Gas prices remain steady, but could start to rise again

Johnson City Press • Updated Apr 22, 2019 at 7:39 PM

Tennessee’s gas prices remained steady over the last week, but are up 19 cents since mid-March and are five cents higher than April of 2018.

Gas prices in the state are currently the 10th lowest in the nation at $2.60 a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. The national average is $2.84 a gallon, a 23-cent increase from March.

AAA spokeswoman Jeanette Casselano said motorists shouldn’t get their hopes up for gas prices to remain this way. Gasoline stock continues to drop, and is now below levels normally seen in April. Casselano noted that it’s too early to know if imports of gasoline and the completion of refinery maintenance on the West Coast will be enough to keep state averages from leveling off yet.

Price changes in the region, however, are expected to remain moderate through the end of the month, as the South is the only region to measure a year-over-year gasoline stock surplus.

That could change though, as the U.S. State Department announced plans to end the use of waivers for countries to import oil from Iran in an attempt to end all oil imports from Iran. This, coupled with U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela and the decrease of production from OPEC, could lead to the global tightening of the oil supply market.

AAA noted that a continued drop of U.S. crude oil and gasoline stocks, along with a continued tightening of supply, could cause prices to continue to increase.

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