Diesel prices slip as oil dips

| Monday, February 07, 2005

The national average price-per-gallon for diesel fuel dipped Monday, Feb. 7, to $1.983 from last week’s average of $1.992, the Department of Energy reported.

The highest average prices in the nation continue to be found in the New England region, where the average cost is $2.222.

Among the higher average prices were in the Central Atlantic region, at $2.159; California, at $2.144; the West Coast region, at $2.113; and the East Coast region, at $2.025.

Other prices included the Lower Atlantic region, at $1.950; the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions, at $1.938; and the Rocky Mountain region, at $1.967.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices slipped Monday amid talk that OPEC would retain its current output levels as long as prices stay above $37 a barrel.

Light, sweet crude for delivery in March fell $1.28 to $45.20 a barrel in afternoon trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

During the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, several OPEC members signaled that the cartel would not cut output unless prices fell roughly $10 from levels at the time to about $37 a barrel, The Associated Press reported.

On Jan. 30, OPEC decided not to cut production, as the price of light, sweet crude prices hovered near $47 a barrel. The cartel, however, left open the possibility of an output cut before its mid-March meeting.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed in December to cut output by 1 million barrels a day starting Jan. 1 to bring output closer to its self-imposed output ceiling of 27 million barrels.

Analysts said, however, that prices would likely remain firm even if OPEC does nothing over the month.

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