World events push diesel toward $2 mark

| 2/11/2003

According to figures released by the Energy Department Feb. 10, the national average cost of diesel fuel per gallon rose 12 cents to $1.662 from last week’s average price of $1.542.

Although the average national price of diesel began to level off in late 2002, actually declining from $1.46 per gallon in October to $1.40 in late December, international concerns have pushed prices higher again.

Contributing factors include Venezuela’s oil strike, the looming prospect of war with Iraq, high crude oil prices and fears of continued terrorist activity at pipelines in Colombia.

Last week, suspected rebels attacked Colombia's second-largest oil pipeline, detonating explosives near the town where U.S. Special Forces have initiated counterinsurgency training.

Some 70 U.S. Special Forces are deployed in two military bases in Aruaca province to train a Colombian brigade to defend the 110,000-barrel-per-day pipeline. The U.S. troops are not allowed to accompany Colombian forces into combat.

The blast immediately shut down pumping on the Cano Limon pipeline, which serves an oilfield operated by U.S. Occidental Petroleum Corp. It was the fourth attack on Cano Limon so far this year.

Diesel sees steady rise in all regions

Meanwhile, for the first time in more than two years, the average price of diesel hit the dollar-eighty mark in two regions of the country: New England, where the price this week is $1.834; and in the Central Atlantic states, where the price is $1.801.

The remaining regions' prices per gallon are as follows: $1.716 on the East Coast; $1.70 in California; $1.653 on the West Coast; $1.669 in the Lower Atlantic region; $1.652 in the Midwest; $1.632 in the Gulf Coast region; and $1.574 in the Rocky Mountain states.

NOTE: For a state-by-state rundown of fuel price averages, visit Click on the "Fuel Prices" link in the blue box at left for daily info provided by ProMiles.