CAMARILLO, Calif. - Gasoline prices have surged to a record nationwide average of $3.07 per gallon, nearly 20 cents higher than two weeks earlier, oil industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said yesterday.
The previous record was $3.03 per gallon on Aug. 11, 2006.
Just two weeks ago, the U.S. average for a gallon of gas was $2.87, but the Lundberg Survey of 7,000 stations nationwide on Friday showed an increase of about 19.5 cents to $3.07. That's up 88.4 cents since Jan. 19, Lundberg said.
The nationwide average for mid-grade gasoline was $3.18 and premium was $3.28.
The nation's lowest average pump price was $2.80 per gallon in Charleston, S.C., while the highest was $3.49 in San Francisco.
The recent increases are due mostly to refinery problems, Lundberg said, noting there have been at least a dozen additional partial shutdowns in the U.S. and internationally that cut refining capacity.
The outages have been reflected in weekly government data which has shown gasoline inventories falling during a season when most analysts think they should be rising.
Summer driving begins Memorial Day weekend, and analysts worry refineries won't be producing enough gasoline by then to meet demand. *