Gasoline prices ease; oil heads higher

Associated Press / September 21, 2010

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Motorists across the country are starting to see retail gasoline prices decline again, after the unexpected closing of a key Midwest pipeline and hurricane threats pushed them up earlier this month.

AAA, Wright Express, and the Oil Price Information Service said the national average for a gallon of unleaded yesterday was $2.726, down about half a cent overnight. That’s 17.5 cents a gallon higher than a year ago. The average in Massachusetts held steady at $2.609 per gallon, according to AAA Southern New England.

The Energy Information Administration’s national average pump price was almost the same, at $2.723 a gallon. That’s up 0.2 cent from a week ago. The agency said the highest prices are on the West Coast and in the Midwest. The lowest are on the Gulf Coast and in parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, the agency said.

Most analysts expect prices to fall as demand declines with the arrival of fall.

Benchmark crude for October delivery rose $1.27 to $76.19 a barrel on the Nymex. Heating oil added 4.02 cents to settle at $2.1394 a gallon.