Video: Gas pressures

updated 1/26/2004 1:14:08 PM ET 2004-01-26T18:14:08

Retail gas prices climbed nearly 7 cents per gallon over the past two weeks, driven largely by higher crude oil costs, a nationwide industry survey found Sunday.

The average price Friday for a gallon of self-serve gas nationwide, including all grades and taxes, was about $1.65, according to the Lundberg Survey of 8,000 stations. That marked an increase of 6.72 cents per gallon from Jan. 9, the date of the last Lundberg Survey.

Prices rose partly because of higher crude oil costs bolstered by strong world demand and increased winter home heating, analyst Trilby Lundberg said. Crude oil prices spiked 63 cents per barrel over the past two weeks to close at $34.94 Friday, she said.

Also putting upward pressure on prices were government regulations mandating new gasoline reformulations, which added to refiners' costs. Those higher production costs could trickle down to consumers, she said.

Lundberg said the average gas prices could jump more than 16 cents by early April. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to leave official output levels unchanged during its Feb. 10 meeting, further bolstering crude prices.

The national weighted average price of gasoline, including taxes, at self-serve pumps Friday was about $1.62 for regular, $1.72 for mid-grade and $1.81 for premium.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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