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Summerlike demand pushes gas prices higher

Staff Report • Apr 15, 2019 at 10:00 PM

NASHVILLE — Tennessee gas prices jumped 8 cents last week as warmer weather keeps demand high.

Motorists across the state are paying an average of $2.60 per gallon for regular unleaded, according to AAA. Monday's state average is 27 cents more than this time last month but only 1 cent higher than this time last year.

Monday’s national average is $2.83, which is 9 cents more than last week, 30 cents more than last month and 1 cent more than last year, AAA reported.

“We are seeing very expensive gas prices for this time of year across the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson, in a press release. “Motorists are seeing prices increase as gasoline stocks decreased substantially by 7.7 million bbl (barrels) amid summer-like demand readings.”

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Nashville ($2.67)

• Knoxville ($2.62)

• Morristown ($2.61)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Chattanooga ($2.52)

• Johnson City ($2.54)

• Kingsport-Bristol ($2.56)

What about oil?

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude increased 31 cents to settle at $63.89.

Oil prices increased last week and will likely continue their ascent this week, AAA predicts. A weaker dollar helped push crude prices up because of the increased number of dollars needed to purchase crude on the global market.

Another contributing factor to the price increase is that there was a 534,000 barrel-per-day decline in crude production by OPEC members in March, led by Saudi Arabia cutting back by 324,000 barrels per day, AAA reported.

OPEC and its partners are making reductions in service consistent with their 1.2 million barrels-per-day production reduction agreement, which is in place through June.

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