East Valley gasoline prices increase slightly - East Valley Tribune: News

East Valley gasoline prices increase slightly

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Posted: Friday, July 21, 2006 11:16 am

Arizona gasoline prices reacted moderately to the violence between Israel and the Hezbollah during the past week, according to the weekly price survey released Thursday by AAA Arizona.

However, the worst may not be over with crude oil prices remaining above $73 a barrel and the danger of the war expanding to major oil producing countries in the Middle East, the organization said.

In the East Valley, a gallon of self-serve unleaded regular gasoline stood at an average price of $2.94 this week, up 1.7 cents from the previous week.

In Scottsdale, the average price was $2.97, up 1.3 cents.

For the Valley overall, the average was $2.94, up 1.6 cents, and for the state, it was $2.95, up 1.6 cents.

Tucson drivers saw the biggest increase in the past week with a 3-cent increase while Yuma and Flagstaff experienced an increase of less than a penny.

AAA Arizona spokeswoman Yvette Lopez said the danger of Mideast violence affecting Arizona gasoline prices remains high because Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil producer, could be drawn into the Israel-Hezbollah conflict.

“Although the United States does not purchase oil from Iran, many other countries do,” she said. “Even a brief loss of Iranian oil from the world market would cause these nations to seek oil from other sources and bid world oil prices much higher in the process.”

She said prices may be moderating in part because demand for gasoline is soft. She cited a U.S. Department of Energy report this week that showed gasoline consumption in the U.S., while growing, has been growing at a slower rate than the historical trend. Nationwide, the cheapest gasoline this week is in South Carolina where unleaded regular stood at $2.80. The most expensive was in California at $3.25.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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