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Gas prices rise after 90-day drop

Staff Report • Jan 15, 2019 at 12:50 PM

NASHVILLE — Prices at the pump are back on the rise now that the oil market is regaining strength.

Gas prices in Tennessee increased 3 cents over the last four days, AAA reported. Monday’s state average of $1.997 was just fractions of a cent from reaching $2 per gallon for the first time since Jan. 1.

In Kingsport, a review of several gas stations in town shows the price per gallon at around $1.88 in most locations.

Over the course of 90 days, the state average declined 72 cents, saving the average driver more than $10 on a full tank of gas, according to AAA.

An average price of $2 per gallon would still be 33 cents per gallon less than what Tennessee motorists paid this time last year and 73 cents less than what they paid when gas prices hit their 2018 peak around Memorial Day.

Most expensive gas prices

• Nashville ($2.08)

• Jackson ($2.03)

• Johnson City ($2.02)

Least expensive gas prices

• Cleveland ($1.92)

• Chattanooga ($1.94)

• Memphis ($1.96)

What about oil?

After plunging from $75 per barrel to $43 per barrel at the end of last year, crude prices are back above $50 per barrel, which raises the cost of producing gasoline.

The daily price for West Texas Intermediate crude is up more than $6 since Jan. 1, AAA reported. After trading above $53 per barrel last week, WTI settled at $51.59 per barrel Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

“The new year has breathed new life back into the oil market,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, in a press release. “Crude prices have slowly climbed since the beginning of the year, but remain well below the highs seen in 2018. The biggest increases came last week, after Saudi leaders pledged to do whatever it takes to re-balance the market.

“The recent shift in oil prices isn't enough to cause sticker shock at the pump, but motorists could see an increase of anywhere from 5-10 cents as a result,” Jenkins said.

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

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