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    Fuel Prices Likely to Hit Record Highs in 2012

    U.S. drivers could pay more than $4-per-gallon by spring, according to GasBuddy analysts' predictions.

    INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. -- Although the average price of a gallon of gasoline has declined in recent months, it is still 21.3 cents higher than the average price one year ago, reported the International Falls Journal. According to GasBuddy Organization Inc., which operates GasBuddy.com's listing of up-to-date gas station pricing information, that's a bad sign for 2012.

    "For the past seven years, the average price movement from the beginning of the year to the peak price posted during the year has been $0.93 cents per gallon, and as high as $1.31 per gallon," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

    "In three of the last seven years, the spread between the yearly starting price and the peak exceeded $1 per gallon and only once in the past seven years was the spread below 82 cents per gallon," added GasBuddy Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. He noted that the highest gasoline prices normally occur during the summer, they have occurred later in the year more than once in the last few years.

    "While past performance is no indication of future prices, if the national average doesn't move closer toward or under $3 per gallon by the year's end, we could be paying over $4 per gallon next spring," said DeHaan.

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