Diesel, oil prices dip

| Monday, August 30, 2004

The national average U.S. retail price of diesel fuel has declined from the previous average of $1.874 to $1.871, the Department of Energy reported Monday, Aug. 30.

The highest average prices in the nation continue to be found in California, at $2.148 a gallon. For the West Coast region, the price is $2.051. The lowest prices are in the Lower Atlantic region at $1.815, and in the Gulf Coast region, where the price is $1.824.

Other prices included the East Coast region, where the average price is $1.858; the New England region, at $1.956; the Central Atlantic region, at $1.937; the Midwest region, at $1.844; and the Rocky Mountain region, at $1.915.

Meanwhile, U.S. oil prices fell more than $1 on Monday, Aug. 30, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries eyed increases in the coming months to loosen tight international supply.

U.S. light crude fell to $41.30 a barrel – more than $8 below a record price set earlier this month, and the lowest price in more than a month – Reuters news service reported. After hitting the day’s low, light crude bounced back to $41.93 by midday, down $1.25.

Despite the recent slide, prices are still about a third higher than at the first of the year and oil exporting countries are pumping near capacity to match soaring demand.

OPEC President Purnomo Yusgiantoro said the group wanted to increase its members’ spare output capacity by about 1 million barrels per day in the next few months to bring down soaring prices.

The cartel is estimated to be pumping close to 30 million barrels per day, its highest level since 1979, in an effort to dampen this year’s seemingly relentless price climb.

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