The national average price-per-gallon
for diesel fuel increased about 2 cents this week to $1.952 compared
with last week’s average of $1.934, the Department of Energy reported.
The cost of fuel,
compiled Monday, Jan. 17, and released Tuesday, marks only the second time in
seven weeks that the national average price of diesel has increased.
The highest average prices in the nation continue to be
found in the New England region, where the average cost is $2.168.
Among the higher average prices were in California, at
$2.023; the West Coast region, at $2.001; the East Coast region, at $2.009; and
the Central Atlantic region, at $2.127.
Other prices included the Lower Atlantic region, at $1.944;
the Rocky Mountain region, at $1.877; the Midwest region, at $1.928; and the
Gulf Coast region, at $1.908.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices rose above $49 a barrel Tuesday
amid plunging temperatures in the United States and fears that OPEC may cut
output again later this month.
Light, sweet crude for delivery in February increased 98
cents to $49.36 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, increased 4 cents to $1.39 per gallon.
Freezing temperatures hit parts of the United States last
weekend, driving up demand in the world’s largest heating-oil market for as
long as a week. Temperatures east of the Great Lakes are expected to remain
below average from Jan. 22 through Jan. 26, The Associated Press reported, and may stay lower than normal in the Northeast through the end of
OPEC ministers are scheduled to meet Jan. 30 to discuss
whether additional production cuts may be necessary. The cartel agreed in
December to reduce production by 1 million barrels a day starting this month to
bring output closer to its self-imposed output ceiling of 27 million barrels.