WASHINGTON – U.S. consumers paid more at the pump as the average national price for gasoline rose 0.9 cent per gallon during the past week to $1.884 per gallon, the first increase in more than a month, the U.S. government said Monday.
Retail prices, which set a record high of $2.064 a gallon in late May, remain about 13.7 cents higher than one year ago, according to a weekly survey of more than 800 service stations by the Energy Information Administration (search) (EIA). This week's increase was the first since mid-July.
U.S. crude oil surged to nearly $50 a barrel last week amid strong demand for gasoline, tight petroleum supplies and worries about crude production in Iraq and Russia.
The NYMEX (search) crude oil contract for October delivery settled at $46.05 Monday, down 67 cents from Friday's close after Iraq reopened two pipelines and increased oil exports.
September crude futures (search) expired Friday after hitting a record $49.40 a barrel. Crude oil accounts for 46 percent of the cost of gasoline.
The government's weekly retail gasoline report showed the average U.S. pump price was highest on the West Coast, where prices rose 1.1 cents to an average of $2.020 per gallon.
The U.S. Gulf Coast region again had the cheapest gasoline, rising 1.9 cents to $1.802 a gallon during the last week, EIA said.
Among the 10 major urban areas highlighted by EIA, Houston pump prices were the cheapest at $1.760 per gallon, up 1.0 cent. The most expensive cities surveyed were San Francisco, where prices fell 2.5 cents to $2.057, and Los Angeles, where prices rose 0.2 cents to $2.053.
The national price for cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline, sold at about one-third of the gas stations in cities and smoggier areas, rose 0.2 cents to $1.947 a gallon.
U.S. diesel prices rose 4.9 cents to an average $1.874 per gallon last week, EIA said. The average cost for a gallon of diesel is 37.1 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.