The price of gasoline has begun to slip upward, as predicted by TurnpikeInfo.com in our last story about the cost of fuels. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly gas price survey shows gasoline prices fell in New England and across the West Coast of the United States, but the cost of driving increased for nearly everyone else. The average price of a gallon of gas is up about a penny over last week, but some areas, particularly the Midwest, were hit with a 2¢ to 3¢ increase in gas prices. The survey tracks the average regional cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.
The news for truckers, however, was even worse. The cost of a gallon of diesel fuel was up in every region of the U.S., and the potential for an autumn spike in prices looms with continued unrest in the oil futures markets. The cost of diesel hit a U.S. average of $3.91 per gallon this week, although prices in California and across the West Coast are much higher. In some areas, the average diesel cost is hovering around $4.16 per gallon.
The Syria situation has thrown new waves of jitters into the oil futures markets, which had already been surging for October deliveries. The price of Brent and West Texas Intermediate futures both spiked amid news of possible chemical weapons use in the lengthy Syrian civil war, coupled with continued unrest in Egypt that could threaten shipping lanes in the Red Sea, The Gulf of Suez, the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal that connects them.
The potential of a U.S. missle strike loomed Tuesday morning, with some officials at the Obama Administration telling NBC news a military action could come as early as Thursday. U.S. warships and aircraft carriers in the region have already been repositioned for such an attack.
Despite the unrest and current pricing trends, overall fuel prices are still off their highs of the year, and prices are considerably lower than at this time in 2012. The price of gasoline is anywhere from 20¢ to 30¢ per gallon less than last year, and diesel prices are lower by about the same amount. Whether the year over year price break remains intact, however, will depend largely on futures markets and investors’ fears about supply going into the fall and winter seasons.
Farmers’ Almanac is been cited by numerous media in the past 24 hours, after that publication predicted a bitterly cold and snowy winter across the U.S. That kind of forecast could cause investors to bid higher on oil futures, with the expectation of high demands for heating oil, propane, kerosene and natural gas.