2009 Archives

Gas prices and oil futures rise sharply

California leads the U.S. as regular climbs to an average of $2.756 a gallon


The following is from the June 2, 2009, edition of The Los Angeles Times. Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute in SMU's Cox School of Business, provided expertise for this story.

By Ronald D. White

Retail gasoline prices increased sharply again over the last week, while oil futures rose to the highest close since November.

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in California jumped 11.9 cents to $2.756 a gallon, according to the Energy Department's weekly survey of filling stations. That was the nation's biggest rise, ahead of the Midwest's 11.7-cent climb to $2.585 a gallon, helping drive the national average up 8.9 cents to $2.524 a gallon.

Gasoline prices have soared because of rising oil costs and lower refinery production; refineries have been running at less than full capacity because of scheduled maintenance and unexpected problems.

But Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, said gasoline prices were "either at or nearing their peak" because demand numbers weren't strong.

Read the full story.

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