OPEC likely to maintain quotas, diesel prices up

| 6/25/2002

OPEC members are expected to keep crude oil production unchanged when they meet this week to assess market conditions. Pump prices are expected to remain fairly stable through the peak summer driving season.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries lowered output in January by 1.5 million barrels a day and pressured others to follow in order to support oil prices. Only Mexico and Oman of the five non-OPEC nations that cooperated on restraints for the first six months of this year are expected to continue. The world's second and third biggest exporters, Russia and Norway, are returning to full capacity.

As OPEC works to keep prices from dropping, the weekly retail on-highway diesel prices released by the Energy Department Monday show the national average cost of diesel rose slightly from last week to $1.281. The highest prices nationally are once again found in California. Diesel there costs $1.438 per gallon on average. The lowest average prices are in the Lower Atlantic region. Fuel there is $1.236 per gallon.

The remaining regions' price per gallon is as follows: East Coast, $1.282; New England, $1.379; Central Atlantic, $1.368; Midwest, $1.26; Gulf Coast, $1.242; Rocky Mountain, $1.317; and West Coast, $1.395, respectively.