National average gas price tops $2 a gallon after climbing for 21 days

Gas prices are rising locally and nationally. Palm Beach Post staff photo

Gas prices are well above $2 a gallon locally.
Palm Beach Post staff photo

The national average gas price climbed above $2 a gallon Thursday, for the first time this year, and average prices have increased for 21 consecutive days, AAA said Monday. The run-up is expected to continue through May.

Palm Beach County’s average for a gallon of regular stands at $2.19, up from $2.12 a week ago. Florida’s average is $2.06, up from $2.03 last Monday, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

Today only a few stations in our area are selling gasoline below $2 a gallon. Among those offering regular at $1.99 a gallon are Sunoco at 6279 Military Trail near Hypoluxo Road in suburban Lake Worth; RaceTrac, 500 Northpoint Parkway and 45th Street, West Palm Beach, and Chevron, 810 S. Dixie Highway and Prospect Road, Lantana.

Despite the recent increase, average gas prices remain 39 cents a gallon less than a year ago, AAA said.

Many refineries are conducting seasonal maintenance, which has led to a decline in fuel production. Refineries are also preparing to switch to more expensive summer-blend gasoline, as mandated by the EPA. Summer blends are less prone to evaporate and contribute to air pollution at warmer temperatures.

Retailers in many parts of the country, including Florida, are required to sell the summer blend by June 1.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said, “As crude oil prices fell gently last week back under $40 per barrel, motorists shouldn’t necessarily expect the worst increases to be over just yet. Until the bulk of refinery maintenance season wraps up in late May, we likely won’t see the lower oil prices immediately bring relief to the pump as oil and gasoline inventories continue to move in the opposite direction.

“Last week, the Energy Information Administration pointed to a huge 9.4 million barrel rise in oil inventories while gasoline inventories fell nearly five million barrels, which points to continued tightness in supply and likely a continued rise in gasoline prices for the time being,” DeHaan said.

To find the lowest gasoline prices in your area, go to gasbuddy.com

 

 

 

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