South Sound gas prices escalated by nearly eight cents in the last week, but some energy experts are predicting that prices may moderate soon.
In the Tacoma area Friday, the average price of a gallon of unleaded regular gas was $3.75 a gallon. That’s up 7.6 cents from Friday last week according to The News Tribune’s Gas Deal Finder.
Prices here have risen 38 cents a gallon since Jan. 22. But that’s less than the 44.8 cents a gallon that gas prices have jumped nationwide.
Patrick DeHaan, gas price analysts for GasBuddy.com said he expects that prices may top out in a week or so below $4 a gallon.
Although one day’s price change isn’t enough to call a price movement a trend, Friday’s Tacoma-area gas prices fell by .7 cents a gallon.
Analysts blame the price increases of the last two months the result of a complex blend of factors including refinery maintenance and shutdowns to convert to making summer blend gasoline, speculation by oil traders, increased consumption and Middle East tensions.
Prices are still below last year’s level of $3.807 a gallon for the third week in February. Last year, prices topped $4 a gallon in the Puget Sound area in the spring partly because of a major fire at the state’s largest refinery, BP’s at Cherry Point.
In the Tacoma area Friday, the least expensive gas, $3.57 a gallon was available at the 7-Eleven at 19825 Mountain Highway and at the CFN station at Portland and Puyallup avenues near I-5.
In Olympia, the cheapest gas was selling for $3.61 a gallon at the Arco station at 7291 Martin Way.