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Quake May Mean Heating Oil Price Tops Gasoline: Energy Markets

Heating oil may be more expensive than gasoline in the U.S. this summer for only the second time in a decade as Japan’s earthquake and the war in Libya drive up demand for American exports of distillates.

The fuel’s premium over gasoline has increased sixfold to 15.4 cents a gallon from 2.53 cents since March 10, the day before the 9.0-magnitude temblor struck Japan. The spread has also widened as Libya’s political uprising reduced its crude exports to European refiners. Heating oil futures have averaged 7.7 cents less than gasoline from April through July in the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.