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Gasoline rises, oil hesitates, Hawaii tops $4 a gallon

March 14, 2011 |  1:31 pm

California continued to climb toward an average of $4 a gallon for regular gasoline over the past week, up an additional 8 cents to $3.954, the Energy Department said. Pain at the pump also continued across the nation with the U.S. average up 4.7 cents to $3.567.

Grprrets According to another analysis of retail gasoline prices nationwide, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to reach an average of $4 a gallon, reaching that mark on Sunday and rising 0.1 cents overnight to $4.001, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

The Fuel Gauge report is compiled electronically from daily credit card receipts from more than 100,000 retail outlets across the U.S. and is collected by the Oil Price Information Service in New Jersey and by Wright Express.

The new prices came as world oil markets were roiled by conflicting influences in Japan and the Middle East. Crude oil futures for April delivery rose 3 cents to settle at $101.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after falling as low as $98.47 a barrel earlier in the day. Brent North Sea crude futures for April delivery fell 17 cents to settle at $113.67 a barrel after trading as low as $111.16 a barrel.

Rising tensions in the Middle East, as Saudi Arabia and other nations sent troops to Bahrain to put down an uprising, were offset by the aftermath of last week's gigantic earthquake in Japan, which shut down refineries, factories and power generation stations across the nation.

--Ronald D. White