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Thursday September 21st, 2017 10:04AM

AAA: Georgia gas prices up almost five cents from last week

By Alyson Shields Reporter

Gas prices in the state were 4.5 cents higher than a week ago, with the state averaging at $2.15 a gallon Sunday, according to the latest fuel price report with AAA.

Nationally, gas was $2.25 a gallon, down a penny from a week ago and three cents more than this time last year. 

The most expensive gas in Georgia was in Atlanta at $2.23 a gallon; the least expensive was in Augusta-Aiken with $1.98.

"Gas prices could inch a little higher this week," said spokesman Mark Jenkins. "Refineries are running on all cylinders, cutting into excess crude stocks. That helped push oil prices higher last week, which puts upward pressure on prices at the pump. The increase on the retail-side may only amount to as much as 5 cents by the end of the week. While this could be the start of a gradual uptick in gas prices, drivers are likely to continue saving at the pump compared to what they paid earlier this year."

Demand for gas has reached a milestone, not reaching an all time high July 7 but reached a "Top 5" milestone at 9.786 b/d. Demand has remained strong based on the EIA's measurements for the summer and is mostly keeping the pace of Summer 2016. The rolling four-week average stands at 9.711 million b/d, which is nearly identical to the average for the summer of 2016 at this time.

The price report indicates oil prices have reached an 11 day high, up 46 cents to $46.54. "The market has been trending upward slightly after EIA’s weekly report showed that last week, crude oil inventories dropped below 500 million bbl for the first time since late January. Moreover, total inventories of crude are just 4.4 million bbl more than last year, showing that the surplus is draining – albeit rather slowly," the report said.

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