Gas prices continue their upward climb in 2018, as rising demand combines to meet with higher oil prices.
According to the American Automobile Association, the average fuel price in Florida rose five cents over the last week to $2.50 per gallon on Tuesday. Lee County’s average is at the same price point, leaping nine cents in the last week to get there, while the Naples average jumped seven cents to $2.54.
But while drivers are paying more than they typically would – statewide the average is 12 cents higher than a year ago – as gas prices continue to buck the traditional winter decline trend, it could have been worse, says The Auto Club Group’s Mark Jenkins.
“Gas prices have yet to travel south for the winter, thanks in large part to a strong oil market,” said Jenkins. “The recent gains in oil prices would normally result in higher gas prices, but supply levels are at their highest levels since June, which have helped to stave off a significant hike.”
Oil prices have risen steadily over the last few months. West Texas Intermediate crude has gone from around $46 per barrel at the end of August, rising to pass the $60 mark at the start of the year and hit nearly $65 on Friday. Oil closed just below $64 on Tuesday at $63.73 per barrel.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that oil prices will average around $56 per barrel in 2018. They’ve also projected the average annual gas price nationwide to run $2.57 per gallon on the year. Tuesday’s national average was $2.53.
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