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Gas Prices Up Again

Motorists continue to see higher prices at the pumps in New Jersey and don’t show any signs of turning around.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price of regular gasoline in New Jersey on Friday was $3.79, up 7 cents from last week. That’s also much higher than it was a year ago, when motorists were paying $3.54.

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Meanwhile, the national average price rose by a penny to $3.94. That’s also much higher than the national average from a year ago, which was $3.73.

The price boost marks the eighteenth straight week that gas prices have risen in New Jersey and they will likely rise more in the coming weeks.

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) says that wholesale gasoline prices “went ballistic” in the Chicago area last week as suppliers switched to summer blends of gasoline, designed to burn more cleanly to reduce smog levels during the intense heat of May, June, July and August.

After Chicago, price jumps are likely in the Northeast, the very place where some big refineries that make summer gasoline blends have been shuttered. Kloza figures these areas may be facing a jump of 15 to 25 cents a gallon from current levels in the coming weeks.

There may be good news regarding the refineries.

AAA Mid Atlantic reports several buyers are interested in operating both the Sun Philadelphia refinery (set to close on July 1) as well as the ConocoPhillips refinery that shut down last October. Both of these refinery closures have kept upward pressure on gasoline prices, especially in the northeast, and if a buyer is indeed found it would likely remove some of the premium in prices due to expected tight supplies.



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