AAA: Gas prices expected to rise by 15 cents this week

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

According to AAA, the most expensive gas price averages in Georgia Monday were in Atlanta ($2.67), Brunswick ($2.66) and Savannah ($2.66), while the least expensive prices were in Augusta-Aiken ($2.54), Catoosa-Dade-Walker ($2.54) and Warner Robins ($2.55). Prices are expected to fall back down after Labor Day.

Looking state-by-state, the largest weekly changes in average gas prices were seen in: MI (+12 cents), Utah (+9 cents), Idaho (+8 cents), Nebraska (+8 cents), Georgia (+7 cents), IL (+7 cents), West Virginia (+7 cents), Missouri (+7 cents), Texas (+7 cents) and Tennessee (+7 cents).

GasBuddy and AAA had the national average at $2.71 a gallon Monday.

This comes on the heels of recent weeks of flat prices or slow cost increases, when crude oil prices were hit by some steep dips in stock markets and concerns about a tariff battle between the United States and China. "The conflict in Syria has sent crude prices to their highest point in more than three years, and as a result motorists are going to see that at the pump". The state average Monday was $2.63 per gallon, just two cents above last week - though up a dime in the last month. "With the transition to summer gasoline also wrapping up, the reasons for gas prices to rise will shrink".

"Ultimately, (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) bears much of the responsibility for cutting oil production in 2017, leaving US oil inventories at far lower levels than a year ago".

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Why the jump? The EIA attributes it to escalating crude oil prices.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for gas price comparison site GasBuddy.com, said that's the highest national average price since July 2015.

Gas prices in Chattanooga have risen to the highest level in six months and are likely to increase more this week in the wake of last week's attacks on Syria. Let's just hope we don't go to extra innings.

"In the past few years, the average date that gas prices have peaked is mid-May, which is just around the corner, and by all metrics, that could be very close to what we expect this time around", DeHaan said.

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