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Originally published Friday, March 16, 2012 at 8:56 AM

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Gas prices still climbing ahead of the weekend

Gasoline prices rose again Friday and drivers can expect to see the numbers on gas pumps creep higher over the weekend.

The Associated Press

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Gasoline prices rose again Friday and drivers can expect to see the numbers on gas pumps creep higher over the weekend.

Retail gasoline prices were up a penny on Friday to a national average of $3.831 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.

Meanwhile, oil prices rose closer to $106 per barrel and natural gas futures headed back above $2.30 per 1,000 cubic feet.

You may want to consider filling up your tank on Friday. Pump prices rose nearly 5 cents last weekend, following a nearly 3 -cent increase the previous weekend. Gasoline has jumped by almost 56 cents per gallon since January and is the highest ever for this time of year.

The average price for a gallon of regular is now above $4 in six states - Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois and New York.

Oil markets were calmer a day after the government denied reports that the U.S. and the U.K. plan to release some of their strategic crude reserves. Oil briefly dropped near $104 per barrel Thursday on those reports before recouping most of the losses when the White House said there was no plan to provide more crude to markets.

By late morning in New York, benchmark oil for April delivery was up 49 cents to $105.60. In London, Brent crude for May delivery rose $1.74 to $124.34 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy trading, heating oil rose 3 cents at $3.26 per gallon and gasoline futures gained 4 cents at $3.33 per gallon. Natural gas rose 4 cents to $2.32 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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Alex Kennedy in Singapore and Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.

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