There’ve been no terrible surprises for Iowa motorists pulling into the gas stations lately. Iowa Department of Natural Resources fuel-price analyst Patti Cale-Finnegan says gas prices are still high and expected to stay at that level. The average price on the fifteenth was a dollar-84, a little lower than last month though historically, it’s quite a bit higher than in other years at this time. Of course, it depends on where you’re filling your tank. Cale-Finnegan says the prices reported by the D-N-R are averages, but they’ve recorded prices from a dollar-76 to a dollar-91 per gallon. OPEC oil producers announced today they’ll increase their production by ten-percent to keep world oil prices steady, but that’s too recent to influence the monthly D-N-R fuel-price survey. Among factors influencing price, she says, are high demand, market fears as people prepare for future events including possible terrorist attacks, and the price of crude oil remaining high this summer. And during this hot spell that has Iowans groaning, nonetheless it’s time to alert homeowners who’ll be buying their winter heating fuel before long. The D-N-R recommends users of propane and home heating oil look for prepurchase plans they can sign up for now, to lock in a price…though the agency notes it may be tough because with world oil prices unstable, few dealers want to set rates for contracts, especially with prices high right now.
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