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January gas prices reach a four-year high, AAA says

Johnson City Press • Updated Jan 22, 2018 at 3:53 PM

According to recent reports from GasBuddy and AAA, January gas prices are at a four-year high. 

With average gas prices in Tennessee rising 2 cents within the last week, Sunday’s average gas price was $2.35 per gallon of regular unleaded gas — 25.3 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and 15 cents higher than last month. Some of the most expensive gas in Tennessee is in the Tri-Cities area, averaging around $2.37 per gallon of regular unleaded gas after a 9-cent climb so far this year.

This unexpected rise in gas prices was due to a number of factors, according to AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. 

"It has been anything but a normal January for prices at the pump," Jenkins said in a recent press release. "Normally, demand slips and supplies build. However, the story so far this year has been a rally in oil prices.

"Oil prices strung together three weeks of significant gains, raising the cost of producing gasoline," Jenkins continued. "As a result, gas prices for the month of January have been the most expensive in four years. Fortunately, prices at the pump plateaued late last week, after the momentum for oil stalled out. While gas prices will continue to be steered by the price of oil, they will soon face additional pressure from refinery maintenance season.

“During the next few months, refineries will reduce output as they conduct maintenance on their equipment and switch to summer-blend gasoline. This usually leads to tighter supplies and forces gas prices higher. However, there is still lingering hope that U.S. oil production will ramp-up sooner than later, which would boost inventories and push energy prices lower."

To view daily national, state and local gas prices, visit www.gasprices.aaa.com

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