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LI's per-gallon price for regular gas tops $4

Although AAA reported that regular gas is now

Although AAA reported that regular gas is now above $4 a gallon on Long Island, it has been edging up for about a week. This price was displayed in Medford. (Feb. 16, 2012) Credit: Randee Daddona

The average price of a gallon of regular gas on Long Island spiked above $4 a gallon Monday, AAA reports.

AAA's data, taken from pump prices at Nassau and Suffolk County self-serve stations, showed a $4.011 per-gallon average price, up about 9 cents in the past week.

Average pump prices for a gallon of regular were $3.742 a month ago, and $3.620 a year ago for Long Island, AAA reports.

The average price Monday at Long Island pumps was higher than in any other region of the state except New York City, where the price averaged 2 cents higher.

However Monday's average per-gallon price on Long Island was well below the region's highest-ever recorded price, of $4.346 per gallon of regular; that record was set on July 8, 2008.

Newsday reported earlier this month that gas prices were headed higher, according to forecasts, despite conservation by motorists.

Sander Cohan, the gasoline specialist at Energy Security Analysis Inc. in Wakefield, Mass., predicted that by June, the local average for regular likely will have reached and maybe surpassed last spring's peak of $4.284 a gallon.

One reason for high gasoline and heating oil prices is rising crude oil prices in reaction to international tensions over Iran's nuclear weapons program, along with improving economies in the United States and elsewhere.

Gasoline prices in the Northeast are also being boosted by traders' expectations of tight supplies this spring and summer from the closures late last year of two Philadelphia-area refineries and the anticipated closure of a third in that area. The three account for about half the Northeast's refining capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

Photo: Although AAA reported  Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, that regular gas is now above $4 a gallon on Long Island, it has been edging up for about two weeks. This price was displayed Feb. 16, 2012 in Medford.

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