Gasoline prices rising in wake of Middle East tensions

Get ready for gasoline prices to go up this week. The conflict in Syria sent crude oil prices to their highest point in more than three years, and as a result, motorists are about to feel the pain at the pump, AAA said Monday.

“Motorists should expect a 15-cent increase at the pump in the short term,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “However, prices could rise even more, depending on how the crude market responds to the latest news of a U.S. missile strike over the weekend.”

Palm Beach County’s average for a gallon of regular rose to $2.76 Monday from $2.73 a week ago. Florida’s average stood at $2.62, up a penny from a week ago, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

Monday’s national average of $2.71 is the highest since July 2015. Florida gas prices are the most expensive since February.

Crude prices rose more than $5 last week, which was the largest weekly increase in more than eight months. Crude is climbing due to the potential of U.S. sanctions against Syria’s sponsors: Russia and Iran. Syria has not exported oil since civil war broke out in 2011. However, the country receives fuel deliveries from Iran, AAA said.

Crude oil closed at $67.39 per barrel on Friday, the highest daily settlement since December 2014. Wholesale gasoline prices responded in kind, rising nearly 15 cents.

Fuel prices are once again vulnerable to conflict in the middle east, because global supplies are tightening. The OPEC and Non-OPEC production cut agreement is eliminating the global oil supply glut that led to lower prices in recent years. OPEC expects the oil market to re-balance in the second or third quarter this year.

Here are the lowest gasoline prices in various cities in our area as reported to GasBuddy on Monday.

Jupiter: $2.61, Mobil, 3950 E. Indiantown Road; Circle K, 126 W. Indiantown Road

Juno Beach: $2.55, Shell, 14731 U.S. 1

North Palm Beach: $2.49, Sunoco, 900 U.S. 1

Palm Beach Gardens: $2.55, Sunoco, 2490 PGA Blvd.

Lake Park: $2.52, Sunoco, 774 Northlake Blvd.; Marathon, 980 Northlake Blvd.; Speedway, 1216 Northlake Blvd.; RaceTrac, 200 N. Congress Ave.

Riviera Beach: $2.59, Wawa, 7289 Garden Road; 7-Eleven, 7280 N. Military Trail; Chevron, 4128 Blue Heron Blvd.; RaceTrac, 4156 W. Blue Heron Blvd.; Marathon, 3691 W. Blue Heron Blvd.

West Palm Beach: $2.49, Citro, 2765 W. Forest Hill Blvd.; 7-Eleven, 1733 S. Congress Ave.; 7-Eleven, 720 S. Congress Ave.;

7-Eleven, 1730 S. Military Trail; Chevron, 2521 Forest Hill Blvd.; Sunoco, 2500 Forest Hill Blvd.; Cumberland Farms, 1721 Kirk Road

Wellington: $2.59, Marathon, 2741 State Road 7; Shell, 192 U.S. 1

Royal Palm Beach: $2.49, Costco, 11001 Lamstein Lane

Lake Worth: $2.49, Marathon, 3276 S. Congress Ave.; Speedway, 3965 S. Congress Ave.; RaceTrac, 3032 Lake Worth Road; Shell, 4021 Lake Worth Road; Sunoco, 3985 Lake Worth Road

Lantana: $2.49, Costco, 1573 W. Lantana Road; Shell, 1320 W. Lantana Road

Boynton Beach: $2.57, BJ’s 1540 W. Boynton Beach Blvd.

Delray Beach: $2.63, Murphy USA, 16211 S. Military Trail

Boca Raton: $2.59 Costco, 17800 Congress Ave.

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