Notice gas going up at your favorite fill-up station? Don’t worry, it’s happening everywhere.
Maintenance at refineries along the Gulf of Mexico created a spike in gas prices this past week, pushing the cost of a gallon of gas up nearly a dime in one night Wednesday in some places around the state. But it did calm down elsewhere, and Florida reported an average of a 2-cent rise since last Sunday.
“Last week was a temporary setback in what should otherwise be a month of falling as prices,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins, in a release. “In October, refineries reduce output to conduct maintenance on their systems. They choose this month because fewer people are driving, and demand for gasoline is lower. However, there are more refineries along the Gulf coast doing maintenance compared to last year, and that put a temporary strain on supplies, causing prices to rise.”
However, that maintenance work should be done within the next week or so, Jenkins said, and that should cause gas prices to drop 20 cents by Thanksgiving.
If it weren’t for the maintenance work, gas prices would be at the lowest levels in a long time. The price of a barrel of oil settled at $89.74 last week, the first time it’s closed below $90 since April 2013. The United States remains the lead oil producer in the world because of the shale boom, and domestic crude production is at its highest level since March 1986, according to a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Gas prices in Florida averaged $3.31 Sunday, up 2 cents from last week but still down 5 cents from a month ago. It’s even with prices from a year ago.
Marathon had the lowest gas prices in the Land O’ Lakes area Sunday, charging $3.17 at its station on Land O’ Lakes Boulevard and Ehren Cutoff. The highest was $3.29 at the Shell station on State Road 54 and State Road 56, according to GasBuddy.
However, prices were much better in Wesley Chapel, with $3.09 reported at the Marathon station at Wesley Chapel Boulevard near Magnolia Boulevard, and at the Shell station on County Road 54 and Oakley Boulevard. Prices peaked at $3.29 at two stations Willow Oaks Drive and State Road 56.
Gas prices in Lutz ranged from $3.19 at Citgo on North Dale Mabry Highway and Land O’ Lakes Boulevard, to $3.34 at the Shell station at Dale Mabry and Van Dyke Road.
Prices in Zephyrhills were pretty uniform, with several stations reporting gas at $3.22 or $3.23 over the weekend, according to GasBuddy. The 7-Eleven on Fifth Avenue had the highest-priced gas, but it’s $3.29 was not that far above everyone else.
Dade City was a little cheaper with $3.19 reported at Clark on U.S. 301 near Long Avenue, and at Sunoco on U.S. 301 near Jordan Road. The most expensive there was $3.29 at two stations not far from downtown.