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Oil rises; California pump prices highest since October 2008

December 13, 2010 |  2:44 pm

Retail gasoline prices were on the rise in California and around the U.S. over the last week and crude oil traders appeared poised to test the $90-a-barrel level again Monday.

The commodity was on the rise again based on strong economic data out of China. But after posting a peak for the trading day of $89.49 a barrel, crude oil futures for January delivery eased back a bit, finishing the day up 82 cents to settle at $88.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude hit a 26-month high at $90.76 on Dec. 7, but the commodity hasn't traded above $90 a barrel on a regular basis since October of 2008.

You can find more on the Energy Department's weekly fuel price update here.

Meanwhile, pump prices for gasoline were closing in on the $3-a-gallon mark nationally, up over the last week by an average of 2.2 cents to $2.98 a gallon, according to the Energy Department's weekly telephone survey of filling stations around the U.S.

In California, the average climbed 3.4 cents over the last week to $3.25 a gallon. The California average is the highest the state has seen since Oct. 20, 2008, when prices stood at $3.355 a gallon.


--Ronald D. White