Yikes - average diesel price spikes

| Monday, September 27, 2004

The average national retail price of diesel has increased from $1.912, per gallon to $2.012 the U.S. Energy Department announced Sept. 27.

The highest prices in the nation continue in California, where the price currently averages $2.236 per gallon, and in the West Coast region, where the price stands at $2.169.

Meanwhile, the $2 mark also came to New England, where the price is $2.012; the Central Atlantic, where the price is $2.092; and the East Coast, where the price is $2.019.

Other prices: $1.981 in the Lower Atlantic states, $1.982 in the Midwest and $1.971 in the Gulf Coast region; $1.999 in the Gulf Coast states; and $1.999 in the Rocky Mountain states.

Oil prices pushed above $49 a barrel, approaching record levels as worries about the stability of supplies from Iraq, Nigeria and Russia compound concerns over low fuel stocks ahead of winter, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, dealers shrugged off as too little some loans of oil to refiners from U.S. emergency stockpiles.

Clashes in Saudi Arabia between security forces and suspected al Qaida members at the weekend, along with continued attacks on oil infrastructure in Iraq, have heightened concerns over the potential for a severe disruption to Middle East crude flows.

Rebels in Nigeria, Africa’s top oil exporter, said at the weekend they would extend an uprising across the country's entire oil-producing southern delta, where Royal Dutch/Shell has evacuated more than 200 staff from two oilfields due to increasing violence.

And there is still uncertainty over the stability of supplies from YUKOS, Russia's top exporter, after the company's battle against bankruptcy led to hiccups in output and deliveries last week, Reuters reported.

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