Andalusia gas prices up nearly a quarter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The average price of gasoline across Andalusia has increased 24 cents in the last week, and 36 cents in the last month, according to AAA.

AAA Alabama spokesman Clay Ingram said Monday that prices are expected to climb higher with spring break just around the corner and investors driving the prices up.

“Crude prices have been increasing rapidly over the past few weeks due mostly to investors driving those crude prices higher, in anticipation of the annual spring price increase,” he said.

Andalusia’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas early Monday was $3.61. In Florala, the average was $3.49, but one station was still showing gasoline for $3.22 per gallon Monday morning, and in Opp, the average was $3.59 per gallon.

The Cannon Oil station on River Falls Street reported having gas for $3.49 in Andalusia.

Pump prices typically increase when oil refineries are shut down for maintenance to switch to summer blend.

“In addition, this is the time of year when we have to make the switch to producing the summer blend (cleaner burning) gasoline, which is required b EPA,” Ingram said.

Ingram explained that the process for making summer blend gas is more complex and costs more to produce, which drives the prices upward.

Additionally, the biggest factor, Ingram said, is the fact that consumers aren’t price shopping.

“Watching our local prices and making the effort to buy the cheapest gas we can find every time, will make a big difference in what we pay for gasoline,” Ingram said. “However, we usually buy based on convenience rather than price, and that is one of the biggest reasons that our gas prices are so high.”