Northern Nevada, which receives its fuel from California, saw gas prices soar last week as California refinery malfunctions caused significant increases at the pump. According to the latest report from AAA, which tracks gas prices as a service to consumers, metro areas in Northern Nevada increased at least 18 cents over the past month.
The average price in Nevada for regular, unleaded gasoline is $3.93, an increase of twelve cents from last month. Last year at this time, the average price in Nevada was $3.60 a gallon. That means there has been a year-to-year increase of 33 cents. The national average price of $3.82 is down two cents, which is 42 cents more than the national price on this date last year, when it was $3.40.
The highest gas price of the Nevada metro areas tracked by AAA is in Sparks. The average price in this metro area is $4.28 for regular, unleaded. North Las Vegas has the Silver State's lowest pump price found in metro areas tracked by AAA. Drivers in that metro area are seeing an average price of $3.73.
"Surging California gas prices made national headlines last week due to a Monday power outage at the ExxonMobil refinery in Southern California, sending wholesale gas prices through the roof, not only in the Golden State, but in Northern Nevada as well," says AAA Nevada spokesperson Cynthia Harris. "Northern Nevada gets fuel from Northern California, so metro areas in the northern part of the states experienced sudden increases. Reno gas prices shot up 24 cents in one week."
Nevada has the tenth highest price of gas in the nation. The highest average state price reported by AAA was achieved by California, which reached an average price of $4.67. The second highest state price in the entire country is Hawaii, at $4.41.
Global oil prices are moving lower in response to bearish economic news overseas. After briefly falling below $90 per barrel in late September, West Texas Intermediate oil prices settled below the $90 mark at the end of last week. They continued lower yesterday. At the close of formal trading yesterday, West Texas Intermediate oil fell 55 cents to settle at $89.33.
Of all the metro areas in the United States where gas prices are tracked by AAA, Eureka, California, has the highest average price at $4.80. The least expensive gasoline in the country is found in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina, metro area. The average price of gas in that metro area is $3.45.
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