(Oct. 26) The price of diesel continued to rise the week of Oct. 24, setting a record for the sixth week in a row.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the national average price for diesel fuel on Oct. 25 was $2.212 per gallon, up more than 3 cents from $2.18 the week before, and a staggering 71 cents from the same time in 2003.

As usual, California posted the highest prices, coming in at $2.437, up more than 4 cents from $2.394 from the previous week. The highest increase, however, was in the Rocky Mountain region, where prices jumped nearly 6 cents to $2.278, up from $2.219 the week before.

Meanwhile, prices for U.S. crude oil continued their roller coaster ride, rising slightly on Oct. 26 after they had fallen the previous day on news that a four-month strike of offshore oil workers in Norway — the world’s third largest oil exporter — had finally come to an end.

However, by the end of the day on Oct. 26, prices had slipped for the second day in a row, finishing at $54.15 per barrel.

Experts blamed the rise on concerns over U.S. heating oil supplies with the winter season rapidly approaching. Inventories of heating oil and diesel fell in mid-October by 1.9 million barrels to 119 million.

What’s more, analysts said that increasing demand from an ever-growing Chinese economy is becoming difficult to assess. Prudential Bache broker Christopher Bellew told the Agence France-Presse that there are no real figures available to determine what China is using and what it is storing.

“There is no indication of what the Chinese supply cushion is, and so no real understanding of what world demand really is,” he said.