And this year's Summer Driving Season, which as actually already begun (it runs April through September), is expected to be 1.3 percent busier than last summer's.
US crude stocks rose last week while gasoline stocks increased and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Americans are consequently expected to pay about 9% more for gasoline this year compared with 2017, EIA said.
Connecticut's gas average has taken a punch too, at $2.75. The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Memphis at $2.40, Knoxville at $2.43 and Chattanooga at $2.44. He said that it seems a bit counterintuitive because "oil production and refining are at nearly record levels" and yet gasoline "prices keep going up". The latter two are generally stable, so changes in gasoline prices are primarily attributable to changes in crude oil prices and wholesale margins.
At the close of Friday's formal trading session on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil decreased $1.48 to settle at $62.06.
EIA forecasts that Brent crude oil will average $63/b ($1.50/gal) this summer, about $12/b ($0.29/gal) higher than last summer.
Crude prices dropped immediately after the report, then rebounded as market players focused on escalating tensions in Syria, after President Donald Trump threatened a missile attack following a chemical weapons attack there this week. Despite lower margins, EIA projects that continued growth in gasoline exports and higher domestic consumption will lead to higher gasoline yields this summer, with gasoline production averaging about 170,000 barrels per day (b/d) more than last summer.
Sunday's average was a half-cent more than last week, 13 cents more than a month ago and 28 cents more than previous year. That projection reflects expectations of highway travel increasing 1.3% relative to last summer, the EIA says.
Look for an average price of $2.74 per gallon across the country - even higher in some areas.