Americans are driving more in November, and that’s combined with rising oil prices to drive gas prices higher, the American Automobile Association said Monday.
According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of gas has risen nine cents since the start of November, up to $2.56 per gallon, but increases in Florida have been sharper and more pronounced. Gas prices in Florida have risen an average of 13 cents in the last week – the highest such increase in the nation. Floridians are paying an average of $2.53 per gallon.
“Compared to the first half of November last year, gas prices this November are on average 39 cents more expensive,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said. AAA points to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing gasoline inventories dropping by 3.3 million barrels as one of the culprits.
The spike was even more pronounced in Lee County, which saw an 18 cent jump at the pump in just a week, from $2.33 to $2.51 per gallon. In Naples, the average price is $2.55 per gallon, up six cents this week.
But according to The Auto Club Group, the AAA affiliate which monitors Florida, that jump came all during the latter half of the week last week, with prices holding steady over the weekend.
“Our usual autumn pump price plunge was interrupted by rising oil prices,” said The Auto Club Group’s spokesman Mark Jenkins. “Fortunately, oil prices let off the throttle last week, allowing gas prices to find what appears to be solid ground. However, motorists should expect gas prices to linger at their current levels this week.”
“Analysts warn that oil prices could be somewhat volatile this week, as the consolidation of power in Saudi Arabia leaves speculators questioning the impacts on global oil supply. Fortunately, domestic oil supply and production made solid gains. If that becomes a trend, oil prices could drift lower and take gasoline prices with them.
Last Monday, crude oil hit a two-year high, buoyed by lower U.S. inventory and production, and concerns over the stability Saudi Arabia. The Middle Eastern petrostate’s ruling monarch, King Salman, is rumored to be abdicating the throne to his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been consolidating power in recent weeks and has also indicated plans to sell off portions of state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco.
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