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Expect to pay $3 for gas soon, AAA says

By Times Staff
Published April 11, 2007


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What's been going on with gas prices?

They've soared over the past 10 weeks, rising from $2.13 to $2.78 for a gallon of regular unleaded in the Tampa Bay area, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. One reason has been refinery outages that lasted longer than expected, reducing supply. Other factors include higher crude oil prices, higher demand and reduced gasoline imports.

Where will it stop?

The Energy Department predicted Tuesday that the national average for regular unleaded will peak at $2.87 a gallon next month. However, AAA officials aren't quite that optimistic. "I'm hoping they're right, but I think we'll surpass that in Florida," spokesman Randy Bly said. "We could see increases continuing right up through Memorial Day weekend, which could put us right at that $3 mark." After that, he expects prices to ease, with refineries coming back on line and gas inventories building.

Where can I get a good deal on gas?

Not in California, Nevada, Washington or Hawaii, where prices already top $3 a gallon. The average price Tuesday was lowest in New Jersey, at $2.60 a gallon.

In the Tampa Bay area, consumer volunteers at GasBuddy.com saw relatively low prices at the following gas stations Tuesday afternoon: RaceTrac, 12025 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg ($2.75 per gallon, regular unleaded); Sam's Club, 2575 Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater ($2.68); and 7-Eleven, 8801 Memorial Highway, Tampa ($2.69).

By the numbers 

$2.78 Average Tampa Bay area price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline

$2.87 Peak price predicted for May by the U.S. Energy Department

$3 Likely area price by late summer, according to AAA

 

[Last modified April 10, 2007, 23:14:42]


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