Gas prices stabilize close to new record high

Gas prices stabilize close to new record high The nationwide average price of self-serve regular gasoline has stabilized in recent days after surging to new record highs in the wake of Hurricane Dennis, according to AAA's daily, online Fuel Gauge Report (www.fuelgaugereport.com).

The nation's largest organization for motorists said the nationwide average price of self-serve regular gasoline is $2.314 per gallon, down .7 cents from the record high price of $2.321 set last Thursday, July 14.

Although energy production and shipping along the Gulf coast was briefly curtailed before and during the storm, normal operations appear to have resumed and gasoline prices should begin falling in response to the lower crude oil price of recent days, AAA said. The price of WTI crude is down approximately $5 from a record high set two weeks ago. Today�s average gasoline price is almost 39.7 cents higher than it was one year ago, AAA said. Most of the increase is due to sharply higher crude oil costs in the last year.

Gasoline prices are up sharply across the country since the middle of last month. The biggest increase was in New England where prices moved 23 cents higher to average $2.378 per gallon. The Mid-Atlantic region saw a 21.4 cent average increase in prices to $2.348 per gallon, and prices are up 19.6 cents in the Great Lakes states to $2.323 per gallon.

Nationwide, the price of self-serve, mid-grade averages $2.457 per gallon, an increase of 18.1 cents since the middle of last month, and 42.2 cents higher than one year ago. Self-serve premium averages $2.359 per gallon, up 18.7 cents since mid-June, and 43.7 cents higher than one year ago.

The South Dakota state-wide average price of self-serve regular gasoline is at $2.329, up nearly 19 cents from last month. The average price of gasoline in the Sioux Falls area is at $2.317, up 20.1 cents from a month ago. In Rapid City the average is $2.363 up 16.2 cents from a month ago.

The national average prices for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline for AAA�s mid-June survey for the last five years are: 2004, $1.917; 2003, $1.517; 2002, $1.396; 2001, $1.426; and 2000, $1.577.

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