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Pump Price Climbs as Oil Surges on Violence in Iraq

June 16 (Bloomberg) -- Retail gasoline prices in the U.S. climbed for the third time in four weeks, boosted by the crisis in Iraq that sent oil futures surging.

The pump price averaged $3.686 a gallon today, up 1.2 cents from a week earlier, data posted on the Energy Information Administration’s website show. Oil, which accounts for two-thirds of the retail price of gasoline, gained $2.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in the same period and $4.88 in the past month.

The jump in crude, driven by concern that tension in Iraq will disrupt supplies, threatens to further raise gasoline prices at a time when they normally drop.

“We could see a spike somewhere close to 10 cents a gallon,” Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago, said by telephone today. “If you look longer-term, this is very much a bullish story.”

Iraq’s sectarian violence showed no sign of abating, with Sunni Muslim militants and government forces battling to control Tal Afar. The country produced 3.3 million barrels a day of crude last month, trailing only Saudi Arabia among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Pump prices are 6 cents above year-earlier levels, EIA data show. Should gasoline remain above $3.652 a gallon next week, it’ll surpass 2011 levels and hit the highest seasonal price since 2008.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.net; Moming Zhou in New York at mzhou29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at dmarino4@bloomberg.net Richard Stubbe

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