Area gas prices increase slightly

  • Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012 9:39 p.m.
    UPDATED: Saturday, November 24, 2012 6:46 a.m.

Gas prices in the area are seeing a slight bump but it isn’t expected to last long.

Prices all over the area have risen above $3 and nationally Benchmark crude traded up 90 cents at $88.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Rather than being due to the holiday season, however, experts believe the rise is due to unease in the Middle East. According to the Associated Press, “Prior to the shooting, oil prices had been falling, thanks mostly to optimism over the stability in the region that the cease-fire agreement provided.”

According to gasbuddy.com, El Cheapo on Edgefield Road and Johnson Drive in North Augusta has the cheapest gas in the area at $3.01. The Exxon on Hampton Avenue has the cheapest gas in Aiken at $3.09.

Paul Tossetti, senior director of markets and country strategies at PFC Energy, told the AP that prices were linked to the action in Gaza but he expects this to be a temporary bump and the cease fire would ultimately hold.

“I expect the market might back away from those concerns,” he said.

Traders are also looking ahead to the next meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Dec. 12. Tossetti said OPEC has been maintaining high levels of production but he doesn’t expect anything to change at the upcoming meeting.

“It will probably be a non-event and a non-event for prices,” he said.

In the U.S., motorists returning from the Thanksgiving holiday are getting the slightest bit of relief. The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline fell one-tenth of a cent to $3.43. However, that is still 10 cents higher than last Thanksgiving.

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