RPT-U.S. gasoline prices climb, reverse recent fall -Lundberg survey

Sun Sep 8, 2013 11:56pm IST

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NEW YORK, Sept 8 (Reuters) - The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose in the last two weeks, reversing four weeks of declines as crude oil advanced, according to the Lundberg survey released on Sunday.

Gasoline prices rose 2.61 cents per gallon, bringing the average cost to $3.5847 on Sept. 6, up from $3.5596 on Aug. 23. The average price was about 25 cents lower than a year earlier, based on a survey of about 2,500 retail stations in the 48 contiguous states.

Trilby Lundberg, editor of the Lundberg survey, said the rise came alongside a spike in the price of crude oil, which has jumped on the threat of a Western-led military strike against Syria, which could tighten Middle Eastern oil supplies.

U.S. crude futures are up 3.9 percent over the past two weeks while Brent crude is up 4.6 percent. On Friday, crude rose 2 percent to settle at $110.53.

While Lundberg said crude could continue to rise if military action was taken, that could be partially offset by "very aggressive" production.

"Supplies are more than sufficient to meet demand," she said. "Despite all the up factors, we may see a return to prices falling over the next two weeks or beyond. If oil slips, it is very unlikely that gas will continue rising."

The cheapest gasoline in the states surveyed was in Tucson, Arizona, at $3.27 per gallon, while the most expensive was in Chicago, where it cost $3.92 per gallon.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Nick Zieminski)