State gas prices projected to soar

Published 9:04am Wednesday, February 19, 2014

For those who enjoyed gas prices dipping just below $3 a gallon or sitting right at that mark, it was short-lived.

Last week the average gallon of gas in the state increased 4.1 cents to a state average of $3.14 per gallon.

In Wetumpka the average gallon of gas jumped from $3.01 per gallon to $3.19 in less than two weeks.

Experts say the national average cost of gas will likely increase 35-50 cents a gallon heading into the summer season.

“This new trend may signal the beginning of ‘March Madness,’ the time of the year that brings large spikes in gas prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com

Oil prices have increased about $6 per barrel since 2014 to just over $100 per barrel.

“Very few stations have gasoline under $3 per gallon, and I expect those few stations will but dry up over the next couple of weeks,” he said.

DeHaan believes the highest prices will be in April or May.

“That will be the start of the summer driving season that brings the switch to more expensive, cleaner burning summer gasoline,” he said.

While gas prices increase, they are much lower than they were a year ago in Alabama.

The average price for a gallon of gas was 42.6 cents higher last year.

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