The retail price of diesel fuel surged 6.8 cents last week to $3.184 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Diesel shot past this year’s previous high of $3.127 in May to beat anything in the last two years. Crude oil futures, above $80 per barrel since early October, drove the increase as winter approaches and refiners prepare for higher fuel prices during the heating season.
EIA said it expects the average cost of crude oil to U.S. refiners to increase from an average $74.50 per barrel last winter to $81 per barrel this winter.
By The Numbers: U.S. Diesel Prices.
Diesel prices on the West Coast gained least last week but remained the highest in the nation. Distributors charged $3.339 per gallon in California, up 6 cents from the previous week and up 37.5 cents from a year earlier. Across the region, diesel averaged $3.329 per gallon, up 5.6 cents from the previous week and up 43 cents from a year earlier.
The nation’s lowest diesel prices were in the Gulf Coast, where drivers paid an average of $3.10 per gallon, up 7 cents from the previous week and up 36.7 cents from a year ago.
The biggest change was a 7.9 cent leap in the Rocky Mountains to $3.278 per gallon, up 45.8 cents from a year ago.
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