AAA Reports Gas Prices at Highest Level Since Last November

MINNEAPOLIS, March 14 /PRNewswire/ — Gasoline prices are at their highest levels since last November 9, with the current nationwide average price of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline at $2.363 per gallon. This is more than 6 cents higher than last month and more than 33 cents higher than a year ago.

“The jump in price occurred after the cost of both crude oil and wholesale gasoline moved sharply higher at the end of last week,” said Dawn Duffy, AAA Minneapolis spokesperson. “Crude oil briefly traded above $63 per barrel and whole sale gasoline was up as much as 15 cents per gallon.”

The price picture for gasoline will clarify in the next few days once it is known whether OPEC will keep oil production unchanged and if Iran will be referred to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions due to its nuclear research program. While energy analysts are divided on what the OPEC nations will agree to do at tomorrow’s meeting, they do have some optimism that Russia will reach a deal with Iran, whereby they agree not to engage in the processing of uranium on a scale needed for nuclear weapons for at least seven years.

In addition, pump prices are rising faster in the Midwest than in other regions, partly attributable to the rising cost of ethanol, which is heavily blended with gasoline in this area, and because refineries serving the Midwest are beginning their seasonal switchover to producing summer grade fuels.

Reports for March 14, 2006, reflect the following average prices per gallon for self-serve, regular unleaded gas:

Current/ Month Ago / Year Ago
National $2.36 $2.30 $2.03

Minnesota $2.38 $2.16 $2.02

Duluth $2.34 $2.21 $1.99

Minneapolis/St. Paul $2.40 $2.08 $2.05

Rochester $2.36 $2.22 $2.05

St. Cloud $2.33 $2.14 $2.02

AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report is based upon data from the Oil Price Information Service, the nation’s most comprehensive source of petroleum pricing statistics, and can be found at http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/ .

AAA ( http://www.aaa.com/ ) offers automotive, travel, insurance and financial services to more than 49 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA Minnesota/Iowa is part of The Auto Club Group, with 4.1 million members in eight Midwest states. AAA Minneapolis serves more than 177,000 members in Hennepin County.

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