Diesel prices post largest gain in 20 months

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In the wake of escalating unrest in oil-rich Libya, diesel prices skyrocketed 14.3 cents to $3.716 a gallon during the week ended Monday, Feb. 28, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. The increase was the largest one-week jump since early June 2009 and the 12th largest one-week gain since EIA began tracking diesel prices in 1994.

The national average price of on-highway diesel is 85.5 cents higher than the same week last year and is at its highest level since early October 2008. Since the end of September, diesel prices have surged more than 76 cents — or 26 percent — and have declined in only three of 22 weeks.

Prices rose in all regions, led by the 16.5-cent increase in California and 16.3 cents on the West Coast. The smallest increase was 13 cents in the Rocky Mountain. California had the nation’s most expensive diesel at $3.964, while the least expensive diesel was $3.656 in the Gulf Coast region.

Complete diesel price information is available on the EIA’s website.