Palm Beach County regains Florida’s priciest gas with 7-cent jump

Gas prices revved up 7 cents per gallon in Palm Beach County coming off the state’s most expensive July since 2014, motorist group AAA said Monday.

That drove Palm Beach County back into Florida’s top spot for the highest average cost at $2.91 per gallon, after a brief lapse to third place a week earlier at $2.84 behind Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($2.89) and Panama City ($2.86), AAA figured.

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Gasoline production reached the fifth-highest weekly volume in history, according to industry figures cited by the group. The highest: The week of July 4 earlier this summer.

Energy futures prices seemed to be slipping by the weekend, which in theory points to a bit of upcoming relief at the pump, though demand remains high, said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.

Jenkins called it “one of the biggest driving summers in history.”

RELATED Check out the Palm Beach Post’s gas price guide

He noted “demand historically remains strong through August, which should prevent prices from slipping anywhere near the lows we saw last year.”

Oil prices remain the biggest but hardly the only ingredient that goes into the retail price of a gallon of gas.

In June, crude oil accounted for 56 percent of the average U.S. gallon’s price, with refining chipping in 15 percent, distribution and marketing 13 percent and taxes 16 percent, the U.S. Energy Information Administration calculated.

Also baked into the street price: A station owner’s perceptions of what a local market will bear.

In Palm Beach County, prices per gallon can vary up to nearly 70 cents in the same city. Stations may figure that factors such as convenience to affluent neighborhoods or proximity to a major artery such as Interstate 95 will make it worthwhile for drivers not to notice or bother to drive across town.

Similarly, drivers may be willing to pay more for a snack or beverage at a convenience store than take the trouble of going to a grocery store or discount chain where prices may be much lower.

But for those who don’t feel like pouring more cash than necessary down the tank, there’s plenty of opportunity to save.

In West Palm Beach, prices Monday ranged from $2.67 at Sam’s Club on 45th Street to $3.14 at Texaco on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and Village Boulevard, according to price-tracker GasBuddy.

In Jupiter, the gamut ran from $2.79 at Sunoco on U.S. 1 to $3.09 at Chevron on West Indiantown Road.

In Wellington, reported prices ranged from $2.79 at Shell on State Road 7 to $2.99 at Shell on Wellington Trace.

In Boynton Beach, a wide spread covered $2.70 at BJ’s on West Boynton Beach Boulevard to $3.39 at 7-Eleven on the same street, according to GasBuddy.

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