The price of gasoline is rising again after falling slightly ahead of
the Independence Day holiday, and with pressure on the price of crude oil,
prices could continue to go up in the weeks to come, experts say.
The average price of a regular gallon of gasoline rose to $3.55 nationally on Friday, up about 7 cents from a week ago. In Orlando, the average was $3.42, an increase of 8 cents from a week ago, but just one penny higher than a month ago, according to auto club AAA.
The price might keep climbing over the next few weeks to as high as $3.85 on the national level, Denton Cinquegrana, chief oil analyst with the Oil Price Information Service, said Friday.
Driving the increase are tensions in Egypt, as well the perception of improvement in the economy, both of which have pushed crude oil prices higher. Some "refinery hiccups" also have contributed, Cinquegrana said.
Last summer, the average price at the pump topped out at $3.73 a gallon in Orlando. That price was recorded on Sept. 14, according to AAA.
Provided there are no major disruptions in oil production, Cinquegrana doesn't expect gas prices to reach the psychologically disheartening level of $4 a gallon.
Hurricane season, of course, is always a wild card in the price of fuel, he said.
"All things being equal -- and nothing significant as far as storms are concerned -- I don't think we'll touch $4 nationally," he said.
Once summer passes, gas prices tend to moderate, with some of the lowest prices coming at the end of the year.
"The last 100 days of the year, you're going to see prices decline, and possibly decline quite significantly," Cinquegrana said.
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