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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose four cents in one week to $3.35, according to the latest AAA Fuel Gauge Report. This puts the average at six cents higher than the price one month ago, but seven cents cheaper than the same period one year ago.
Overall, the retail price of gasoline has increased for 11 consecutive days, the longest streak since 21 days of increases that took place from July 28 through Aug. 18, 2012.
Despite rising prices, the national average increased by fewer than six cents during the first 28 days of 2013, less than half of the 14-cent increase over the same time period in 2012. While geopolitical tensions with Iran caused higher global oil prices in 2012, this year's rising prices come largely from recent regional refinery issues, according to AAA. Hess Corp.'s exit from the refining business is also likely to prompt additional fuel supplies to be brought to the Northeastern U.S. from the Gulf Coast and overseas.
In the past week, average gasoline prices reportedly increased in every state but Montana and in Washington, D.C. The rising price of crude oil products used by refiners supplying the Central U.S. caused prices to rise the most, with nine landlocked states seeing price increases higher than 10 cents in the past week: Illinois, Idaho, North Dakota, Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.
The price of West Texas Intermediate oil, used as a benchmark for the United States, settled up 56 cents at $96.44 per barrel at yesterday's close of formal trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, marking the highest settlement price since Sept. 17, 2012, AAA stated.