Maine gas prices nudge closer to $2 per gallon

Posted March 21, 2016, at 9:22 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline rose another 5 cents in the past week in Maine, mirroring the increase across the nation.

Maine’s average price stood at $1.95 per gallon Sunday, compared with a $1.98 national average, according to the price tracking site GasBuddy.com.

Crude oil prices have picked up from a low in the mid-$20 range in recent weeks, which stands to drive up pump prices. Refinery costs also are expected to rise as they phase in a lower-emitting summer blend that is more expensive to produce.

While prices are on the rise, Maine’s average remains 44 cents lower than one year ago. The national average also is 44 cents cheaper than one year ago.

GasBuddy and the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected prices will remain lower on average this year than in 2015, despite the expected rise in crude oil prices, political and tax uncertainties and the removal in December of a 40-year ban on exporting crude oil from the United States.

In March, the Energy Information Administration significantly dropped its forecast of monthly gasoline prices, putting its expectation for May at $1.99 per gallon, down from an original forecast of $2.49 per gallon in January.

 

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