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Thursday, November 27, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 2/19/2013

AT THE PUMP

Gas prices rise locally, 32 days straight in U.S.

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS REPORTS

After jumping nearly 50 cents per gallon over the last month, gas prices in the Toledo area appear to have spiked and may be leveling off.

That is happening as gas prices are rising nationally.

According to AAA, the average price for gasoline in the United States has risen 32 consecutive days. That has brought the average prices for regular gas to $3.73 nationally, up 13 percent over the last month.

The Energy Information Administration reports that the price of crude oil has jumped 10 percent in the last two months to more than $95 per barrel. The cost of crude accounts for about two-thirds the price for a gallon of gas.

A more optimistic view of the housing and jobs markets also may be driving up prices nationwide as companies anticipate increased demand.

Some of the two-week rise comes from still-high oil prices with some international grades up again. Also, several U.S. refineries are operating at partial rates of capacity, as planned and unplanned maintenance and repairs are completed ahead of the high gasoline demand season to come in addition to the disruptions which occur as refineries switch to summer blends. There is no gasoline shortage though: The overall U.S. use-rate of capacity is above what it was last year at this time, and gasoline stocks are robust.

Late Monday, spotters for the Web site Toledogasprices.com reported that the average price for regular in Toledo was $3.79. That was about a penny lower than Sunday, 9 cents per gallon higher than a week previous, and 49 cents a gallon higher than a month ago.

Sarah Mahon, a Toledo sales associate, said she spends about $70 per week on gas. On Monday evening, she put $20 of gas in her tank for a price of $3.74 at the Shell station, 822 Monroe St., at the corner of North Ontario Street. She said the increase is impacting her family’s budget.

“I have four kids,” she said. “I drive all over different sides of town. It’s ridiculous.”

While Ms. Mahon hoped the prices would decrease, she said she noticed a 7-Eleven station on Lewis Avenue had gas for about $3.30 earlier in the day, which was 44 cents less than the price of gas at Shell in the evening.

The $3.83 per gallon that was the Toledo average Saturday was the highest since early October, according to Toledogasprices.com.

Timhna Morehead, a medical biller who works in Toledo, said she isn’t happy with the disparity from station to station.

“I don’t really understand why,” she said. “It should go up everywhere.”

She said she will drive through various parts of town and see multiple prices. Ms. Morehead, who lives in Holland, said her commute also has been draining her wallet.

“I’m filling up smaller amounts at a time. During the week, I’m strictly [driving] work [to] home. I have to drive almost half an hour to get home,” she said.

She said she usually puts $20 or $25 in her tank when she gets paid and then smaller amounts during the week if she’s running low. On Monday evening, she was putting just $10 in her tank, which gave her only 2½ gallons.

“I don’t think it’s just, at all,” Ms. Morehead said.

The lowest price for which gas could be purchased locally Monday night was $3.65 per gallon, which was available at Stop and Go stations at 905 South Ave. and 740 South; Valero, 801 S Byrne Rd., and Gas Express, 3070 Airport Hwy.

Information from cnn.com was used in this report.



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