The price of oil rose to its highest level in more than 13 years on May 3, according to the Associated Press. The wholesale price of gasoline also reached a new record, signaling the likelihood of even higher pump prices by Memorial Day, which marks the beginning of the summer driving season. Crude for June delivery gained 83 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange, settling at $38.21 per barrel - the highest price since Oct. 16, 1990, when oil was valued at $38.89 per barrel. The rally in oil prices was largely triggered by the violence in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, when four men opened fire on the offices of oil contractor ABB Lummus Global Inc. Analysts cited growing fears among traders that terrorists might escalate attacks against the oil industry in the Middle East and potentially disrupt supplies. "This is the second consecutive weekend that key Mideastern oil installations have come under assault," Tom Kloza, director of Oil Price Information Service, said in the Associated Press report referring to an attack a week earlier against Iraqi oil facilities. On May 3, unleaded gasoline futures increased 2.7 cents to $1.263 per gallon - the highest settlement on record since the contract started trading in December 1984. The run-up in oil prices makes it more expensive to produce gasoline, which already averages $1.84 per gallon at the pump nationwide, according to the Energy Department.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials