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Gas prices remain constant despite Mideast tensions

Despite the concern over a possible conflict with Iraq, gasoline prices around the country remained stable this past month.

"This stability in gasoline prices, in light of the higher cost of crude oil and the threat of warfare is a credit to the U.S. oil industry and

gasoline retailers," said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokeswoman. "When similar events were unfolding prior to the Gulf War, gasoline prices seemed to move higher with each news report as wholesalers and retailers blamed the increases on the fear that inventory replacement costs would be higher in the future."

The national average price of regular, unleaded, self-serve gasoline remains the same as last month, at $1.41. This price is 14 cents lower than last year. Utah's average price is $1.47, a one-cent decrease from last month and a six-cent decrease from last year.

"OPEC is scheduled to meet September 19 to decide whether to increase oil output this fall," said Fairclough. "The U.S. Energy

Department says it anticipates a decision that will significantly increase production."

The Department of Energy forecasts winter oil prices will be $30 per barrel. This price is based on an increase in production by OPEC and if the U.S. concerns regarding Iraq are decisively addressed without disrupting oil production in neighboring countries.

The prices increased slightly or remained stable for regular, unleaded, self-serve gasoline in the cities surveyed this month.

Moab's price increased one-cent to an average of $1.59. The St. George average price increased two cents to $1.55. Vernal's price decreased one cent to $1.49. Provo's average price also decreased one cent to $1.46. Ogden and Salt Lake City both have an average price of $1.44. This price is the same for Salt Lake City from last month and a one-cent decrease for Ogden.

Prices lowered or remained stable this past month in the surrounding states. Nevada's price dropped two cents to $1.51. Idaho has the highest price at $1.52, a one-cent increase from last month. Montana had a one-cent decrease for a current price of $1.50. Wyoming's price increased one cent to $1.44. Colorado drivers experienced a four-cent decrease for a price of $1.44. Arizona's prices remained the same at $1.43.

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