December 5, 2010 / 8:33 PM / in 7 years

U.S. gasoline prices rise to $2.91/gallon

NEW YORK, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose 3.92 cents per gallon in an initial response to a rise in the price of crude oil, according to an industry analyst.

The national average for self-serve regular unleaded gas was nearly $2.91 a gallon on Dec. 3, according to the nationwide Lundberg survey of about 2,500 gas stations.

About two weeks ago, crude oil was at $81 per gallon while on Dec. 3 it stood at about $89, survey editor Trilby Lundberg said.

Based on that rise alone, she said, “theoretically, we could see another 14 cents at the pump to $3.05 per gallon.” Neither the retail gasoline sellers nor the refiners have yet to pass on all of that crude price increase, she said.

The current gasoline price is an increase of 27.68 cents from a year ago, when retail prices were actually falling. “If we have another hike now, this will expand further the price premium we are paying over last year,” she said.

At $3.21 a gallon, Long Island, New York had the highest average price for self-serve regular unleaded gas in the 48 continental states, while the lowest price was $2.61 a gallon in Denver, Colorado. Those prices include all taxes. (Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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