The national average price-per-gallon
for diesel fuel ballooned Monday, Feb. 28, to $2.118 from last week’s
average of $2.02, the Department of Energy reported.
It is the second
straight week the national average price of diesel has been above $2 a gallon.
Until last week, the price of diesel had been below the $2 mark since early
The highest average prices in the nation are found in the
West Coast region, where the average cost is $2.412.
The biggest jump was in California, where the average price
per gallon shot up nearly 12 cents to $2.376.
Among the higher average prices were in the New England
region, at $2.241; the Central Atlantic region, at $2.233; and the Rocky
Mountain region, at $2.174.
Other prices included the East Coast region, at $2.117; the
Midwest region, at $2.064; the Lower Atlantic region, at $2.056; and the Gulf
Coast region, at $2.035.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices increased Monday, extending
their recent rise above $51 a barrel amid concerns about continuing cold
weather in the U.S. Northeast and the possibility that OPEC will cut production
Light, sweet crude for delivery in April rose 21 cents to
$51.70 a barrel in afternoon trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Heating
oil prices also rose, by about 3 cents, to $1.485 a gallon.
Qatar’s Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamad said Sunday that the
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries might “cut supply to stop
inventories from building” on March 16 when cartel members gather in Iran.
Kuwait’s prime minister, Sheikh Ahmad Fahad al Ahmad al
Sabah, however, vowed on Monday to do all he could to bring high-flying prices
The call from the cartel member reversed gains from earlier
in the day that had brought prices to new four-month highs of $52.28 a barrel.