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Gas prices on the rise

POSTED February 11, 2011 8:51 p.m.

The average price of gasoline in California surged six cents from January to February, mainly due to political concerns, according to AAA Northern California.

“Recent uncertainly about the political turmoil in Egypt has helped to make investors nervous, forcing up the price of crude oil,” explained AAA Northern California spokesperson Matt Skryja. “However, over the past week investors finally took notice that the United State’s oil reserves had risen, showing a decrease in demand. This helped to stabilize the price per barrel.”

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has reported dropping gasoline demand for six weeks. Traders noticed the decreasing demand this week, countered by a steady supply despite uncertainties in Egypt, and oil prices have begun to fall accordingly. The strong U.S. dollar, compared to the euro, has also forced oil prices down from mid-month highs.

Nationwide, the price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline rose three cents to $3.12. The price was much higher in California — at $3.41 – and higher yet in Northern California – $3.42, up 7 cents from a month ago.

Gas prices in the Modesto metropolitan area, which includes Turlock, are below the regional average at $3.36 per gallon. That’s up 7 cents from January, and just two cents more per gallon than the least expensive gas in Northern California, found in Marysville and Chico at $3.34.

According to GasBuddy.com, gasoline can be found below that average price in Turlock, as low as $3.15 per gallon at three retailers. The most expensive gasoline in Turlock comes in at $3.54 – nearly 40 cents per gallon more than the cheapest.

The country’s least expensive gasoline can be found in Casper, Wyo. at just $2.68 per gallon, while Wailuku, Hawaii, tops the price list at $4.01 per gallon.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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