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March 11, 2008 9:15 AM, EDT

Diesel Soars 16.1¢ to $3.819; Gasoline Sets Record $3.225

Oil Continues to Spike, Topping $108 a Barrel
TT File Photo

The price of retail diesel fuel jumped 16.1 cents to a third straight record, reaching a national average of $3.819 a gallon, and gasoline hit a new record, the Department of Energy said Monday.

Gasoline gained 6.3 cents to an average of $3.225 a gallon, surpassing the $3.218 record set last May 21, and diesel has now risen 53.9 cents in the past four weeks in shattering previous records.

Diesel is now $1.13 higher than this time last year, while gas is 66.6 cents above the same week last year.

The price spikes for trucking’s main fuel have come in tandem with soaring crude oil prices, which set the latest in a series of recent records Monday, in closing at more than $107 a barrel after topping $108 earlier in the day, Bloomberg reported.

Oil rose $2.67 on the New York Mercantile Exchange to close at a closing-price record $107.90 a barrel, after earlier reaching an overall record $108.21, Bloomberg said.

And oil prices keep rising, as crude topped $109 a barrel for the first time in pre-market Nymex trading Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

Monday’s diesel spike followed 10.6-cent and 15.6-cent increases in the past two weeks, and was the biggest single-week increase since the record 34.6-cent rise in October 2005 following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The price in California was approaching $4 a gallon, at an average of $3.955, up 15.2 cents from last week. DOE breaks out California separately from the West Coast region, though California’s prices are included in that region.

The price topped $3.90 a gallon in the East Coast sub-regions of New England and the Central Atlantic, DOE said. The Central Atlantic sub-region had the highest price overall, at $3.989, DOE said.

Each week, DOE surveys about 350 diesel filling stations to compile a national snapshot average price.