Oil prices on rise after Irene

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 8/29/2011

Forecasters are keeping an eye on East Coast oil supplies in the aftermath of the hurricane, now tropical storm, dubbed Irene. The price of crude oil was up $1.80 a barrel in New York to $87.17 on Monday, Aug. 29, as eastern states assess damage from the storm.

Although Irene was downgraded from early predictions, it still caused substantial flooding and power outages. Reuters forecasters stated that most oil suppliers weathered the storm just fine, but a few were shut down or temporarily reduced their output.

In other energy news, the weekly national average for on-highway diesel was up a penny to $3.82 per gallon on Monday, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Price increases in the West Coast region and California helped boost the national average, according to the latest EIA report.

Following are the weekly averages as reported by the EIA:

U.S. – $3.820, up 1 cent
East Coast – $3.843, down one-tenth of a cent
New England – $3.977, down 1.7 cents
Central Atlantic – $3.930, down 1.4 cents
Lower Atlantic – $3.793, up half-a-cent
Midwest – $3.803, up 1.4 cents
Gulf Coast – $3.763, down nine-tenths of a cent
Rocky Mountain – $3.839, up 2.4 cents
West Coast – $3.908, up 5.3 cents
California – $3.958, up 3.0 cents

Tracking site ProMiles reported the daily diesel average at $3.846 per gallon on Monday, up seven-tenths of a cent overnight.

A quartet of states continues to average above the $4 mark including taxes. Leading the way is Washington state at $4.185, followed by Connecticut at $4.152, New York at $4.115, and Rhode Island at $4.109.

The cheapest tax-included average belonged to Oregon at $3.615 per gallon, followed by Arizona at $3.689 and Mississippi at $3.697.