Gas prices take unseasonable turn higher

Staff Reports • Updated Oct 11, 2018 at 8:00 AM

NASHVILLE – Gas prices in Tennessee rose 6 cents last week. 

Sunday’s state average of $2.69 per gallon was 9 cents more than a month ago, and 29 cents more than this time last year. 

The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Nashville at $2.72, Kingsport-Bristol at $2.71 and Jackson at $2.71. The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Clarksville-Hopkinsville at $2.64, Knoxville at $2.64 and Chattanooga at $2.64.

“Motorists are paying higher-than-normal prices at the pump for this time of year,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. “Global supply and demand concerns continue to weigh on oil prices, which are dragging gas prices higher as a result. OPEC output remains low, and U.S. sanctions are expected to limit exports of Iranian crude. All of this is happening while global demand keeps growing. These fundamentals could keep upward pressure on prices at the pump during a time of year when motorists normally begin to pay less.”

Crude oil prices reached their highest point in nearly four years. Prices settled at $76.41 per barrel last Wednesday, the highest since Nov. 21, 2014. Crude prices trended lower through the second half of last week and settled at $74.34 per barrel. 

Domestically, crude oil supply was at the highest point in a month, according to the latest report from the Energy Information Administration. U.S. oil production rates stayed at a record-setting 11.1 million barrels per day, for the second consecutive week.

Domestic gasoline supplies are healthy, and production levels remain at an average point for this time of year, Jenkins said. While weekly measured gasoline demand metrics are below summer levels – as is customary in the fall – the latest jobs report showed the lowest unemployment numbers in nearly 50 years and suggested continued strength in gasoline demand, as Americans commute to work in large numbers.

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