Recent gas prices have marked the most expensive summer gas prices in four years, according to a Monday AAA report.
Over the past five years, gas prices on July 9 have varied widely. In 2017, gas prices stood at $2 a gallon. In 2016, that number was $2.51. In 2015, it was $3.42 a gallon. In 2014 and 2013, gas prices stood at $3.42 and $3.26 per gallon.
"Reduced global oil supplies have caused summer travelers to pay a higher price at the pump this year," AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in a press release. "Fortunately, domestic gasoline production remains strong, which should help prevent major swings in summer gas prices. However, pump prices will pop if a major hurricane threatens refineries along the Gulf Coast. Last year, Hurricane Harvey caused a 40-cent spike."
Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, said uncertainty over increased OPEC oil production has contributed to this increase after a recent period of downward pressure on gas prices.
"As gas prices saw their highest level on July 4 in four years, President Trump continues to try to push OPEC to produce more crude oil, but so far, it hasn't materialized into much of anything. Gas prices have inched up in a majority of states and oil prices remain comfortably above $70 per barrel, with no significant relief any time soon," DeHaan said in a press release.
"In addition, with a brief reminder of hurricane season as Beryl formed, there may be more worries that in the weeks ahead the Atlantic could churn out more storms, thus more risk of disruption in regard to oil or refinery infrastructure.
“There's little downward pressure on oil prices as we remain in the midst of the summer driving season, and unless we see credible evidence to suggest OPEC or other countries are producing more oil, we will likely continue to see gas prices drift higher."
Compared to the national average of $2.85, gas prices in Tennessee still look favorable.
• The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee are in Jackson ($2.67), Nashville ($2.65), and Memphis ($2.65).
• The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee are in Clarksville-Hopkinsville ($2.55), Knoxville ($2.56), and Johnson City ($2.57).