Released on December 30, 2009
(Next Release on January 6, 2008)

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From the many contributing authors, support staff, and others in EIA who make This Week In Petroleum possible, best wishes for a safe and happy new year.

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U.S. Average Gasoline Price Moves Up Two Cents
The U.S. average price for regular gasoline increased two cents to $2.61 per gallon, $0.99 higher than the price a year ago. With the exception of the Rocky Mountains, prices rose in all regions of the country. The price on the East Coast inched up about a penny to $2.60 per gallon. The largest increase occurred in the Midwest, where the price rose more than three cents to $2.56 per gallon. On the Gulf Coast, the average grew over two cents to $2.47 per gallon. In the Rocky Mountains, the average price slipped less than a cent but remained at $2.50 per gallon. On the West Coast, the average increased a penny to $2.86 per gallon. The California price rose two cents to $2.93 per gallon.

For the first time in eight weeks, the national average price for diesel fuel increased. However, the price rose by less than a penny to remain essentially unchanged at $2.73 per gallon. The average is now $0.41 per gallon higher than last year. On the East Coast and Gulf Coast, the price increased a penny to $2.75 and $2.69 per gallon, respectively. The price in the Midwest was a fraction of a cent lower, staying at $2.71 per gallon. In the Rocky Mountains, the average dropped a penny to $2.73 per gallon. The average on the West Cost went up about two cents to $2.84 per gallon while at $2.90 per gallon, the price in California rose a penny.

Propane Inventories Fall
Propane inventories in the U.S. fell by 1.5 million barrels last week to 52.5 million. The largest draw of 1.1 million barrels occurred in the Gulf Coast region. The Midwest regional stocks fell by 0.5 million barrels and the Rock Mountain/West Coast region drew slightly. The East Cost regional stocks built by 0.1 million barrels. Propylene non-fuel use inventories increased their share of total propane/propylene stocks from 5.0 percent to 5.9 percent.

Residential Heating Prices Increase
Residential heating oil prices increased during the week ending December 28, 2009. The average residential heating oil price gained 4.3 cents per gallon to reach 279.7 cents per gallon, which was 46.7 cents per gallon higher than the same time last year. Wholesale heating oil prices jumped 10.9 cents per gallon to reach 213.2 cents per gallon, 77.1 cents per gallon higher than at this time last year.

The average residential propane price rose 6.2 cents per gallon to reach 246.6 cents per gallon. This was an increase of 14.9 cents per gallon compared to the same period last year. Wholesale propane prices increased 11.2 cents per gallon to reach 142.2 cents per gallon. This was an increase of 61.5 cents per gallon when compared to the December 29, 2008 price of 80.7 cents per gallon.

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