Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oil Prices Continue Higher, Gasoline Goes Up Sharply

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oil Prices Continue Higher, Gasoline Goes Up Sharply

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - Motorists across the country already are being hit by higher gasoline prices due to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent jump in oil prices.

The American Automobile Association said Friday its survey of 1,400 retail gasoline stations nationwide showed self-serve unleaded gasoline prices had gone up 4 cents in two days, to an average of $1.115 a gallon.

The association said spot checks early Friday by AAA clubs in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina and the Washington area showed retail prices increasing from four to 14 cents a gallon.

Increases at the pump followed wholesale price hikes by the major oil companies. Phillips 66 Co. and Mobil Oil Corp. both raised its prices an average of 3.5 cents a gallon; Chevron Corp. hiked its price 5 cents; BP America Inc. had a 4 cent to 5 cent rise; Texaco raised its prices as much as 7 cents a gallon; and other firms also posted increases.

The oil companies blamed the rising cost of crude oil on energy markets. Prices for crude, gasoline and home heating oil futures surged for a second day Friday in response to the Mideast hostilities.

Phillips said the increase was related to the rise in both crude oil and spot market refined product prices. Phillips purchases a portion of its oil and refined product supply on the spot market.

The Phillips wholesale average price on all grades per gallon was about 73.5 cents per gallon on Friday. There is a federal gasoline tax of about 9 cents per gallon and individual state taxes that range from approximately 15 cents to about 25 cents per gallon.

Phillips also joined most other major purchasers of crude oil in raising posted prices on Friday.

Phillips raised posted prices by $1.25 for all grades increasing the price paid for West Texas Intermediate crude oil to $23 per barrel and the price for Oklahoma sweet crude to $23.25.

It was the fourth consecutive day Phillips raised the price it will pay for crude oil.

Phillips raised the price it will pay for crude oil by 50 cents on Tuesday, 57 cents on Wednesday and $1.75 on Thursday. The total increase for the four days was $4.25 per barrel.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the September contract for West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark grade of U.S. crude, climbed $1.38 to $24.49 a 42-gallon barrel after rising $1.57 on Thursday.

Wholesale unleaded gasoline for September delivery soared 4.11 cents to 72.18 cents a gallon, compounding a 3.80-cent rise Thursday.

The September contract for home heating oil picked up 1.89 cents to close at 66.58 cents a gallon after a 3.50-cent gain Thursday. Natural gas for September delivery rose to $1.510 per 1,000 cubic feet from Thursday's $1.432.

The oil companies shied away from speculating about further hikes, but did not rule them out. …

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