AAA: Gas prices expected to rise by 15 cents this week

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Looking state-by-state, the largest weekly changes in average gas prices were seen in: MI (+12 cents), Utah (+9 cents), Idaho (+8 cents), Nebraska (+8 cents), Georgia (+7 cents), IL (+7 cents), West Virginia (+7 cents), Missouri (+7 cents), Texas (+7 cents) and Tennessee (+7 cents).

"Ultimately, (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) bears much of the responsibility for cutting oil production in 2017, leaving US oil inventories at far lower levels than a year ago".

AAA warned drivers this week to expect an increase in gas prices because of the ongoing conflict in Syria and its impact on crude oil prices. But that's 26 cents higher than past year and would be the highest average summer price in the USA since 2014.

If gas prices follow their typical trajectory, they may rise slightly in the next month or so but should start falling after that, DeHaan said.

Stephanie Milani with AAA Tennessee says gasoline prices have risen about 6 cents in the past week, but a much sharper rise in pump prices is just ahead.

GasBuddy, which also surveys thousands of retailers across the country to determine up-to-the-minute gasoline costs, had the average price in the state of Georgia Monday at $2.61, 7.5 cents a gallon more than a week ago. Refinery maintenance has gone well thus far, and gasoline supply has continued to push higher as more refiners conclude their work. And California's relatively healthy economy has prompted Golden State residents to hit the road well before the traditional summer driving season.

Michigan's lowest average price was about $2.69 per gallon in the Marquette area.

"Demand for gasoline this March was very strong, closer to the demand AAA typically sees during the summer", Michael Blasky, AAA Northern California, said earlier this month.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for gas price comparison site GasBuddy.com, said that's the highest national average price since July 2015. "Let's just hope we don't go to extra innings". However, we're likely in the closing innings of the seasonal rise.

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