Gas prices jump along with record-high crude oil prices

Monday, October 11th 2004, 6:06 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Record-high crude oil prices are being blamed for a spike in the cost of gasoline, which has gone up nearly 8 cents a gallon over the past two weeks.

From Sept. 24 through Friday, the combined national average for all grades of gas rose to $2.02 a gallon, according to Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the semimonthly Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations across the country.

Self-serve regular, the biggest seller, now costs $1.99 a gallon; midgrade is $2.09, and premium is $2.18, Lundberg said.

Lundberg blamed the increase on the rising cost of crude, which hit $53.31 a barrel on Friday, and said prices are likely to continue to climb in the short term. But they may begin to come down as hurricane-damaged petroleum facilities in the Gulf of Mexico are repaired, she said.

``That is, unless we have a new event such as an especially cold winter, in the U.S. or internationally, snapping up home heating supplies and prices, which would add to the value of crude oil,'' Lundberg said Sunday.

Meanwhile, the nation's most expensive gas during the past two weeks was sold in San Diego, where self-serve regular was $2.35 a gallon. The cheapest was in Houston, where self-serve regular was $1.84.

Gas prices have gone up 13.07 cents since Sept. 10, when the combined national average for all grades was $1.89 a gallon. Before then, pump prices had been sliding since May 21, when they reached a peak of $2.10 a gallon.