Storm Lake area gasoline was again among the higher priced areas in Iowa as the Department of Natural Resources performed a monthly Gas Monitors Survey on September 15.
Gasoline statewide ranged from $1.23 to $1.46 for regular unleaded. Storm Lake stations were pricing at around $1.41. The national average is $1.37.
If there's any good news to the gas situation, according to the DNR's Julie Tack, it is that prices have fallen 27 cents on average from this time a year ago.
Data also shows that ethanol-blended gas has now become the majority in the fuel marketplace, accounting for 52 percent of all gas sold to the public this month.
Gas prices have been mostly edging higher at the pump over the past month in Iowa, responding to a decline in gasoline import levels, continued strong demand and a recent gasoline stock draw, according to the DNR.
A tropical storm and a host of refinery problems have slowed gasoline imports and caused national inventory levels to fall by 1.6 million barrels earlier this month. Crude oil prices have also started to fluctuate with the news that the U.S. is considering a strike on Iraq.
The DNR is predicting that prices will continue to rise if the level of imported fuel continues to decline.
Self-serve diesel is selling for an average of $1.44 in Iowa, up slightly from a month ago but still well below the level of a year ago. Propane is averaging 74 cents per gallon, up 2 cents from August.
No. 2 heating oil averages $1.05 per gallon, up a dime from last month. The DNR forecasts that heating oil will begin its season climb in price this month, responding to early demand.
Western Iowa pump prices are the highest of any region in the state, averaging $1.39 for self-serve unleaded in the recent survey.
Among the major urban areas, only Des Moines saw gas prices to match Storm Lake's. Davenport reported $1.28, Waterloo $1.31, Cedar Rapids and Sioux City $1.35, Fort Dodge $1.37, Ames $1.38, Iowa City $1.40.