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Gas prices rise, again

Expert: Pattern 'is fairly consistent'

POSTED: February 4, 2013 11:59 p.m.
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Jose Deleon fills up the tank of his flatbed wrecker Monday at the RaceTrac station on Ga. 365. Gas prices are higher than expected for this time of year.

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If you’ve been to the pump in the last week, then you’ve noticed the sudden rise in gas prices.

Gas prices are surging upward across Gainesville and Hall County, plus the state of Georgia.

Last week, Georgia’s average price for a gallon of gas was $3.32. One week later, it’s up to $3.46 per gallon, and still rising.

According to Gregg Laskoski of GasBuddy online, the numbers have increased at a fast pace, but Georgia hasn’t seen the prices spike as high as some other parts of the country.

“As harsh as the increase has been for Georgia drivers, a number of other metro markets have seen an 18-, 20- and 30-cent increase in gas prices,” he said. “We still see the prices increasing, but not like the past two weeks.”

Laskoski said crude oil prices were at $98 per barrel last week. That’s the highest they’ve been since last May. Along with an increase in the wholesale price for gas, this caused prices to rise faster than expected.

Another reason for the increase is the switch from winter-blend gas to summer-blend gas. According to Laskoski, the switch brings with it maintenance at the refineries, and gas prices tend to climb as well.

“This is a fairly consistent seasonal pattern. We hope not at the (rapid) rate of the past week,” he said about the increase. “We’re expecting a nationwide peak on gas prices in late April.”

For the Atlanta area, Laskoski said the projection is for gas prices to be between $3.80 and $4.10 per gallon, compared to the Los Angeles area, which has the highest projected prices between $4.35 and $4.65 per gallon.



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