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Tennessee gas prices set new 2019 high

Staff Report • Feb 25, 2019 at 11:00 PM

NASHVILLE — Tennessee gas prices have risen 15 cents over the last 13 days, setting a new high for the year.

Drivers are now paying an average of $2.19 per gallon for regular unleaded, AAA reported. Sunday’s state average is 10 cents more than a week ago and 13 cents more than this time last month.

Regardless of the recent increase, Tennessee drivers are still paying 12 cents per gallon less than this time last year. It now costs an average of nearly $33 to fill a 15-gallon tank with gasoline, a discount of nearly $8 compared to last May, when prices were at their highest.

So far this month, gas prices have averaged $2.08 per gallon, an increase of 7 cents from the monthly average in January. Still, February gas prices have averaged 29 cents less than the monthly average in February 2018, AAA reported.

“Gas prices rose as predicted last week, due to crude price gains and oil refineries conducting seasonal maintenance,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, in a press release. “Gas prices may fluctuate over the next couple weeks, but will mostly follow an upward trend this spring, as demand rises and refineries switch to a more expensive summer-blend gasoline.

“AAA forecasts the national average should peak at around $2.75 by Memorial Day weekend. That opens the door for an average increase of another 35 cents this spring.”

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Nashville ($2.24)

• Jackson ($2.22)

• Morristown ($2.19)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Clarksville-Hopkinsville ($2.15)

• Johnson City ($2.15)

• Memphis ($2.15)

What about oil?

Crude oil has a significant impact on gas prices. About half of what drivers pay at the pump is influenced by the price of crude, according to AAA.

So far this year, crude prices have risen more than $12 per barrel. After oil prices steadily climbed last week, the U.S.-benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled at $57.26 per barrel on Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), an increase of nearly $2 per barrel compared to the week before.

The price of WTI remains nearly $6 per barrel below last year’s levels, according to AAA.

To view daily gas price averages, visit GasPrices.AAA.com.