Residential heating oil prices set a record high the fifth consecutive week for the period ending March 17, according to the latest report from the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy. The average price rose more than $0.17 per gallon from the previous week, hitting more than $3.85. This was some $1.36 per gallon from a year earlier.
Residential prices, which through mid-March have averaged $3.28 per gallon for heating oil and $2.46 per gallon for propane, are on track to set record prices for the winter, the EIA reported.
Wholesale heating oil prices rose by more than $0.21 to nearly $3.32 versus the previous week. This was an increase of $1.48 per gallon from the same period in 2007.
The average residential propane price fell for the second consecutive week, down by half a cent to just under $2.60 per gallon, an increase of $0.55 from the year before.
For the same period, wholesale propane prices rose nearly four cents to slightly more than $1.63 per gallon, an increase of more than $0.53 from 2007.
The higher prices have been driven by crude oil prices of more than $100 a barrel and a cold winger in many parts of the country, which has driven up demand, the EIA said.