Prices 'climbing up'

Season of low gasoline costs coming to an end for Colorado motorists

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The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Craig is about $2.46, a price ranking among the highest in the state and country, according to AAA of Colorado figures.

A review of prices Monday at seven gasoline stations in the city found that a majority -- six of the seven -- are charging about $2.49 per gallon. However, the average was brought down to $2.46 because one station is charging $2.34 per gallon.

The average price in Colorado is $2.32 per gallon, and the national average is $2.35. Craig's average puts it on par with two other high-priced areas -- Glenwood Springs at $2.48 per gallon and Vail at $2.63 per gallon.

Eric Escudero, AAA of Colorado public relations manager, said the difference in prices from community to community lies with competition and location.

"The prices will be higher in some areas because it costs more to ship," he said. "And in Glenwood Springs, Vail or Craig, there isn't as

much competition."

Colorado motorists can expect to see fuel prices begin to increase as cold winter weather begins to fade away and the seasons edge closer to peak driving seasons, he said.

"Historically, the lowest prices for gasoline are fall or early winter," Escudero said. "It appears that we're coming out of our lowest-priced time of the year. ... We can expect to see prices start climbing up."

Gasoline prices in Colorado have consistently risen from week to week throughout February, AAA of Colorado reports. Higher crude oil prices, currently hovering around $61 per barrel, have fueled the price increase, Escudero said.

"Many factors contributed to a run up of crude oil prices from their low of $49.90 in January to topping $60 per barrel this month," Escudero reported earlier this month. "An increase in oil usage as a result of a cold snap in the eastern United States, continued tension in Iran and cutbacks in oil production by (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) are the main reasons."

AAA purchases fuel price data from Oil Price Information Services and makes it available for free on the Internet at www.fuelgaugereport.com.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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