Gas prices on the rise

Published 7:58 am Friday, April 13, 2018

Gas prices are getting pumped up to their highest level in years, according to Gas Buddy, a source for real-time fuel prices.

At midday Thursday, Austin’s prices for regular gas were falling between $2.49 and $2.57 at stations.

A year ago, the average Minnesota price for regular was $2.31; last month, it was $2.45.

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The national average price of gasoline is now its priciest since July 2015, nearly 1,000 days, rising to $2.68 per gallon overnight Thursday according to GasBuddy.

The sudden surge after a week of relative calm at the pump can be blamed on oil prices surging to nearly $67 per barrel, the highest level since 2014, on fears of military action in Syria and trade conflict with China, Gas Buddy says. Gas Buddy monitors U.S. gas prices in real time.

U.S. oil inventories also stand 20 percent lower than a year ago, the result of higher crude oil exports and OPEC’s agreement to cut oil production, now in its 15th month.

Smaller issues driving prices up include refinery maintenance season, which is beginning to wrap up, and the switchover to summer gasoline, which is also nearing completion.

Overall, the rally at the pump may be near a “seventh-inning stretch” with the summer driving season just six weeks away.