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Gas prices expected to increase this week

Staff Report • Sep 16, 2019 at 2:44 PM

NASHVILLE — Gas and oil prices are expected to increase this week as tensions rise in the Middle East.

Tennessee’s state average gas price is $2.27 per gallon for regular unleaded, which is 1 cent more than last week's average, 8 cents more than a month ago and 32 cents more than one year ago, AAA reported.

The national gas price average is $2.56, which is the same price as last week, 7 cents less than a month ago and 29 cents cheaper than a year ago.

“Americans can expect local pump prices to start to increase this week. The jump could end up being as much as a quarter per gallon throughout this month,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson, in a press release. “Whether this is a short or long term trend will be determined by the price of crude oil prices and how quickly the facilities in Saudi Arabia can recover and get back online.”

Local averages

• Kingsport-Bristol: $2.25

• Johnson City: $2.28

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Nashville: $2.34

• Jackson: $2.31

• Memphis: $2.29

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Cleveland: $2.10

• Chattanooga: $2.14

• Clarksville-Hopkinsville: $2.19

What about oil?

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude decreased by 24 cents to settle at $54.85, AAA reported. But on Monday, the price was up to $61 per barrel.

Overall, oil prices were mixed. Early in the week, oil prices fell after reports emerged that the Trump Administration is considering relaxing sanctions on Iran, which would put more oil into an already oversupplied market.

However, the losses were tempered by the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report showing that total domestic crude inventories fell by 6.9 million barrels last week. They now sit at 416.1 million barrels, which is nearly 20 million barrels higher than were they were this time last year.

For this week, crude prices will see increases due to increased tension in the Middle East — specifically stemming from the attacks in Saudi Arabia — and could be bolstered by increased optimism that China and the U.S., the world’s two largest crude consumers, may be nearing a resolution to the trade war.

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