Diesel prices dip as oil rebounds

| Monday, December 06, 2004

The national average price-per-gallon for diesel fuel fell Monday, Dec. 6, to $2.069 from last week’s average of $2.116, the Department of Energy reported.

The highest average prices in the nation are found in the New England region, where the average cost is $2.234.

Among the higher average prices were in California, at $2.225; the West Coast region, at $2.181; and the Central Atlantic region, at $2.220.

Other prices included the East Coast region, where the average price is $2.111; the Lower Atlantic region, at $2.053; the Rocky Mountain region, at $2.124; the Midwest region, at $2.033; and the Gulf Coast region, at $1.995.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices climbed back above $43 a barrel Monday on fears that OPEC may cut production to stem a recent price drop.

After sliding more than $6 a barrel last week, as government data showed increasing U.S. supplies of crude and heating oil, light sweet crude for delivery in January rose 53 cents to $43.12 in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Analysts said the markets are bracing for a possible production cut when OPEC, the cartel that has been pumping out crude at a record 30 million barrels daily since September, meets in Cairo, Egypt, on Friday, Dec. 10.

“We have a huge amount of oil in the market and on the sea,” Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told Dow Jones Newswires on Monday. “OPEC really should be worried if it keeps on overproducing.”

Oil prices are down about $12 a barrel from their late October highs, though prices remain roughly 40 percent higher than a year ago.

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