High demand for crude oil and gas causes prices to rise in northeast Tennessee

Brandon Paykamian • Updated Jul 31, 2017 at 10:43 PM

According to a recent AAA report, gas prices are expected to continue fluctuating over the next few weeks.

Last week, gas prices saw another round of increases. On Sunday, statewide gas prices averaged $2.08 per gallon, with the state average being 3 cents more than last week and 18 cents more than this time last year.

“Gas prices leveled out over the weekend, but should climb again this week,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA Auto Club Group. “Strong demand and another round of supply draws pushed the price of crude to its highest point in nine weeks, and that trend is expected to continue this week. Gas prices should rise 5-10 cents this week, but remain below this year's highs, set earlier this year.”

The price for regular unleaded was below $2 at fewer than 25 percent of gas stations in Tennessee. The most expensive gas in Tennessee was reported in Memphis, with an average price of $2.14. In Nashville and Knoxville, the prices stood at $2.11 and $2.05.

According to the report, the highest average price so far this year in Tennessee was $2.18 on April 20; the lowest was $1.99 on July 5.

While prices have continued fluctuating, some of the least-expensive gas has been in the Tri-Cities, with an average price of $2.04.

In the Clarksville-Hopkinsville area and Chattanooga, the average price has been $2.02. And while prices continue to go up and down throughout the state, Tennessee’s gas prices remained below the national average of $2.31 on Sunday.

After climbing three cents in the past week, the national average is now 16 cents more than this time last year. So far this year, the national average has been $2.32. The price for regular unleaded is under $2 at only 10 percent of gas stations across the nation and above $2.25 at 53 percent of U.S. gas stations, according to the report.

According to Stephanie Milani, a spokeswoman for AAA, the change in prices has to do with demand for gas, which usually starts to drop right after Labor Day. She said it also has to do with the crude oil prices Jenkins mentioned.

Despite these recent changes that have affected the price of gas in Tennessee, Milani said prices might go back down during the winter.

“When we go back to the winter-blended gasolines, they are easier and less expensive to manufacture, so hopefully we’ll see the prices drop off at the pumps,” she said.

According to their recent report, the price per barrel of crude oil recently reached a nine-week high after OPEC members such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates pledged to limit exports in August. This news has “given investors confidence in crude inventories continuing to shrink,” which could lead the price per barrel to highs not seen since the end of May, which will contribute to higher gas prices.

To stay up to date on gas prices, visit www.gasprices.aaa.com.

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