January 15, 2019

Gas averaging $2.44, but survey cites 86-cent range

The average price of gas in Massachusetts dropped five cents in the last week, AAA reported Monday, even as the national average price for gas inched up for the first time in months.

The average cost of a gallon of self-serve unleaded gasoline is $2.44 in Massachusetts, seven cents below its mark from one year ago but still 19 cents more expensive than the national average price, AAA reported Monday.

AAA said it found an 86-cent range in the price of gas across Massachusetts gas stations, from a low of $2.19 per gallon to a high of $3.05 per gallon.

The national average price climbed by a penny in the last week to $2.25 -- the first time the national average price has increased since October, AAA said.

At the national level, the slight price increase is thought to have been driven by a corresponding increase in the price of crude oil. "The price of crude oil has been slowly, but steadily increasing since the beginning of the year, which is starting to push up pump prices," AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said. "The price per barrel increased $3 from last Monday to close on Friday to settle at $51 per barrel."

But Massachusetts has not yet seen the effects of the increase in crude oil prices, local AAA officials said, in part because of "a sizeable build in U.S. gasoline stocks" and relatively low demand.

"Unlike some parts of the country the impact has yet to be felt locally by motorists at the pump," Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast's director of public and legislative affairs, said.

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