Gasoline prices rise to highest since 2014

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Ohio's gas prices were up 3.8 cents since last week.

This wasn't supposed to happen, according to market watchers.

Including the change in gas prices in Amarillo during the past week, prices yesterday were 18.2 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 12.5 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

According to the price-tracking website GasBuddy.com, motorists in Butts County on Tuesday reported paying $2.45 to $2.49 per gallon.

The price of crude reached new multi-year highs last week, AAA said.

With oil prices still holding near recent highs of $64 per barrel (WTI) and almost $70 for Brent, little broad relief is expected at the gas pump across the country. Crude oil inventories in the United States dropped by 4.9 million gallons, which encouraged traders that oil prices could continue to climb, AAA said this week.

Since mid-December, the per-barrel price has increased $7, a surprising development considering the price remained below $60 throughout 2017 despite production cuts by OPEC nations. USA government data revealed an eighth-straight weekly decline in US crude stockpiles, and a noted decrease in domestic crude production. The Energy Information Administration reports that despite gasoline demand increasing, gasoline inventories also increased.

The group said that although Florida gas prices have been able to avoid the increase in price that the rest of the country faces, Florida prices could soon rise. "So while pump prices were indeed poised to decline, based on seasonal fundamentals like supplies, the constant upward pressure of oil prices finally caused pump prices to buckle".

A survey by GasBuddy showed the average price of gasoline was $2.62 per gallon.

Demand is expected to decrease in the coming weeks, and gas prices should follow, but drivers should not get used to that trend as maintenance season kicks in for refineries and gas stations switch to a summer blend of gasoline.

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