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Gas prices at record for holiday weekend

  |   Sept. 1, 2012 at 12:29 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- AAA said the national average price of gasoline was $3.83 per gallon Saturday, a decline from Friday, but still a record high for a Labor Day weekend.

The record Labor Day weekend pump price is a sharp increase from the previous high for the holiday, which was $3.67 per gallon in 2008, the year crude oil prices set a record high in July above $147 per barrel.

CNN reported Saturday that the average price of gasoline jumped 9.4 percent in August, the largest monthly climb in more than three years.

Consumers can blame a raft of supply-related problems.

"It's been the summer of troubles for refineries," said industry analyst Tom Kloza, at the Oil Price Information Service in New Jersey, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Supply concerns range from a fire at a refinery in Richmond, Calif., on Aug. 6, and Hurricane Isaac that threatened refineries in the Gulf Coast and inland last week.

In Norway, oil industry service workers went on strike in August. And the United States has managed to coordinate a large-scale embargo of doing business with Iran to pressure the country to abandon a nuclear program.

Although causing less damage than expected, refineries in the path of Isaac were shut down as a cautionary measure.

Severe storm damage could have been a lot worse, but the shutdowns are disruptive. "You can shut down a refinery pretty quickly, but restarting them will take time. These are sophisticated, billion-dollar assets. It's a little more complicated than flipping the 'on' switch," said Kloza.

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Topics: Tom Kloza
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