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Global Gas Prices Rise as Crude Keeps Climbing

Global gasoline prices rose in October, defying a seasonal fall at the end of summer when driving demand wanes, as crude prices hit record highs, a Reuters survey on Friday showed.

Drivers are set to spend even more to fill their cars towards the end of this year as the most recent hikes in crude have yet to be passed on to retail gasoline prices, and U.S. and European fuel supply levels have been running low.

The costliest petrol is in Norway, Europe's top oil producer, while Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, was near the bottom in the 35-nation survey.

In the world's top consumer the United States, average retail gasoline prices rose to $2.82 a gallon, the highest since early August, the government said earlier this week.

The price was 27.9 percent higher than a year earlier, Barclays Capital said.

"This leaves it within the same 274 cents and 284 cents range it has stayed in for the past twelve weeks, although it looks likely to break above the top of that range," Barclays Capital said in its research note.

Britain came fourth in the European rankings. Drivers in London paid more than elsewhere in Britain.

In Britain, the average petrol price rose 2.5 pence from mid-September to 97.7 pence ($2.00) a liter ($9.09 a gallon) in mid-October.

London's average price was 98.2 pence ($2.01).

"East Anglia and London recorded the highest price for unleaded," Britain's Automobile Association said.

The country's average pump price for single day was 98.39 pence as of Thursday, the association said in a statement on Friday. The price was 12.11 pence higher than a year earlier.

"Next week is likely to see a new all-time high. However, the impact of the favorable exchange rate and competitive pricing in supermarkets is dampening price rises," Paul Watters, the head of the association's public affairs, said.

On Friday, U.S. crude futures struck a record above $92 a barrel. London's Brent crude hit its high earlier in the week.

The price is about 44.85 pounds a barrel.

Oil prices have risen about 50 percent from a year earlier in dollars, while they have gained a more modest 31 percent when converted into euro.

In dollar terms, Norway's pump price, $2.24 (12.10 Norwegian Crown) per liter. Citizens in OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia pay just 12 cents a liter.

The average prices in Iran and Venezuela, OPEC's second and fifth largest producers, were 11 cents and 3 cents a liter, respectively. Sharply lower prices in the survey reflect government subsidies.

Most other European countries saw pump prices unchanged or slightly higher than mid-September.

Drivers in the Netherlands paid an average of 1.47 euros ($2.10) per liter, the most expensive gasoline price in the European Union.

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