U.S.

Gas prices will rise this summer but should remain low

Gas prices will rise this summer but should remain low

Summer gas prices in 2017 are expected to trump 2016 averages, with drivers paying an average of $2.46 per gallon of regular gas, according to forecasts in the Energy Information Administration (EIA)'s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). A 23-cent boost over previous year can be expected at the pump with an average price expected to be $2.46 per gallon.

The national average of $2.40 per gallon is at its highest so far this year, AAA reported.

Triple-A analysts say Arizona's rising fuel prices are led by the switch over to more expensive summer-blend gasoline and increased driving demand.

A recent AAA survey showed people already preparing to compensate for higher gasoline prices this summer by combining errands, driving less, reducing shopping and carpooling, said Nick Jarmusz, spokesman for AAA Wisconsin.

Regional differences in retail gasoline prices can be significant, and EIA forecasts average summer prices to range from a low of $2.21/gal on the Gulf Coast to $2.87/gal on the West Coast.

"There are a lot of things putting upward pressure on oil and gas prices", said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. "This time of year refineries are finishing maintenance work and they're starting to process more crude oil which contribute to inventories declining and higher prices".

Gas prices are now the highest they've been in about a year and a half, according to the American Automobile Association.

"Once we'd see areas where gasoline prices are traditionally low - South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma - then we'd likely see a hit to more of the middle class - and in these areas where mass transit is more challenging, unlike other areas", DeHaan told UPI.

The U.S. government estimates Brent crude oil prices will average $54 per barrel for the year. Summer-grade gas is more costly to manufacture, so wholesale gas margins typically increase during the summer months.

The free AAA Mobile app for iPhone and Android devices uses Global Positioning System navigation to help travelers map a route, find updated gas prices, view nearby member discounts and access AAA roadside assistance.


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