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NEW YORK -- At a time of year when drivers are traditionally hitting the road -- whether over the hills and through the woods to grandmother’s house or down the street to the local mall -- gas prices are reaching a 26-month high. And some analysts forecast they will hit $3 a gallon by January, according to ABC News.
Despite ample supplies and diminished demand since September, it is costing drivers more to fill up because oil prices are at their highest levels since October 2008. The two-week advance continued on Monday, Dec. 6, as benchmark oil for January delivery rose 19 cents to hit $88.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the news outlet reported.
The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.958 on Monday, according to the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). That figure equals roughly 10 cents higher than the previous week and 32 cents higher than a year ago.
According to the Oil Price Information Service, the national average now is the highest since October 2008, and if oil prices continue to hover near $90 a barrel, it could reach $3 a gallon before the end of the year. And analysts agree. "We’re within spitting distance right now," said Stephen Schork, an energy analyst and publisher of "The Schork Report." "Whether we get there by the end of the year or by the end of January, as far as consumers concerned, we’re there already by a psychological standpoint."
EIA reports that California drivers face the highest pump price, at an average $3.216 a gallon. Regular averages $2.802 a gallon in Gulf Coast states. In major cities the price ranges from $2.669 in Denver to $3.241 in San Francisco. New York City gas stations charge an average $3.077 a gallon.