Gas prices continue climb as refinery issues raise concerns
Gasoline prices have been on the rise for five straight weeks with no signs of slowing down, a petroleum analyst said Monday.
“Several perhaps major refinery issues flared up over the weekend, including fires at two facilities that could push wholesale gasoline prices up notably, mainly in the Pacific Northwest and the Gulf Coast, should the shutdowns linger,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “This is the time of year that energy markets are very sensitive to such unexpected outages as dozens of refineries across the country perform maintenance in a tight window ahead of the summer driving season.
“Any major outages can lead to tight inventory ahead of specification changes and have a severe impact on gas prices,” he said. “The situation is delicate and bears further monitoring in the days ahead.”
Pittsburgh gas prices have risen 7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.76 per gallon, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 731 stations. Prices are 18.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, yet stand 1.8 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.
According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Pittsburgh is priced at $2.52; the most expensive is $2.99, a difference of 47 cents per gallon.
The lowest price in the state is $2.45 while the highest is $3.09, a difference of 64.0 cents per gallon.
The national average price of gasoline has risen 4.3 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.54. The national average is up 20.6 cents per gallon from a month ago, but is 0.3 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.
The cheapest price in the entire country stands at $1.79 while the most expensive is $4.59, a difference of $2.80.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .