Georgia gasoline prices surged six cents a gallon over the past week, according to AAA-The Auto Club South, but so far the security breach at Alpharetta-based Colonial Pipeline has not factored into the increase.
"While April saw minimal fluctuation, May is likely to see much larger increases alongside demand spikes, especially closer to Memorial Day weekend," said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman for AAA . "AAA continues to monitor the Colonial Pipeline outage and what effect it may have on gas prices. At this time it’s just too early to know if it will cause pump prices to increase."
Georgia motorists are now paying an average price of $2.76 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. Monday's state average is six cents more than last week and six cents more than last month and $1.13 more than this time last year.
It now costs motorists $41.40 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline, which is $4.50 more than what motorists paid in January of 2020 when pump prices hit their peak of $2.46 per gallon.
NATIONAL AVERAGE JUMPS AS SPRING DRIVING SEASON BLOOMS
Since last Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by 6 cents to $2.96. According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic refinery utilization increased to 86.5 percent last week amid a slight drop in demand from 8.88 million barrels a day to 8.86 million barrels a day. American drivers should expect continued price fluctuations at the pump in the lead-up to Memorial Day Weekend.
OIL MARKET DYNAMICS
At the close of last week’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 92 cents to settle at $64.71. Crude prices have increased this week, but continuing market concern that crude demand will stumble due to surging coronavirus infection rates around the globe have limited price gains. Additionally, prices increased after EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic crude oil inventory dropped by 8 million barrels to 485.1 million barrels. If total supply decreases again next week, crude prices could climb alongside pump prices.
- Most expensive Georgia metro markets – Brunswick ($2.83), Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($2.82), and Valdosta ($2.77).
- Least expensive Georgia metro markets – Catoosa-Dade-Walker ($2.67), Rome ($2.70), and Gainesville ($2.73).