KINGSPORT - Kingsport drivers have seen a 10-cent hike each week at the gas pump for the past three weeks, says the latest Fuel Gauge Report from officials at AAA East Tennessee.
Data collected from area gas stations from credit cards swiped at the pump for up-to-date information has delivered an average price of $2.55 per gallon in the three Tri-Cities reporting areas.
Kingsport has the highest price in the region this week, with an average price of $2.57, up 10 cents from last week and is representative of a 30-cent hike since March 21, according to the report.
Johnson City maintains the lowest price at the pump with an average price of $2.53 per gallon, an increase of seven cents.
Bristol has experienced a nine-cent increase since the middle of March, with the average cost determined from a scanning of 11 stations in the city currently at $2.56.
"For a 30-gallon tank filled up once-per-week that's an extra $12 a month," said AAA East Tennessee public relations official Don Lindsey, basing his figure upon the average price for all four reporting regions, including Knoxville.
Lower supplies that annually occur at the beginning of the spring driving season are factored into the rising cost, Lindsey added, along with cited production problems at certain U.S. refineries that are currently making the transition to summer blends of fuel.
U.S energy officials announced that crude oil prices decreased on Wednesday after Iran announced that 15 British soldiers would be released.
Iran is located along the Strait of Hormuz, a key channel through which many oil tankers pass.
AP also said that gasoline inventories in the United States continued to drop for the eighth consecutive week, impacting the price.