The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States fell less than expected as investor concern that the Enbridge Inc. pipeline leak could trigger a crude oil shortage buoyed some regional markets, an industry analyst said.
The average price for regular gasoline in the United States was $2.6899 per gallon on Sept 10, down almost a penny compared with two weeks earlier, according to the nationwide Lundberg survey. The survey includes a panel of some 2,500 gas stations across the United States.
"If not for the Enbridge rupture we likely would have seen a more-than eight-tenths of a penny drop at the pump," survey editor Trilby Lundberg said.
Enbridge shut down the largest of its three major oil pipelines due to a leak in Illinois on Sept. 9, reducing supply on the main transit route for Canadian crude into the United States.
Gas prices rose in some parts of the Midwest and along the Gulf Coast after the pipeline, which delivers up to a third of Canada's crude oil exports to the United States, sprung a leak and raised concerns of a crude oil shortfall. The higher Midwest and Gulf coast prices moderated price drops in most parts of the country.
"In the past two weeks Midwest prices increased 7 cents per gallon while West Coast prices fell 7 cents per gallon," Lundberg said.
Gasoline prices are 9.88 cents above their year-ago average, but are at the lowest since February. Among the cities surveyed on Sept. 10, San Francisco had the highest average gas price at $3.06 per gallon, and Newark, New Jersey, reported the lowest at $2.45 per gallon.
U.S. gas prices have fallen 23.05 cents from a May 7 peak.
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