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Thursday, March 6, 2014
Local gas prices rose two cents this week to $3.69 a gallon, according to AAA East Central.

The average prices for a gallon of gas locally is $3.69, up from $3.67 a week ago, but down from $3.97 a year ago.

Today’s national average price at the pump is $3.46 per gallon, three cents more expensive than one week ago and 18 cents more than one month ago; however national prices remain 29 cents per gallon less than the same date last year.

Gas prices are expected to continue to rise in the coming weeks due to seasonal refinery maintenance; however the national price at the pump is unlikely to surpass last year’s high and AAA expects it to peak between $3.55-3.75, barring any unexpected market-moving events. The rapidly escalating geopolitical tensions with Russia in the Ukraine could constitute such an event should global oil supply be impacted.

The ongoing conflicts in the Ukraine, including reports that Russia had sent troops into the Crimean peninsula, have been a major story in the past few days. While there has been no disruption to global supply, Russia is the third largest oil producing nation at 10.4 million barrels per day according to the most recent Energy Information Administration data. Further escalation could propel global oil prices higher, which has the potential to magnify the seasonal price increase at the pump.

At the close of Monday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled at $104.92 per barrel, which was the highest settlement price since September 19.

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