Maine gas prices back on the rise

Posted March 07, 2016, at 9:23 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The average price of gas ticked up 3 cents in Maine, but petroleum reserves are expected to dampen price hikes during the coming months.

The gas tracking site GasBuddy reported the average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline jumped more than 3 cents in the past week, to a statewide average of $1.81. The national average increased at a faster rate, jumping almost 7 cents in the past week.

Will Speer, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, attributed much of the increase to refineries switching to a summer blend, which has lower emissions and is more expensive to produce.

“While most of the gasoline market was pricing in the premium associated with the transition to summer-blend gasoline, last week’s strength in crude futures prices provided no relief for the rising gas prices,” Speer said in a news release.

U.S. stocks of crude oil and petroleum products hit an all-time high in February, which Speer said will help dampen any price increase to come from dropping production levels.

“This oversupply will provide a ceiling for gas prices over the next couple of months as spring refinery maintenance and the summer-blend gasoline transition put upward pressure on prices,” Speer said.

The average price of gasoline in New Hampshire and Vermont also rose in the past week, up more than 2 cents to $1.70 and up more than 1 cent to $1.85, respectively.

 

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