Turmoil abroad pushing up gas prices
Survey: 3-cent increase in 2 weeks; further rise expected
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(CNN) -- Gas prices rose more than 3 cents per gallon over the past two weeks, to a national average of $2.33, a survey of U.S. filling stations found Sunday.
That's an increase of nearly 20 cents per gallon in the price of gasoline since December 2, according to the Lundberg Survey, which tallied prices January 20 and January 6 at about 7,000 stations in all 50 states.
Further price increases over the short-term are likely, survey publisher Trilby Lundberg said.
"The gas market has been playing catch-up with the crude oil price increases and still has several pennies to go," she said.
Nervousness among oil traders over headlines coming out of three oil-producing countries -- Iran, Nigeria and Venezuela -- have increased upward pressures in the futures markets, she said.
Iran has resumed its pursuit of nuclear energy in a move that the United States and other Western nations have interpreted as an attempt to build a nuclear weapon; the security situation in Nigeria has deteriorated; and Venezuela has tightened conditions for oil companies to do business in the country.
Prices have been further driven up by two recent government-mandated fuel reformulations and a requirement that corn-based ethanol be added to some gasoline, Lundberg said. Those steps make the process of refining gasoline more expensive, she said.
Upward pressures are likely to continue, Lundberg said. January is the year's lowest-consumption month for gasoline, and increased demand in coming months is expected to add to price pressures.
Drivers in Portland, Oregon, paid the least, at $2.10 per gallon of self-serve regular; Honolulu, Hawaii, drivers paid the most, at $2.80, the survey found.
The following are some other average prices for a gallon of self-serve regular:
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