Retail gas prices jumped another 10 cents across the Southeast last week and the upward trend is not expected to slow down anytime soon. If price trends follow those of 2011 and 2012, motorists could see gas prices rise until mid-September.
Decreases in oil inventories, tensions in the Mideast, and a jump in fuel demand pushed the price of crude oil to a 16-month high. The other factor that has the market on edge and the potential to drive gas prices even higher is peak hurricane season, which is right around the corner. The mere threat of a storm can cause wholesale prices to spike.
“Motorists need to prepare themselves for increased pump prices,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. “We’re likely to see a lot more volatility in the market as peak hurricane season approaches. The average cost for a gallon of gas in the Southeast could climb upwards of $3.70 to $3.80, or higher if a storm disrupts refineries along the coast or in the Gulf of Mexico.”
The cost for a barrel of oil closed last Friday at $108.05 on the NYMEX — $2.10 more than the week prior.
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.67, 7 cents more than last week. Florida’s average of $3.64 and Tennessee’s average of $3.45 both increased 10 cents from last week. Georgia’s average of $3.54 both jumped 9 cents from last Sunday.
On Tuesday, a gallon of regular unleaded at Woodard’s Market in Lynchburg was $3.459, while the regular unleaded at Jiffy Mart was $3.439.
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Tullahoma was $3.399, while in Fayetteville on Monday it was $3.459.
Visit AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report to find national, state, and local metro market retail gasoline prices.