Fuel2 Photo: Sean Kilcarr/American Trucker

U.S. fuel prices remain on the rise

National averages for both diesel and gasoline continue to climb week-over-week in every region of the country.

According to data tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), prices for both diesel and gasoline kept increasing across the U.S. this week, with diesel over the $3 mark in almost every region of the country except for three.

The national average price for diesel jumped up 1.6 cents to $3.086 per gallon this week, EIA said; 52.8 cents more per gallon compared to the same week in 2017.

Diesel remained below the $3 per gallon mark in only three U.S. regions this week, the agency said:

  • The Lower Atlantic: up two cents to $2.988 per gallon
  • The Rocky Mountains: up 1.4 cents to $2.981 per gallon
  • The Gulf Coast: up 6/10ths of a penny to $2.874 per gallon

Diesel prices in New England and California increased this week, climbing 2.8 cents to $3.188 and $3.711 per gallon, respectively, EIA noted. California’s diesel prices are now 76.7 cents per gallon higher compared to the same time period in 2017, the agency added.

The national average price for gasoline spiked three cents per gallon this week, EIA said, to $2.637 per gallon; 34.4 cents per gallon higher when compared to the same week in 2017.

The West Coast, with California included, is the only region where gasoline prices exceed the $3 per gallon mark. Prices are up 5.7 cents this week to $3.145 per gallon, the agency noted – the biggest one-week gasoline price jump for any U.S. region this week, though that changes to an increase of 2.7 cents to $2.756 oer gallon with California removed from the mix.

EIA noted separately that U.S. crude oil production reached 10.038 million barrels per day (b/d) in November last year, according to its latest Petroleum Supply Monthly.

November’s production is the first time since 1970 that monthly U.S. production levels surpassed 10 million b/d and the second-highest U.S. monthly oil production value ever, just below the November 1970 production value of 10.044 million b/d, the agency said.

Within the Lower 48 states, November 2017 production reached a record high in Texas at 3.89 million b/d, followed by North Dakota at 1.18 million b/d.

Oi production in in the Gulf of Mexico reached 1.67 million b/d, up 14% from the October 2017 level as the region recovered from Hurricane Nate, EIA said.

The agency noted that U.S. crude oil production has increased significantly over the past 10 years, driven mainly by production from tight rock formations including shale and other fine-grained rock using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to improve efficiency.

Liquid production—both crude oil and condensate—from tight rock currently accounts for about 51% of total production, EIA added. By contrast, a decade ago (November 2008), production from tight formations accounted for only 7% of total U.S. production, the agency said.

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