Gas prices continue to climb in Hampton Roads

Gas Prices Rise 3.5 Cents In Chattanooga

Gas Prices Rise 3.5 Cents In Chattanooga

Motorist are already paying more than three bucks a gallon in six west coast states.

February predictions of $4-a-gallon gasoline in California by Memorial Day stalled a bit in March, but prices are climbing again, and not just in California.

Both of those averages are about 20 cents higher than at the same time a year ago.

AAA warned drivers this week to expect an increase in gas prices because of the ongoing conflict in Syria and its impact on crude oil prices.

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The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice market was $2.57 on Monday, up less than a penny from last week and 6 cents higher over the month, AAA reported. In fact, prices are nearly 18-cents higher than just a month ago. Despite the increase, SC still ranks among the least expensive states for gas prices in the country.

As recently as April 9, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said: "As markets have seen concern rise of a possible trade war between the USA and China, oil prices have been hit hard, leading gas prices to dramatically slow their recent ascent". AAA says it was the third consecutive week that the Ann Arbor area had the highest average price.

Chattanooga had Tennessee's cheapest gasoline on Monday at $2.46 a gallon.

"Ultimately, (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) bears much of the responsibility for cutting oil production in 2017, leaving USA oil inventories at far lower levels than a year ago".

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Patrick DeHaan, the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said gas prices have peaked in mid-May the past few years as refineries finish the transition to a more-expensive summer blend.

Oil prices edged higher last week following new concerns about tension in the Middle East, with military strikes against Syria. As a result, gas prices at the pump have started what is expected to be a steep rise. Let's just hope we don't go to extra innings.

DeHaan said refinery maintenance has gone well so far, gasoline supply has continued to increase and the transition to summer gasoline supplies is nearly finished.

"That could be very close to what we expect this time around", DeHaan said.

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