• 68°

Gas prices rise in February

Average gas prices in Georgia have increased 11 of the past 13 days for a total of 14 cents, according to a new report from AAA.

On Tuesday, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded in Crisp and Wilcox counties is $2.29. The price was slightly higher in Dooly County at $2.33 per gallon.

Statewide, drivers are now paying an average price of $2.28 per gallon for regular unleaded – nine cents more than a week ago, and 12 cents more than this time last month. Still, drivers are paying 10 cents per gallon less than this time last year.

Drivers are now paying roughly $34 for a full 15-gallon tank of gasoline — $9 less compared to when prices were their highest last May.

During February, gas prices have averaged $2.18 per gallon, which is 8 cents more from January’s monthly average, yet 26 cents per gallon less than the monthly average in February 2018.

The most expensive gas price averages in the state are: Brunswick ($2.32), Atlanta ($2.31), Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($2.30)

The least expensive gas price averages in Georgia are: Catoosa-Dade-Walker ($2.20), Augusta-Aiken ($2.21), Warner Robins ($2.22)

“Gas prices rose as predicted last week, due to crude price gains and oil refineries conducting seasonal maintenance,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman with AAA. “Gas prices may fluctuate over the next couple weeks, but will mostly follow an upward trend this spring, as demand rises and refineries switch to a more expensive summer-blend gasoline. AAA forecasts the national average should peak at around $2.75 by Memorial Day weekend. That opens the door for an average increase of another 35 cents this spring.”

Crude oil has a significant impact on gas prices. About half of what drivers pay at the pump is influenced by the price of crude. Crude prices have risen more than $12 per barrel so far this year. Last week, oil prices steadily climbed. On Friday, the U.S. benchmark, WTI, settled at $57.26 per barrel on the NYMEX – an increase of nearly $2/b compared to the week before. The price of WTI remains nearly $6 per barrel below last year’s levels.