11:52 am January 30, 2012, by Fran Jeffries
Filling your tank will lighten your pockets a bit more this week as gas prices in metro Atlanta continue to climb. Pump prices have risen 3.4 cents in the last week — to an average of $3.48 a gallon on Sunday.
Analysts point to three main reasons for the uptick: a shutdown of multiple refineries across the U.S.; the continuing economic turmoil in Europe, and Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz.
“Although oil prices remain near $100 a barrel, retail gas prices continue to rise at a steady pace,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman. “Concerns of dwindling supplies from refinery shutdowns in the U.S., at a time when gas demand is starting to improve are driving pump prices higher.” She said consumers are likely to see gas prices increase again this week.
Prices Sunday were 51.5 cents per gallon higher than the same day a year ago and are 28.9 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, according to GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan.
“We continue to also watch how Iran responds to EU sanctions- there are some concerns that they may cut oil to the European region before the sanctions are to take effect to cause these countries hardship when they can’t find new sources of oil quickly enough. That in itself could draw crude oil prices higher quickly at a moments notice,” DeHaan said.
Meanwhile, lower than average prices have been spotted throughout metro Atlanta. GasBuddy.com reports regular unleaded gas for $3.34 at Home Depot, 3355 N. Cobb Pkwy near Acworth; $3.35 at an Ingles at 3701 Walt Stephens Rd & Speer Rd. in Stockbridge, and $3.35 at a Marathon at 326 Cherokee St & Timber Lake Rd in Kennesaw.
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