Diesel and Gas Prices Rise, Worries About Greece and Iran Drive up Oil Prices

February 21, 2012

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The average U.S. diesel price is up by 1.7 cents this week to an 11-week high of $3.96 per gallon from $3.943 last week, reports the U.S. Energy Information Administration in its weekly fuel update, and crude oil prices are the highest in in nine months.

Prices rose in every U.S. region except the Midwest, which saw an average decrease of just less than a cent. Prices increased the most in California, which saw an almost 5-cent rise per gallon. This is the fourth straight week diesel prices have risen. The national average price is currently 10.8% or 38.7 cents higher than at this time last year.

Gas prices increased as well by almost 7 cents to $3.591 per gallon from $3.523. Prices increased in every region, and the West Coast saw the biggest spike at almost 17 cents, more than double the increase for any other region.

Crude oil for March delivery gained $2.60 to reach $105.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. This is the highest settlement since May 4 of last year. Futures rose 2.5% after a $173 billion bailout for Greece.

Also affecting prices is Iran's decision to stop selling crude oil to France and Britain. This comes after the European Union made the decision to ban crude imports from Iran starting July 1 to pressure the country over its nuclear program.

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