January Gas Price Trends indicate a More Expensive Year at the Pump

Kristen Gonzales
January 24, 2018

Prices are about 31 cents more than at the same point a year ago.

"It certainly has been an unusual January for gas prices", said Tammy Arnette, senior public affairs specialist for AAA.

Average retail gasoline prices in Louisiana have risen 2.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.35/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 2,436 gas outlets in Louisiana. The price in ME went up 1.9 cents to an average of $2.56 a gallon.

"For consumers, the question is how high are gas prices going to go in 2018", she said in a statement.

AAA reveals gas prices grew in the first weeks of January for the first time in four years.

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Simple: The dent in your wallet at the gas station reflects the general rising price of oil.

Gas prices went up slightly last month, AAA says, adding its a trend drivers may want to get used to. Oil prices slid after EIA's latest petroleum report underscored that domestic crude production in the US continues to grow. Nonetheless, AAA pointed out that week-over-week, gas prices increased for 41 states with Florida seeing the largest jump in pump price with a nine-cent uptick. Great Lakes refinery issues continue to flare up with no warning, and gas prices there may continue to be more volatile in coming weeks.

During the next few months, Jenkins said, refineries will reduce output as they conduct maintenance on their equipment and switch to summer-blend gasoline. If the forecast holds, it would be 1 million barrels per day more than a year ago.

"At the close of Friday's formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped 58 cents to settle at $63.37", AAA reported. The EIA expects domestic production to reach 10.8 million barrels per day in 2019 and surpass 11 million in November 2019.

Saudi Arabia has produced as much as 10.5 million barrels per day, but that rate has dropped below 10 million, due to the recent OPEC production cut agreement. The highest was about $2.69 per gallon in the Marquette area. Last year, Russian Federation reached a 30-year high average production rate of 10.98 barrels per day, AAA said.

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