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Gas prices rise to 'unseasonable' highs, headed to $3 per gallon, analysts say

Brandon Paykamian • Updated Oct 8, 2018 at 4:54 PM

Sunday’s state average gas price reached $2.69 per gallon after a 6-cent increase last week, according to AAA analysts. 

The average price is 9 cents more than a month ago and 29 cents more than this time last year.

"Motorists are paying higher-than-normal prices at the pump for this time of year," AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in a Monday news release. "Global supply and demand concerns continue to weigh on oil prices, which are dragging gas prices higher as a result. OPEC output remains low and U.S. sanctions are expected to limit exports of Iranian crude.

“All of this is happening while global demand keeps growing. These fundamentals could keep upward pressure on prices at the pump during a time of year when motorists normally begin to pay less."

As of Monday, gas prices in Johnson City reached $2.66 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline. 

• The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Nashville ($2.72), Kingsport-Bristol ($2.71) and Jackson ($2.71)

• The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Clarksville-Hopkinsville ($2.64), Knoxville ($2.64) and Chattanooga ($2.64)

Analysts say these “unseasonable” prices are partly due to various geopolitical factors. Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said prices could probably reach $3 a gallon nationally if oil prices continue to rise. 

"The national average gas price has broken out of a well-established rut, climbing above $2.90 per gallon for the first time since mid-June on rising oil prices ahead of the reinstatement of sanctions against Iran and OPEC failing to pump enough oil to meet robust demand," DeHaan said in a news release. “We may even soon see $3 per gallon nationally, which would be the first time since October 2014, if oil prices continue to rise. I, along with motorists, will be eagerly awaiting any relief at the pump, but don't hold your breath — it may get worse before it gets better."

For more information on local, state and national gas price trends, visit www.gasbuddy.com or www.gasprices.aaa.com, where visitors can also find fuel-saving tips. 

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