Gas prices rose nearly 3 cents per gallon over the past two weeks, an industry analyst said today.

The average weighted price for gas nationwide, including all grades and taxes, was about $1.45 per gallon Friday, according to the Lundberg Survey of 8,000 stations nationwide. Gas cost about $1.42 a gallon on average on Dec. 6, the date of the previous Lundberg Survey.

A crippling strike by Venezuelan oil producers, refiners and shippers drove up the price of crude oil, contributing to the cost hike at the pumps, analyst Trilby Lundberg said. "Crude oil prices are responding to a near halt of supplies from Venezuela, the fourth-largest supplier to the U.S.," Lundberg said.

Continued instability in Venezuela and the threat of war in the Middle East could push prices higher next month, Lundberg said.

For the year, the average price of a gallon of gas was about 9 cents lower than in 2001, and about 16 cents lower than in 2000, Lundberg said. On average, a gallon of gas cost $1.39 in 2002.

The national weighted average price of gasoline, including taxes, at self-serve pumps Friday was about $1.41 per gallon for regular, $1.51 for mid-grade and $1.60 for premium.