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Gas prices begin to point upward

Staff Reports • Updated Dec 28, 2017 at 9:00 AM

NASHVILLE – Oil prices reached new heights Tuesday, causing a bump in the road for falling gas prices. 

Tennessee gas prices climbed nearly 1 cent overnight. The state average was $2.24, after they rose 2 cents during the past week.

During the past eight days, the needle pointed up for gas prices in Tennessee, although the state average only rose 2 cents during that time. On Christmas Day, the state average of  $2.23 was 14 cents more than the year before and the highest price for the holiday in three years. 

The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Jackson at $2.32, Nashville at $2.27 and Morristown at $2.26.

The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Chattanooga at $2.13, Clarksville-Hopkinsville at $2.17 and Johnson City at $2.17.

For the first time since June 2015, the price of oil exceeded $60 a barrel Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The daily increase totaled $1.50 per barrel, which would normally amount to 3-4 cents at the pump. Oil prices rose after an explosion on a pipeline in Libya, which feeds one of the country’s export terminals. In addition, struggles continued to restore service to a pipeline in the North Sea.

“We may see moderate increases at the pump this week, but the downward trend should resume in the New Year,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. “After the holidays, gasoline demand takes a sharp turn lower, because fewer people take extended road trips in January. The weak demand, plus high refinery output, should keep gas prices low. However, motorists should prepare for the seasonal 30-70-cent surge in the spring as refineries conduct maintenance.”

Nationally, the highest average price for gasoline was Sept. 8 at $2.67. The lowest was July 5 at $2.23. In Tennessee, the highest average price was Sept. 10 at $2.60. The lowest was July 5 at $1.99.

 

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