Gas prices shoot up

GASOLINE prices were, on average, 9 cents higher Monday than last week, AAA Southern New England reported.
Posted 1/9/12

PROVIDENCE – Gasoline prices in Rhode Island were, on average, 9 cents higher Monday than last week, AAA Southern New England reported.

The auto club’s Jan. 9 survey recorded an average of $3.45 per gallon for self-serve, unleaded regular gasoline in the Ocean State, with a range from $3.36 to $3.60.

Prices in Massachusetts were 8 cents more expensive this week at $3.38 – the same average price nationally.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reported heating oil fluctuated as a drop in German industrial production indicated weakness in Europe’s largest economy at the same time that lower-than-normal temperatures were forecast for the U.S. Northeast.

Futures swung between gains and losses as German output sank 0.6 percent in November. The median estimate of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.5 percent drop. The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center forecast lower-than-normal temperatures from Jan. 14-18 for the U.S. East Coast and Midwest.

“The oil market is still very concerned about the weakening economic situation in Europe, but there’s nothing strongly bullish or strongly bearish out there right now,” said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in New York.

February-delivery heating oil slipped 0.52 cent to $3.065 a gallon at 10:46 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gasoline for February delivery rose 0.5 cent to $2.7566 a gallon on the exchange.

“There’s concern about slowdown in economies in Europe,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.

At service stations in Rhode Island this week, the survey found average self-serve prices of $3.60 per gallon for midgrade unleaded, $3.72 for premium unleaded gasoline and $3.95 for diesel.

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