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Watch out for rising gas prices next month, AAA says

Staff Report • Feb 5, 2018 at 10:00 PM

NASHVILLE – Prices at the pump increased by just 1 cent in Tennessee last week, though larger increases could be on the horizon.

Sunday's average price of $2.41 is 14 cents more than a month ago and 34 cents more than this time last year, according to AAA.

The state average for the entire month of January finished at $2.33, an increase of 21 cents compared to January 2017.

Though gas prices may be stalling now, AAA predicts that prices will rise more next month, once refinery maintenance season begins.

“Motorists got some relief from rising gas prices over the weekend,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, in a press release. “The futures market was uninspired last week, and wholesale gasoline dropped a nickel.

“While we could see some small discounts this month, those will likely be erased as we move into refinery maintenance season. Typically maintenance season reaches its peak in mid-March. This results in reduced refinery output and rising prices at the pump.”

How are oil prices?

AAA reported that oil is trading at $33 per barrel more than this time two years ago, when gas prices were below $2 a gallon.

After steadily climbing $15 in the past four months, the price of oil remained relatively flat last week, according to AAA. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled at $65.45 per barrel on Friday, averaging only 17 cents more than the week before.

Low oil production from Venezuela, high Chinese demand and OPEC's 1.8 million barrel-per-day production cuts, among other factors, are keeping upward pressure on oil prices, AAA reported.

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Jackson ($2.44)

• Nashville ($2.43)

• Kingsport-Bristol ($2.43)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Cleveland ($2.37)

• Chattanooga ($2.37)

• Knoxville ($2.38)

To view daily gas price averages, visit www.GasPrices.AAA.com.

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