Average gas price moves toward $2 per gallon

Average gas price moves toward $2 per gallon The national average price of self-serve regular gasoline is up 13.1 cents since mid-September to $1.972 per gallon, AAA's daily, online Fuel Gauge Report(www.fuelgaugereport. com) shows.

The escalating gasoline price reflects sharply higher crude oil prices which topped $54 per barrel Oct. 12, the nation's largest organization for motorists said.

The price of both gasoline and crude oil are higher partly due to the lingering effects of Hurricane Ivan which temporarily shutdown or damaged oil rigs and terminals along the Gulf coast last month. Oil production has yet to return to normal levels there.

The South Dakota statewide average price for self-serve regular gasoline is $1.974 per gallon, about 9.7 cents higher than a month ago. In Sioux Falls the average is $1.958, up 14.3 cents over last month. The Rapid City average is $1.999, up 2.3 cents in the past month.

AAA said during the last month, prices increased most in the Great Lakes region, up an average of 15.1 cents to $2.005 per gallon. Prices increased an average of 13.6 cents in the Southeast to $1.932 per gallon, and prices rose an average 12.5 cents per gallon to $1.946 in the Midwest during the period.

All three regions are heavily dependent on oil that is shipped into Gulf ports in Texas and Louisiana for refining and distribution by barges and pipelines.

Prices were up an average of 12.8 cents in the Southwest to $1.932 per gallon. In the Mid-Atlantic region, prices increased 10.6 cents to average $1.958. In New England, prices rose 9.4 cents per gallon to average $1.989.

The West experienced the smallest price increase; a rise of 6.6 cents per gallon to $2.033.

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