Fuel Gauge: Area gas prices spike 12 cents
Susquehanna Valley gas prices rose 12 cents to $3.68 a gallon this week, according to AAA East Central.
On the national front
Today's national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.59 per gallon. Today's price is five cents more expensive than one week ago, but it remains three cents less than a month ago and 24 cents behind the same day last year. The nearly quarter discount from a year ago marks the largest year-over-year disparity since May 7.
Monday marked the end of the summer driving season with the fourth highest Labor Day price on record. However, the average price for motorists over the course of the summer ($3.58) was the third highest on record behind 2008 ($3.95) and 2011 ($3.65).
Oil prices remain at lofty levels due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and North Africa. Upward pressure from higher oil prices have been largely offset by comfortable domestic gasoline supplies, demand that has lagged a year ago, and an Atlantic hurricane season that has, thus far, been very weak.
While this year does mark a historically late start to the hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) continues to forecast a more active than average season, which extends through November. With this in mind, the potential remains for higher retail prices in the coming weeks and months should storms impact gasoline production and distribution.
At the close of today's formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled 89 cents higher at $108.54. This marks the 43rd consecutive settlement above $100 per barrel, and last Wednesday's price of $110.10 marked the highest since May 3, 2011. Oil prices have remained elevated as tensions in the Middle East and North Africa have escalated and the U.S. publically considers military action in Syria, and there is potential for prices to move higher should violence spread to other countries in the region.
(AAA East Central - a not-for-profit association with 82 local offices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and Kentucky servicing 2.7 million members - provides Fuel Gauge each week.)