Gas prices rise another 3 cents on the week

Gas prices rise another 3 cents on the week
Gas prices started the week at $2.56 per gallon, according to AAA, a couple cents up from last week.

Strong demand, falling inventory and Middle East uncertainty combined for more bad news for drivers last week.

A gallon of leaded rose 3 cents to an average of $2.58 as of Tuesday morning, according to price tracker Gas Buddy. That’s almost 15 cents more than November 1 and 40 cents higher than a year ago.

Strong demand in the U.S. pushed gasoline inventories down another 3.3 million barrels to their lowest level in three years, according to the most recent data from the Energy Information Administration. Exports of U.S. crude continued to rise, putting further pressure on inventory.

The largest weekly increase was in Florida, where a gallon of unleaded cost 13 cents more, even as most of the South saw prices fall. Seven of the 10 states with the cheapest gas were in the South, led by Alabama at $2.26.

The Great Lakes region, where volatility has been greatest this fall, saw modest increases on average, while six states — Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky — saw prices fall as much as 13 cents and as little as a penny per gallon.

Meanwhile, the price for a barrel of benchmark crude was down almost 25 cents, to $56.46 as of Tuesday morning. Concerns about Middle East tensions and an extension of production cuts when OPEC meets again in a few weeks have pushed crude prices to a two-year high.