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Gas prices fluctuate across country

Staff Report • Oct 22, 2019 at 10:01 AM

NASHVILLE — With refinery maintenance ongoing, gas price trends are varying from state to state.

Tennessee’s average gas price is $2.33, which is 2 cents more than last week, 7 cents less than one month ago and 32 cents less than this time last year, AAA reported. The national average of $2.64 is one penny more than last week, 2 cents more than last month and 21 cents cheaper than last year.

U.S. refinery utilization dropped to its lowest rate — 83% — since September 2017, tightening gasoline supplies and causing nearly half of all state gas price averages to increase on the week.

“Peak refinery maintenance season has caused volatility across the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson, in a press release. “Motorists can expect fluctuations at the pump likely through the end of the month due to ongoing maintenance and tighter gasoline supply.”

Weekly trends

• Nearly half (22) of all states saw gas prices increase, with nine state averages jumping a nickel or more.

• Nineteen states saw gas prices decrease, with the majority seeing 1- to 2-cent declines.

• Ten state averages held steady.

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Nashville ($2.39)

• Jackson ($2.38)

• Memphis ($2.36)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Chattanooga ($2.25)

• Knoxville ($2.26)

• Kingsport-Bristol ($2.28)

What about oil?

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude decreased 15 cents to settle at $53.78, AAA reported.

Crude prices mostly fell last week. When compared to last year’s rate at this time, crude production is up by 1.7 million barrels per day this year.

Additionally, trade tensions between China and the U.S. continue to worry the market, putting downward pressure on prices. If trade tensions continue, prices could take another step back this week.

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