U.S. gasoline price rises to $3.51/gallon: survey

Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:34pm EST

(Reuters) - The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose nearly 12 cents in the past three weeks to about $3.51, due in part to higher prices for North Sea crude oil, according to the nationwide Lundberg Survey.

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose 11.57 cents to $3.5101 as of February 10, the survey of about 2,500 gasoline stations in the continental United States found.

That was a greater change than the 3.5-cent rise in the previous survey, which covered the two weeks that ended January 20.

Survey editor Trilby Lundberg told Reuters that the higher prices came as the price for North Sea Brent crude rose more than $7 per barrel. Brent prices are more volatile and sensitive to changes in the Middle East than is U.S. crude.

One barrel holds 42 gallons.

Lundberg said U.S. pump prices will likely rise a few more cents in the short-term because retailers have yet to pass along all of the recent wholesale price increases.

Among cities covered by the survey, the lowest average price was in Denver at $3.01 per gallon. The price was highest in Long Island suburbs of New York, at $3.82. The price difference is largely because of taxes, Lundberg said.

(Reporting by David Henry in New York; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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