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Page added on May 29, 2009

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Oil doubles in six months to $66


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Oil and gasoline prices continued a recession-defying march higher Friday, doubling in the past six months largely on optimism of a strengthening economy.

The predictions for just how high oil can reach this year, just like 2008, continue to creep upward just five months removed from crude priced around $32 per barrel.

Benchmark crude for July delivery rose $1.23 to settle at $66.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The gasoline-pump panic of 2008 has yet to surface, but that’s not to say there haven’t been some double-takes.

Wholesale gasoline prices, which typically rise during this time of the year, are up a staggering 140 percent since Christmas Eve. Retail gasoline prices have hit a national average of $2.467 a gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. Pump prices are up 20 percent just in the past month.

But a gallon of gas is still $1.485 below the price a year ago and that, at its heart, is why you are unlikely to see the same price spikes this time around.

AP



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