Refinery Maintenance, Seasonal Demand Push Up Gas Prices

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Refinery Maintenance, Seasonal Demand Push Up Gas Prices


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The national average price of gasoline fell for five straight days over the last week to $3.27 per gallon of regular gas, following 15 days of increases. Despite the price drop, the current average is 9 cents higher than the multi-year low of $3.18 per gallon on Nov. 12, according to the latest AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

As of Dec. 2, the national average was a penny higher than one month ago, yet a penny lower than one week ago, and 12 cents lower than the same date one year ago.

The recent jump in the national average was triggered by planned and unplanned maintenance at several Gulf Coast refineries and seasonally stronger gasoline demand.

As these refineries resume operations, wholesale gasoline prices in the Gulf Coast market are seeing significant price declines. Retail prices in states such as Florida remain inflated from these supply and distribution issues, according to the report, but prices at the pump are likely to fall in the days and weeks ahead as cheaper wholesale gasoline reaches consumers.

Given the recent price fluctuations, drivers across the United States have experienced a variety of changes in their localpump prices, AAA reported. Prices rose over the last week in 22 states and Washington, D.C., while prices dropped in the remaining 28 states. In three states -- Indiana, Ohio and Michigan -- prices dropped by 10 cents or more per gallon.

Price changes were similarly mixed over the last month. In 27 states, the current pump prices are less expensive than one month ago, with declines of 15 cents or more in six states: Hawaii (minus 16 cents), Colorado (minus 16 cents), Wyoming (minus 19 cents), Montana (minus 24 cents), Utah (minus 25 cents) and Idaho (minus 31 cents).

In the remaining 23 states and Washington, D.C., prices are higher than one month ago, with eight states seeing an increase of 10 cents or more: Texas (up 10 cents) Virginia (11 cents), New Jersey (12 cents), Arkansas (12 cents), Washington, D.C. (13 cents), Maryland (14 cents), Delaware (15 cents) and Florida (20 cents).