Average Pump Prices Hit New High

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Average Pump Prices Hit New High

NEW YORK -- The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline at retail stations rose to the highest level yet, due to several refinery outages, according to the latest bi-weekly Lundberg survey cited by The Associated Press.

The national average for self-serve gas was $3.07 per gallon as of May 4, an increase of 19.47 cents over the last survey of 7,000 stations, the report stated. The previous all-time high was reached on Aug. 11, 2006, at $3.03 per gallon.

Survey conductor Trilby Lundberg told Reuters the spike is related to refinery issues and not crude oil supplies.

"In the past two weeks alone there have been at least 12 refinery incidents, mostly in the U.S.," she said. "All the incidents combined served to push U.S. gas prices even higher by tightening supply at a time of rising demand."

Unexpected repairs disabled a 400,000-barrel-per-day BP refinery in Indiana, which will not be running at full capacity for several months. Also, a 170,000-barrel per day refinery in McKee, Texas was shut for a month, and another 470,000-barrel-per-day plant in Texas City, Texas has been running at less than half capacity, according to the AP.

The highest average price per gallon was in San Francisco at $3.49. Meanwhile, Charleston, S.C., saw the lowest average price per gallon at $2.80.

To date, the average price of regular unleaded gasoline has increased more than 88 cents per gallon, according to the survey.

However, not all price surveyors are reporting new highs. AAA reported a nationwide average price of $3.035 per gallon Monday, two cents shy of the $3.057 seen on Sept. 5, 2005, the highest recorded price, according to AAA.