Average retail gasoline prices in Knoxville have risen $0.7 per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.65/g on Labor Day. This compares with the national average that has increased 1.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.80/g, according to gasoline price website KnoxvilleGasPrices.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Knoxville during the past week, prices yesterday were 20.3 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 26.3 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 20.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 12.9 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
“With the conclusion of the summer driving season, we can expect gasoline prices to go on a diet,” said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “Like all diet programs, you may not see immediate loss in the short term, but we’ll likely see some loss in the longer term, say the next several weeks, as factors align in motorists favor- specifically as Isaac has exited without much ado, demand to see seasonal decline, and with cheaper to produce winter-spec higher RVP gasoline coming, there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” DeHaan said.
Motorists paid more for gasoline this past holiday weekend than any other time in history. Retail prices jumped 30 cents per gallon in Tennessee, Georgia, & Florida even though oil prices remain fairly stable. A barrel of oil closed Friday at $96.47 on the New York Mercantile Exchange – 32 cents more than the prior week. The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.83, an 8-cent increase from a week ago today. Tennessee’s average of $3.66 jumped 11 cents from last week.
Hurricane Isaac, the Venezuelan refinery fire and refinery shutdowns in the Gulf of Mexico have kept prices rising, particularly in the southeast. Gulf of Mexico accounts for about 25% of US oil production and it’s estimated the precautionary shutdowns for Isaac alone caused a loss of 2 and 3 million barrels of oil production. However, no damage from Isaac was reported and work has now resumed in the Gulf. The Venezuelan refinery is also resuming operations for processing crude, but units that make gasoline remain offline. Normally, gas prices begin a decline once Labor Day passes when demand starts to fall and winter blend fuel production begins.
For the best efficiency drivers should make sure their cars are in good shape, reduce excess weight in the car, use the most fuel efficient vehicle possible, and combine trips to reduce gasoline use. Other options are to take public transit where possible or ride a bike. Other suggestions are in AAA’s Gas Watcher’s Guide, free at AAA offices, and on the web at www.aaaet.com.
This Week’s Avg. Last Week’s Avg. Change
Knoxville $3.657 $3.558 $0.099
Bristol $3.649 $3.481 $0.168
Cleveland $3.576 $3.465 $0.111
Johnson City $3.622 $3.507 $0.115
Kingsport $3.611 $3.495 $0.116
Maryville $3.657 $3.503 $0.154