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16 mayo 2007

Gas Prices Hit a New Record at the Pump

Gasoline prices hit a new record at the pump on Monday, but gas futures prices fell on concerns that $3 gas will crimp demand. Oil prices, meanwhile, rose on reports of refinery problems in the U.S. and abroad.

The average national price of a gallon of gas hit $3.073 on Monday, up almost a penny from Sunday's also record-setting price, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Gasoline is now well above the previous record of $3.057, set on Sept. 5, 2005, soon after Hurricane Katrina.

"There was good news out of Nigeria after a lot of bad news," Flynn said. "They're pumping oil again."

But that good news was tempered by new reports of refinery outages, including a fire at a large Preem facility in Sweden, and a quickly resolved problem at a Valero Energy Corp. refinery in Texas last week.

"Any refinery problems anywhere on the globe now adds to concerns" that gasoline supplies won't be adequate to meet peak summer driving demand, Flynn said.

The summer driving season begins in two weeks, on Memorial Day weekend.