County gas prices rise slightly; more increases expected

Gasoline prices increased throughout most of the country last week, rising 5 cents on average in Florida and just 1 cent in Palm Beach County.

The national average for a gallon of regular stood at $2.61 Monday, while Florida’s was $2.60, and Palm Beach County’s $2.72, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said the price increase in Palm Beach County happened a couple of days before the state average rose, and it happened over a longer period of time.

Gasoline prices are running highest for this time of year since 2014.

“Every motorist in the country is paying more at the pump year over year. At 18 cents, Utah is seeing the smallest increase and California is feeling the biggest increase at 52 cents compared to the same time last year,” said AAA spokeswoman Jeanette Casselano.

Palm Beach County’s average is 27 cents higher than a year ago, and Florida’s is up 32 cents.

“Strong demand coupled with steadily rising oil prices means filling up will continue to cost consumers more this month. In fact the last time the national gas price average was this high, but under $3 a gallon in February was in 2010,” Casselano said.

GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, Patrick DeHaan, said high oil prices continue to push gasoline prices to territory that Americans haven’t seen in years, aside from Hurricane Harvey in September.

“While oil production in the U.S. reaches highs not seen since the 1970s, OPEC’s production cuts for the last year have weighed heavily on global inventories, mitigating any small rise in U.S. production,” DeHaan said.

“The damage could get even worse with refinery maintenance season and the transition to summer gasoline on the horizon. This has been a storm brewing since the Obama administration legalized oil exports and OPEC decided to forgo market share to tighten global supply,” DeHaan said. “All of this and more will lead to average gas prices being 25 to 50 cents per gallon higher by Memorial Day.”

Gasoline prices may begin a larger upward trend after Valentine’s Day as refineries will likely ramp up maintenance plans, thus reducing the amount of gasoline being produced and likely leading to higher prices, DeHaan said.

Here’s a look at the lowest prices in our area, as reported to Monday. Prices can change at any time.

Jupiter: $2.55, Mobil, 2950 E. Indiantown Road; Circle K, 126 W. Indiantown Road

Palm Beach Gardens: $2.59, Sunoco, 2490 PGA Blvd.

North Palm Beach: $2.55, Chevron, 819 Northlake Blvd.; Shell, 9009 Prosperity Farms Road

Riviera Beach: $2.58, 7-Eleven, 7280 N. Military Trail

Lake Park: $2.50, Marathon, 980 Northlake Blvd.; Citgo, 1401 10th Street; Murphy USA, 103 N. Congress Ave.; Sunoco, 774 Northlake Blvd.; Speedway, 1216 Northlake Blvd.

West Palm Beach: $2.47, Sam’s Club, 4295 45th St.

Royal Palm Beach: $2.49, Costco, 11001 Southern Blvd.

Wellington: $2.59, Shell, 192 U.S. 441

Lake Worth: $2.48, 7-Eleven, 4774 S. Military Trail; Cumberland Farms, 4771 S. Military Trail; J&A, 4703 S. Military Trail

Lantana: $2.48, Costco, 1873 W. Lantana Road

Boynton Beach: $2.56, BJ’s, 1540 W. Boynton Beach Blvd.

Delray Beach: $2.51, Murphy USA, 16211 S. Military Trail

Boca Raton: $2.53, Costco, 17800 Congress Ave.

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