Gas prices poised to spike in Central Florida

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Four-dollars-a-gallon gasoline, not seen in the Golden State since midsummer 2014, is starting to look likely due to developments that pushed at-the-pump prices into overdrive last week.

GasBuddy.com said the average gas price in Baton Rouge on Sunday was $2.38 per gallon. Crude oil prices rose more than 8.5% last week, primarily on geopolitical issues like the attack on Syria and a trade war with China.

Including the change in gas prices in Hawaii during the past week, prices yesterday were 67.1 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 2.6 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.

Milani says part of that spike is seasonal as the nation's oil refineries shut down for spring maintenance, and also as they switch over to cleaner burning summer grade gasoline.

The average price in the state is $2.48 per gallon of regular, an increase of five cents from last week and nearly 22 cents from March.

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However, DeHaan said Syria is just one factor putting upward pressure on prices. "But the recent OPEC cuts have made that a little tighter". The increase could not stop crude from rising to its highest level in 995 days, according to GasBuddy.

Chattanooga gas prices still remain 25 cents per gallon below the USA average of $2.71 per gallon, according to Gasbuddy.com. Demand remained strong last week as well. "However, higher oil prices have also enticed US producers to ramp up crude oil exports, effectively draining USA oil inventories at a higher pace than that oil is being replaced", he said.

Baton Rouge residents still pay a lot less than their national counterparts who on average paid $2.71 per gallon last week.

Gas prices are continuing to rise in Decatur and the state.

"In the past few years, the average date that gas prices have peaked is mid-May, which is just around the corner, and by all metrics, that could be very close to what we expect this time around", DeHaan said Monday in a news release.

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