light crude for August delivery rose 39 cents Monday, settling at $41.64 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. After falling from recent highs, oil prices have been surging again lately as traders react to concerns about terrorist attacks, strong demand and relatively tight supplies of gasoline.
On the Nymex, gasoline set for August delivery rose 0.88 cent to $1.2917. August heating oil rose 0.96 cent to $1.1055 per gallon, and August natural gas fell 6.9 cents to $5.818 per 1,000 cubic feet.
On the London’s International Petroleum Exchange, Brent crude oil futures fell 10 cents to $37.90.
The United States’ inventory of gasoline is 0.6 percent above last year’s levels, but at the lower end of the five-year average range for this time of year, according to Energy Department statistics.
Gasoline demand is about 2 percent higher than last year, averaging 9.3 million barrels per day for the past month.