Oil Hits One-Year High, Gas Prices Rise As Wellby Tim Manni
MarketWatch.com reports this afternoon that the price of a barrel of crude oil increased by $2.25, reaching a one-year high of $81.37. The “front-month contract,” as followed by the New York Mercantile Exchange, is the highest price since last October.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose almost nine cents to $2.57 a gallon:
Even with the increase, that price remained 34 cents below a year ago and $1.54 less than the all-time high price set on July 7, 2008. With the exception of the West Coast, regional prices increased throughout the country.
Analysts surveyed by Platts had expected an increase of 2.2 million barrels. Imports fell to 8.7 million barrels a day in the latest week, the lowest level since the week ended Aug. 14, the government’s data showed. The EIA also reported that petroleum demand remained weak, with demand for gasoline falling to the lowest level in more than five months.
Despite the apparent lack of consumer demand, the experts say the main force behind the increase is the weakness of the U.S. dollar.