The national average reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration was $4.149, down from last week's record $4.177. The highest average price was found in the Central Atlantic region at $4.345, followed closely by New England at $4.337 and the West Coast at $4.303. The lowest average prices were seen in the Gulf Coast region, at $4.084.
The price of crude oil hit a new record of $119.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday, thanks to continued weakening of the U.S. dollar and international conflicts that could disrupt oil supplies. It actually hit the $120 a barrel mark in trading before settling just under the $120 mark for the day.
Traders feared possible supply disruptions as Kurdish rebels in Iraqu threatened suicide attacks against U.S. interests, after Turkish forces bombed rebel bases Friday. Possible disruptions were also feared in Iran and Nigeria, according to published reports.