- Susan Salisbury Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Gasoline prices are down slightly from a week ago, but that downward trend is likely coming to an end, AAA said Monday.
Refineries are entering their seasonal maintenance period, which can place significant upward pressure on prices at the pump. Motorists should expect a minimum increase of 20 to 30 cents a gallon this spring, AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said.
Palm Beach County’s average for a gallon of regular stood at $2.65 Monday, down 3 cents from a week ago. Florida’s average declined 4 cents to $2.52, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.
“Energy prices are rising again, which should signal the end for the steady slump at the pump,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.
“Wholesale gasoline prices jumped last week, amid reports that refinery activity along the gulf coast is slowing down. This will make it more expensive for retailers to purchase gasoline, and that added expense will eventually be passed along to the consumer,” Jenkins said.
Historically, maintenance season has caused gas prices to jump 15-75 cents a gallon from February to June. Last year, pump prices rose 15 cents during that time because oil prices struggled to maintain strength. In 2015 and 2016 gasoline prices jumped 6o to 70 cents after oil rose $15 to $20 a barrel, AAA said.
February’s prices are the highest in four years. Florida gas prices declined during the past 17 consecutive days for a total discount of 16 cents. However, motorists are paying 24 cents per gallon more than this time last year — a difference of $4 for a average-sized tank of gasoline.
Crude oil prices rose $1.87 a barrel in the last week. West Texas Intermediate reached a settlement of $63.55 Friday on the NYMEX.
Crude oil prices regained strength last week after protests caused a large Libyan oil field shut down.
Here the lowest prices in our area Monday, as reported to GasBuddy.com. Prices can change at any time.
Jupiter: $2.55, Marathon, 5490 Military Trail
Juno Beach: $2.43., Shell, 14731 U.S. 1
Palm Beach Gardens: $2.48, Sunoco, 2490 PGA Blvd.
North Palm Beach: $2.43, Marathon, 11269 U.S. 1
Lake Park: $2.38, Speedway, 1216 Northlake Blvd.; Murphy USA, 103 N. Congress Ave.; Sunoco, 774 Northlake Blvd.
West Palm Beach: $2.37, Marathon, 4111 Okeechobee Blvd.
Royal Palm Beach: $2.33, Costco, 11001 Southern Blvd.
Wellington: $2.45, Shell, 192 U.S. 441
Lake Worth: $2.33, Marathon, 4567 S. Congress Ave.; RaceTrac, 3032 Lake Worth Road; Speedway, 3965 S. Congress Ave.; Marathon, 3276 S. Congress Ave.; Marathon, 3276 S. Congress Ave.; Shell, 4021 Lake Worth Road; Sunoco, 3985 Lake Worth Road
Lantana: $2.33, Costco, 1873 W. Lantana Road
Boynton Beach: $2.38, BJ’s, 1540 W. Boynton Beach Blvd.
Delray Beach: $2.48, Murphy USA, 16211 S. Military Trail
Boca Raton: $2.48, Costco, 17800 Congress Ave.