U.S. diesel price soars to record high

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The national average retail price of a gallon of diesel soared 14.6 cents to $3.303 for the week ending Monday, Nov. 5, up from $3.157 during the previous week. The new price, which sets the all-time high mark, was nearly 80 cents higher than the same week last year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The average price — now above $3 for a record seven consecutive weeks — surpasses the high mark set on Oct. 24, 2005 after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and tied last week, according to DOE.

Prices increased more than 10 cents in all regions tracked by DOE: The West Coast region had the most expensive price at $3.508, although that region saw the smallest week-over-week increase at 11.4 cents; the second-highest price was found in the Rocky Mountain region at $3.411.

The largest week-over-week increase, 15.7 cents, was in the Gulf Coast at $3.219, which nevertheless remained the nation’s least expensive diesel. The second-largest increase, 15.6 cents, was in the Midwest at $3.278.

Tight supply, growing demand worldwide and “heightened geopolitical risks” are sufficient to explain the high prices of diesel and gasoline, said DOE’s Energy Information Administration. Several recent events — including Hurricane Noel, a fire at a Chevron refinery in Mississippi and threats of a Turkish invasion of Kurdish Iraq — helped drive oil to a record closing price of $95.93 a barrel on Friday, Nov. 2.

For state-by-state diesel prices, updated daily, click here.