AAA says it’s due to the increase in crude oil prices.
Towson, Md (KM) You may have noticed it if you’ve recently filled up your vehicle. “We’re seeing that gas prices actually have increased quite a bit,” says Ragina Cooper Averella, a spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
The auto club says average price in Maryland, as of last Friday, is $2.33 per gallon, which is 11-cent drop from the previous week. In Frederick, AAA says the average prices is $2.31 per gallon, a jump of 12-cents from the previous week.
AAA says a lot of it is due to the cost of crude oil. West Texas Intermediate settled at $56.96 per barrel on the NYMEX on Thursday of last week, and that’s an increase of $2.55 compared to the previous week. “We also typically do start to see them increases a little bit more, probably more so in the coming weeks, as the refineries do the switch over to the summer blend gasoline,” says Averella.
Other reasons include the affects of US sanctions against crude oil exports from Iran and Venezuela, and unrest in Libya is curbing crude oil production. But AAA notes that the US crude oil stockpiles are keeping those prices in check..
But the auto club says the recent severe winter weather in the Mid-Atlantic region has curtailed demand for gasoline, which will tighten crude oil stocks in the near future. “So we’re actually expecting that prices are likely to be more expensive in the coming weeks of a build up in inventories,” says Averella.
Those who are looking for the lowest prices in their communities can go to Fuel Price Finder at AAA.com/fuelfinder, which locates the lowest price fuel in your area. They can also use AAA Gas Cost Calculator at GasPrices.AAA.com/AAA-gas-cost-calculator, which can help with travel expenses. TripTik Mobile at AAA.com/mobile can plot fuel prices along your travel routes. AAA says you do not have to be a member of the auto club to use these services.
By Kevin McManus