Gas prices remain steady, oil nears $100

Typically, when crude oil prices rise, so does the retail price of gasoline, but in recent weeks, that hasn’t been the case, according to AAA Auto Club South Spokeswoman Jessica Brady.

Brady said that during the last several weeks, gas prices have remained the same as oil prices have increased.

The average price of regular unleaded gasoline in Georgia and Florida only increased by two cents from last week, she explained. Motorists in the Peach State are currently paying $3.34 a gallon, while Floridians are paying $3.41 a gallon at the pump.

Tennessee’s average price for regular unleaded remained unchanged from the week prior, at $3.23 a gallon, she added. The nation’s average price increased by a cent from last week, to $3.41 a gallon.

“The national average price for regular retail gasoline is holding strong around $3.40 a gallon, and it’s uncertain at what point prices will jump to catch up with the price of crude,” said Brady.

She said there is a chance gas prices may increase this week, since the price of crude oil has neared $100 a barrel. But there are analysts, she said, who predict gas prices will actually fall, and consumers will experience another week of steady gas prices.

Oil prices settled at $98.99 on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Nov. 11, said Brady. This is an increase of $4.73 from the week before, and is the highest settlement price since July 22, when oil prices closed at $99.87 a barrel, she said.

“Oil prices increased last week as European leaders moved closer to an agreement on a financial resolution, and Italy approved a bill in the Senate to cut the country’s debt of $2.6 trillion,” said the spokeswoman.

These actions, she said, caused the U.S. stock market to rally and the dollar to weaken against the euro, and boosted interest in crude oil.