Cost of diesel down as oil prices rise

| Monday, January 10, 2005

The national average price-per-gallon for diesel fuel fell more than 2 cents Monday, Jan. 10, to $1.934 compared with last week’s average of $1.957, the Department of Energy reported.

It marks the fifth time in six weeks that the national average price of diesel has decreased.

The highest average prices in the nation continue to be found in the New England region, where the average cost is $2.163.

Among the higher average prices were in California, at $2.014; the West Coast region, at $1.973; the East Coast region, at $1.999; and the Central Atlantic region, at $2.133.

Other prices included the Lower Atlantic region, at $1.926; the Rocky Mountain region, at $1.877; the Midwest region, at $1.911; and the Gulf Coast region, at $1.876.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices rose to $47 a barrel Monday on expectations of colder weather in the United States and as rough weather slowed plans to fully restore crude production in the North Sea. Markets were also concerned that OPEC producers may cut output again later this month.

While oil is still about $8 a barrel cheaper than the all-time closing price of $55.17 recorded twice in late October, traders remain wary about tight heating oil supplies.

Light, sweet crude for delivery in February increased $1.57 to $47 per barrel in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The U.S. supply of distillate fuel, which includes heating oil, diesel and jet fuel, soared 7 cents to $1.34 per gallon.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reduced production by 1 million barrels a day from the start of 2005 to bring the cartel closer to its official output ceiling of 27 million barrels. Oil ministers said then that they were ready to reduce output again if needed when they meet Jan. 30.

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