Susquehanna Valley gas prices increased three cents to $3.70 a gallon this week, according to AAA East Central.

On the national front

Tuesday's national average price at the pump was $3.67 per gallon. This is two cents more than last week, 14 cents more than one month ago and 15 cents more than the same date last year.

Refineries are required to start producing summer-blend gasoline by May 1, and in anticipation of this date, often go offline for scheduled maintenance. This decrease in supply can cause prices in certain areas to rise, but fluctuations have been minimal.

Over the past few days, a number of refineries had to temporarily shut down or restart in order to perform unscheduled maintenance. These supply disruptions during the planned changeover have the potential to put additional upward pressure on prices, and are worth monitoring as we approach the switchover deadline and enter peak driving season.

Global crude oil price remains elevated as Russian and western powers attempt to broker a deal over the situation in Ukraine. Tensions remain high while both sides exchange accusations about which side first violated last week's perceived deal. Yesterday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev warning of new sanctions.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude is moving with less certainty about changes in price. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX Monday, WTI closed up 7 cents per barrel at $104.37.

(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.)