ATLANTA — Gas prices today continued to increase at the pump compared to the previous week as concerns about Russia, increased demand and other factors pushed the price up locally and nationally, analysts say.
Newton County's average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gas was $3.31 today, Feb. 14, up from about $3.15 one month ago, according to AAA.
Lowest prices at Newton County stations reported to GasBuddy.com Sunday were at a retailer at the intersection of Ga. highways 11 and 142 in east Newton at $3.09; and along Salem Road in west Newton where prices as low as $3.19 were seen.
Compared to neighboring counties, Newton's average price for unleaded was slightly higher than Walton ($3.29) and Henry ($3.30); but lower than Rockdale ($3.32), Butts ($3.34), Morgan ($3.35) and Jasper ($3.36).
Newton's average price also was slightly lower than the Metro Atlanta average of $3.34 and the statewide average of $3.33.
Other grades of gas in Metro Atlanta cost an average of $3.67 for mid-grade, $4.01 for premium, and $3.78 for diesel, AAA reported
It costs motorists an average of $49.95 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline in Georgia, according to AAA.
Least expensive Georgia metro markets were Catoosa-Dade-Walker ($3.24) and Dalton ($3.27) in the state's north end, and in Gainesville in Metro Atlanta ($3.29).
The most expensive Georgia metro markets were Brunswick ($3.44), Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($3.43), and Savannah ($3.42).
Montrae Waiters, AAA-The Auto Club Group spokeswoman, said crude oil prices set new 2022 highs on Friday amid concerns over how a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine could result in sanctions on Russian oil "which could make the oil market even tighter than it currently is.”
“Georgians can expect pump prices to remain high for a while,” Waiters said.
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said the increase in gasoline prices has continued unabated nationwide as oil prices continue to push higher — reaching $94 per barrel last week on continued concern over concerns about Russia.
He said the bulk of the nation also is starting the multi-month transition to summer gasoline, further adding to the rise at the pump.
"In addition, cold weather in Texas last week caused some power outages at major refineries, further weighing on markets.
"I see no other potentials in the short term but additional price increases unless Russia does an about-face on Ukraine. Even then, we'll still see seasonality push prices up, so motorists should be ready to dig deeper."
Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by 5 cents to $3.48.
A decrease in total stocks and an increase in demand have contributed to upward pressure on pump prices, but rising crude prices continue to play a dominant role in pushing pump prices higher.
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 1.6 million barrels to 248.4 million barrels last week. On the other hand, gasoline demand increased from 8.23 million barrels a day to 9.13 million barrels a day.
Pump prices will likely continue to follow suit as demand grows and stocks decrease if crude prices continue to climb, according to AAA.