Diesel fuel took its biggest hike since June 2009 this week, rising 14.3 cents over last week's Department of Energy price survey. The national average price reported by the Energy Information Administration on Monday was $3.716 per gallon.

Gasoline soared above diesel for a change, gaining nearly 20 cents over the week for a national average posting of $3.383.

Year over year, diesel is now more than 85 cents higher than last year's price, while gasoline is more than 68 cents a gallon higher.

Crude prices posted a gain of 5 percent in February, and touched the $100-mark once last week. Oil prices are showing signs of stability once again as fears of a large scale potential supply disruption posed by Libya's internal strife eased. Crude closed the day Monday at $96.97, down 91 cents. Earlier in the day, oil climbed to within 4 cents of $100.

Oil prices "will continue to be subject to wild gyrations, due to one of the oldest factors in the oil business -- political tension and/or change in the Middle East," said Anthony Sabino, a professor of law at St. John's University whose legal practice includes oil and gas law.

"Notice how quickly prices would back off a new high once some calm was restored or assurances given, i.e. the U.S. and Saudi [Arabia] saying they will compensate for any decrease in Libyan output," he added.

Weekly Retail On-Highway Diesel Prices
(Dollars per gallon, including all taxes)

U.S.: 3.716 - up from last week: 0.143 - up from last year: 0.855
East Coast: 3.764 - up from last week: 0.144 - up from last year: 0.862
New England: 3.903 - up from last week: 0.134 - up from last year: 0.885
Central Atlantic: 3.875 - up from last week: 0.141 - up from last year: 0.862
Lower Atlantic: 3.703 - up from last week: 0.146 - up from last year: 0.859
Midwest: 3.661 - up from last week: 0.144 - up from last year: 0.836
Gulf Coast: 3.656 - up from last week: 0.134 - up from last year: 0.837
Rocky Mountain: - up from last week: 3.698 - up from last year: 0.130 0.847
West Coast: 3.892 - up from last week: 0.163 - up from last year: 0.936
California: 3.964 - up from last week: 0.165 - up from last year: 0.941