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Friday
Feb252011

Biggest One-Week Oil Price Rise in Two Years Hits Consumers

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASILLA, Alaska) -- As oil touched $100 a barrel this week for the first time since 2008, residents of Alaska, the state with the most expensive gas in the country – sometimes triple the country's average - say daily life is being affected in ways large and small.

According to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge, Alaska has the highest average price of gas per gallon at $3.66 as of Feb. 24. The state with the least expensive gas is Wyoming, at $2.98 a gallon.

The price of oil settled at $98.13 on Friday, an astonishing jump of 14 percent or $11.93 from the previous week. This was the biggest one-week percentage increase in the price of oil in two years.

Verne Rupright, mayor of Wasilla in southern Alaska, said residents are especially price-sensitive to the commodity in the largest state in the country.

"It's going to affect everything," said Rupright. "We're definitely watching global oil prices." The price of oil may have eased after news that Saudi Arabia announced a $36 billion economic package, allaying fears that unrest would spread further in the Middle East. Many are concerned that Libya could halt exports after leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi threatened to destroy his country's oil fields.

This week, the U.S. average price of gas per gallon rose to $3.19, up 54 cents from a year ago, and slightly higher than last week's $3.14. This was the highest weekly price posted during the month of February since 1990, according to available data.

Rupright said gas in his neighborhood currently averages around $3.70. But in more rural areas like Kotzebue, in the northwest region, gas is around $7 a gallon. Rupright said he fears that with the growing price of oil, gas prices could skyrocket as they did in 2008. Three years ago in Kotzebue, he said, gas passed $12 a gallon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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