"Without gas prices falling, the current price environment may be the floor for what could become a more expensive year than anticipated, barring any change to OPEC policy that has led to today's climate of lower supply and higher prices", said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. The price in New Hampshire went up 3.1 cents to an average of $2.53 a gallon.
The least expensive gas price averages in Georgia were in Augusta-Aiken at $2.40 per gallon, Catoosa-Dade-Walker at $2.41 and Warner Robins at $2.41.
The national average increased last week by 3 cents to $2.57 a gallon.
Analysts say that's unusual for this time of year, indicating that we could see higher prices throughout 2018. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that the region is sitting on 55 million barrels of gasoline, the highest inventory for the region since early June 2017.
Motorists in Butts County on Monday reported paying $2.53 per gallon, according to the price-tracking website GasBuddy.com. That could foreshadow higher prices to come even before refiners switch to pricier, summer-grade fuels around March. Oil prices have always played a significant role in what motorists pay at the pump.
The price of gasoline inched up again last week in Valdosta, according to statistics.
Meanwhile in South Florida, with its higher overall cost of doing business, average gas prices tend to remain higher than the rest of the state.
Gasoline prices in Houston and elsewhere have reached some of the highest levels since Hurricane Harvey.
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Jenkins says that refineries in the Gulf of Mexico will start to conduct routine maintenance checks, which has historically decreased oil output and raised gas prices in a range of 30-75 cents.
Now, although USA production levels are strong, global oil inventories are tightening, largely due to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' agreement to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day. "During their downtime, these refineries reduce the amount of gasoline they put out into the market".
Perhaps of some solace: The Bradenton-area average of $2.51 per gallon on Monday was among the lowest in the state, trailing Jacksonville ($2.48), Tampa-St.
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