Surging oil prices generally lead to soaring costs at the pump for retail gasoline. That hasn't happened with the recent jump in the price of crude, but it could soon.
Crude oil for January delivery climbed 79 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $88.81 a barrel Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Analysts said the rise was unusual for this time of year and blamed it on a spate of refinery outages.
But over the last week in California the average price at the pump fell slightly, by 0.3 cent to $3.247 a gallon.
Nationally the average retail price was up 0.2 cent to $2.982, the Energy Department said Monday. That was a new high for the year, according to the Energy Department's weekly telephone survey of filling stations around the U.S. It was 39.3 cents a gallon higher than the year-earlier average.