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Gas prices rising precipitously

Dec 13, 2010 10:43 am
Average retail gasoline prices in New York have risen 2.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.23 per gallon Sunday. This compares with the national average, which has increased 1.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.96, according to gasoline price website NewYorkStateGasPrices.com. Including the change in gas prices in New York during the past week, prices Sunday were 40.5 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 15.7 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 7.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 35.4 cents per gallon higher than this day a year ago. Statewide, the lowest prices are under $3 on Indian reservations in the west of the state, then $3.05 in the Auburn area in the middle of the state. Highest prices are near $3.90 on Long Island and in New York City. Locally, the highest prices are $3.25 at service stations on the Thruway, in the $3.20 range in northern Dutchess County, in the $3.19 range in Greene County, and around $3.13 per gallon in Columbia County.

With crude oil prices at the highest level in more than two years, Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Wall, N.J.-based Oil Price Information Service, is saying in a Daily Finance report that prices are likely to drop a bit for the winter... and the reach much higher prices likely by springtime. Crude oil hit $90 a barrel last week, its highest point since 2008, when prices were plunging from that summer's high of $145 a barrel in the worst energy crisis of the last decade. Driving the higher prices is increased demand in China and developing nations around the world, forcing demand to rise above output in what may be a first demonstration of the concept of Peak Oil. More specifically, a many analysts are pointing to a more immediate cause being problems at a refinery in Nova Scotia that hit the U.S. East Coast in recent weeks. Kloza believes gasoline prices will hover around $3 a gallon until Christmas, and then drop back until spring. But then he expects them to surge dramatically, perhaps as high as $3.50 a gallon, although he that he doesn't think it will be long-lasting.

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