US gasoline prices rise
The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps climbed 1.87 cents in the past two weeks to $3.7098 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.
The survey covers the period ended Friday, June 20. It’s based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, Calif.-based company. Prices are 11.29 cents higher than a year ago and at the highest level since May 2, the survey showed.
Pump prices increased when West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) climbed $4.60, or 4.5 percent, to $107.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in the two weeks to June 20 as the conflict in Iraq threatened to curb supplies from OPEC’s second- biggest oil producer.
“There may be further moderate rises in gasoline if crude oil keeps rising,” Trilby Lundberg, the president of Lundberg Survey, said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “The response has been muted so far considering oil prices have risen much more.”
The highest price for gasoline in the lower-48 states among the markets surveyed was in Chicago, at $4.15 a gallon, Lundberg said. The lowest price was in Tucson, Ariz., where customers paid an average $3.37 a gallon. Regular gasoline averaged $3.93 a gallon on Long Island, N.Y., and $4.07 in Los Angeles.
WTI hit a nine-month high after insurgents led by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, seized the northern city of Mosul and advanced toward Baghdad.
Crude inventories in the U.S. fell for the third straight week, dropping 579,000 barrels to 386.3 million in the seven days ended June 13, according to the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. Gasoline stockpiles increased 785,000 barrels to 214.3 million.
Gasoline futures on the Nymex jumped 18.87 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $3.1277 a gallon in the two weeks ended June 20.
U.S. gasoline production jumped 11 percent in the week ended June 13 to a record 9.84 million barrels a day, according to the EIA. Demand jumped 7.4 percent during that week and averaged over four weeks was 2.9 percent above a year earlier.