After moving higher for five consecutive weeks, the average cost of diesel is lower, but only barely.
New figures released Monday afternoon by the U.S. Energy Department show it’s down 0.1 cent from last week, registering $4.016 per gallon. Over the five-week period it gained 14.4 cents but compared to the same time a year ago the price is 11.6 cents lower.
Diesel prices increased over the past week in two of the three sections that make up East Coast region, along with the Rocky Mountain and West Coast regions of the country. The biggest gain was recorded in the Rockies, where it picked up 3.3 cents for an average of $3.983 per gallon.
The fuel ranges from a low of $3.793 in the Gulf Coast region, down 1.3 cent from a week ago, to a high of $4.389 in the New England portion of the East Coast region, up 0.3 cents during the same time.
Compared to a year ago, diesel is down in all regions of the country except in two of the three parts that make up the East Coast region. In New England it is 9.1 cents higher while it’s 11.9 cents more in the Central Atlantic section.
Meantime, the price of oil surged on Monday, hitting its highest closing price since Sept. 19. It added $2.23 in New York trading, settling at $104.92 per barrel, for the largest single day gain since September. Over the past week the black gold is up a little more than $3.
Another round of intensely cold weather in parts of the U.S. and concerns about Russia sending troops into parts of the Ukraine amid fears there could be oil supply disruptions pushed prices higher. Russia is the world’s largest oil producing country, followed by Saudi Arabia and the U.S., according to 2013 figures, the most recent available.