Gas prices rise on worries that cold weather could affect refinery output, distribution

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Delaware gas prices moved toward the $3 a gallon mark in the past week.

The national average for a gallon of gas increased slightly over the same period, with Delaware clocking in with a nickel increase.

A likely culprit is wintery weather, which hampers refining operations and gasoline distribution. It resulted in some frigid regions seeing price jumps, AAA reported. A break in the cold weather is expected in some areas including the Mid-Atlantic.

On Monday signs pointed toward an eventual 10-cent jump at some stations, with at least one Wawa boosting prices by a dime a gallon.

Northern Delaware, home of the state’s lone refinery, saw its first measurable snowfall in nearly two years.

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The price at the pump is still about 50 cents lower than during the same period a year ago, reducing the cost of a 15-gallon fill up by $7.50.

The lowest prices came from membership clubs Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s, which were posting prices for regular at $2.81 or less per gallon.

“If June and July are when we typically see the highest gas prices, then December and January are when we see the lows. And this pattern is holding firm,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “The national average for gas will probably maintain this slow shuffle higher for the next week or two.”

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration, gasoline demand remains robust after it took a slight step back from 8.33 to 8.27 million barrels a day last week.

Monday gas prices

TimeframeRegularMid-GradePremiumDiesel
Current Avg.$2.985$3.501$3.797$3.805
Yesterday Avg.$2.986$3.504$3.824$3.808
Week Ago Avg.$2.927$3.464$3.764$3.802
Month Ago Avg.$3.066$3.579$3.878$3.994
Year Ago Avg.$3.459$3.850$4.126$4.382
From AAA

Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 3.1 million bbl to 248.1 million barrels. Fluctuating oil prices, alongside robust demand, have pushed pump prices up, but price gains have been capped due to rising gasoline inventories. If oil prices continue to see upward pressure, drivers could see pump prices increase steadily in the weeks ahead.

As of Monday, crude oil was trading at around $75 a barrel, up from last week. Factors affecting crude prices include winter storms putting strains on refineries and the shipping situation in the Red Sea that could lead to longer voyages for crude oil shipments.

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