Pump prices climb to eight-month high as supplies slide

04/16/2014 10:31 AM

04/16/2014 10:32 AM

Retail gasoline jumped to the highest price in more than eight months as gasoline stockpiles shrink amid increasing demand.

Regular unleaded gasoline at U.S. filling stations averaged $3.65 a gallon Monday, up 5.5 cents from a week ago and 3.1 percent above a year ago, the Energy Information Administration said on its website Monday. The agency collects information from about 800 filling stations as of 8 a.m. local time on Mondays.

In Fort Worth-Arlington, drivers were paying an average of $3.57 on Tuesday, up 9 cents from a week earlier and up 25 cents from a month ago, according to auto club AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, which survey filling stations at the end of each day.

Prices rose the most on the West Coast, where gasoline surged 9.7 cents to $3.98 a gallon, according to EIA, which is part of the Energy Department.

Pump prices have climbed for 10 straight weeks as refinery maintenance limits supplies and weather delays deliveries of ethanol by rail. Gasoline inventories reached a three-year seasonal low last week as the nation kicked off its summer driving season, which typically runs from April to September.

Retail gasoline is expected to peak at $3.66 a gallon in May before declining for the rest of the year, EIA said in a summer fuel outlook April 8.

“The retail price projections reflect falling prices for crude oil,” the agency said in the report.

West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark grade, has gained 2.1 percent this month. The contract for May delivery fell 0.3 percent Tuesday to close at $103.75 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

U.S. gasoline consumption climbed 3.3 percent to 9 million barrels a day in the week ending April 4, a three-year seasonal high, the agency said. Gasoline supplies shrank 2.4 percent in the same period.

Retail gasoline rose in every region of the U.S. this week except the Rocky Mountain area, where prices slipped a penny to $3.44 a gallon, the nation’s low, the agency reported.

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