U.S. gas prices soar 14 cents in a week

Medford-Ashland prices are 25 cents over national average

LOS ANGELES — Gas prices have jumped nearly 14 cents since last week as crude oil supplies dropped and political unrest in Egypt spurred worries about disruptions in supplies.

Nationwide, a gallon of regular gas now costs an average of $3.61, up from $3.47 a week ago, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. It was up 1 cent from Sunday.

In California, the average price rose 4 cents a gallon to $4.02 from $3.98 a week ago. Experts say the price could climb even higher in the coming weeks as Americans hit the road on summer vacations.

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in Oregon is $3.85. That's up 10 cents in a week, and it's 24 cents higher than the national average In Medford-Ashland, prices are slightly higher at $3.86, according to the AAA.

Some other Oregon metro prices from the AAA's Monday survey: Portland $3.83, Salem $3.83, Eugene-Springfield $3.88.

Companies are increasing production in the U.S. through new drilling techniques, including fracking, that have enabled the country to tap previously unreachable energy sources and meet 89 percent of its own energy needs in March. However, the nation still imports a lot of crude oil from the Middle East.

Prices at the pump have started climbing as chaos roils Egypt, where the military recently ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi after only one year in office.

Although the country does not produce oil, it controls the Suez Canal and therefore has power over a major shipping lane that moves millions of barrels of the world's oil supply daily.

There are also concerns that the chaos may spread more broadly across North Africa and the Middle East, which is home to about a third of the world's oil production.

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