Georgia gas prices set a fresh new 2018-high last week.
Saturday's state average of $2.66 is the highest since September, when prices were recovering from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Sunday's state average of $2.66 is 10 cents less than the national average and 38 cents more than this time last year, according to the AAA Auto Club.
Georgia ranks 31st among states, and gasoline prices in Coweta range from $2.59-$2.70.
"High oil prices are the main reason gasoline is so expensive right now," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group in a press release. "Crude oil costs about 25 percent more than last year, as what used to be a global glut of oil is now tightening. Now the added expense for oil is making it more expensive to produce gasoline. On the gasoline side, demand is strong and inventories are down, as refineries wrap-up their maintenance season and begin pushing out summer-blend fuel, which is more expensive to produce. So there are currently a number of factors keeping upward pressure on gas prices.”
Jenkins said gas prices should hit their annual peak within the next couple weeks,but unforeseen circumstances like escalating geopolitical tensions or a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico would cause prices to surge.
“Unfortunately, oil prices could still remain elevated heading into the summer travel season,” Jenkins said. “Which means, travelers will likely find the most expensive summer gas prices in four years."
In a previous Newnan Times-Herald interview, Joe Crain, Jr. with Crain Oil Company Inc., a full-service petroleum marketer located in Newnan, said prices at the pump usually increase about this time of year because of the preparation of summer blend gasoline, but Crain said most of the increase is emotionally driven by tension in Syria.
“Although Syria is not a producing country of oil, they are a buyer tied with Iran and Russia who are big players in the market and the emotions or just the fear factor of any interruption of any kind or disturbance has made prices jump,” Crain said. “The market usually tends to overreact.”
Crain said crude oil prices have been on a steady climb upward in the last year, mainly as a result of the economy doing well and the increase in supply.
“That’s your standard economics at work to me, and when you put that on top of any kind of tension, it drives it that price up much more,” Crain said. “On average you can see a 12-18 cent difference and this year it is more because of the great economy. People have more money in their pockets.”