Average gas prices in Tennessee have risen about 25 cents in the last month to $2.35 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline. Monday’s average in Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol stood at $2.30.
"March Madness is already in full swing at pumps across the country, as the U.S. has seen the national average rise for five straight weeks, and there's no sign of a slowdown yet," GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan said in a news release. "Several perhaps major refinery issues flared up over the weekend, including fires at two facilities that could push wholesale gasoline prices up notably, mainly in the Pacific Northwest and the Gulf Coast, should the shutdowns linger.
“This is the time of year that energy markets are very sensitive to such unexpected outages as dozens of refineries across the country perform maintenance in a tight window ahead of the summer driving season,” he continued. “Any major outages can lead to tight inventory ahead of specification changes and have a severe impact on gas prices. The situation is delicate and bears further monitoring in the days ahead."
Although oil prices ended lower last week, the national gas price average rose, according to AAA analysts.
“The steady increase of gasoline demand mixed with the gradual decrease of gasoline stocks since February attributed to gradually increasing gasoline prices across the country. Regionally, exports as well as planned and unplanned refinery maintenance is adding to the upward pressure on gas prices.” AAA spokeswoman Stephanie Milani said.
Monday’s national gas price average stood at $2.54.
For more information on local, state and national gas price trends, visit www.gasbuddy.com or www.gasprices.aaa.com.