Regional gas prices remain flat as national prices rise
(WSLS 10) - According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic region remain relatively stable while the national average has jumped two cents in the last week as seasonal refinery maintenance operations have started in many areas across the country. Maintenance procedures and the switchover to summer-blend gasoline typically cause a jump in prices. Sunday's national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.31 per gallon, which is two cents higher than one week ago, four cents higher compared to one month ago and 50 cents more than the same date last year.
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At the close of Friday's formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was down 66 cents to settle at $53.33 per barrel. Crude oil has settled between $52 and $55 all week, and is close to $10 more than this point last year. EIA data shows U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.5 million barrels to 520.2 million barrels, the highest level in their history and largely driven by imports from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Canada, as well as strong domestic production which rose above 9 million barrels for the second straight week.
Tammy Arnett, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic says February usually signals the start of a seasonal upswing in gas prices. "But that did not happen this year," said Arnette. "Oil prices held steady between $52 and $54, which kept a lid on prices at the pump. As seasonal refinery maintenance begins around the region, that will likely result in an uptick in prices at the pump."
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