October 17, 2018
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Mainers hit again with higher fuel prices this week

Don Eno | SJVT/FhF
Don Eno | SJVT/FhF
Mark Charette of Fort Kent delivers home heating oil to a Fort Kent resident in December 2016.

The average cost of heating fuel in Maine continued to climb this week, fueled primarily by price speculation ahead of a second round of U.S. economic sanctions against Iran scheduled to take effect Nov. 4.

The statewide average heating oil price of $2.96 per gallon on Tuesday is up 8 cents per gallon compared to last Monday, said Lisa Smith, senior planner for the Governor’s Energy Office. And the Oct. 2 price of $2.88 per gallon was up 8 cents from the previous week.

The highest price for heating oil this week was in eastern Maine along the midcoast and slightly north, at $3.32 per gallon.

The average price of propane also rose 5 cents per gallon this week at $2.82 compared to $2.77 per gallon last week.

Kerosene’s average price is up 10 cents to $3.55 Tuesday compared to $3.45 on Oct. 2.

The governor’s office surveys about 55 fuel retailers and dealers throughout the state to calculate the average price.

The potential effect of the Irving refinery fire in New Brunswick on Monday is not included in today’s prices. Irving supplies a significant amount of the state’s gas and fuel oil, according to the Governor’s Energy Office.

“The impact of the Irving fire on prices isn’t yet known,” Smith said.

Smith said Iran’s oil exports worldwide dropped more than 30 percent as of last week, and speculation around trends in energy pricing are driving up heating fuel costs.

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