Gasoline prices take a big jump

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- The Monday look at Columbus-area gasoline prices has them 28 cents higher than a month ago and 15 cents higher, just in the past week,  to an average of $2.42 a gallon.

The national average is also $2.42, but the increase there in the last week is just a penny a gallon, according to ColumbusGasBuddy.com.

AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report has Ohio's average gasoline price at $2.39 compared to $2.32 a week ago.

Including the change in gas prices in Columbus during the past week, prices yesterday were 22.3 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 28.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. 

The national average has increased 13.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 28.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on April 24 in Columbus have ranged widely over the last five years:

$2.20 a gallon in 2016, 

$2.53 a gallon in 2015

$3.75 a gallon in 2014

$3.63 a gallon in 2013

$3.62 a gallon in 2012

GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan sees prices slowing their ascent.

"Since mid-February, average gasoline prices have risen 17 cents- a far cry from the 41 cent gain during the same time a year ago. While the annual spring spike remains subdued, prices do remain 28 cents higher than a year ago, though the gap has narrowed," DeHaan said.

"Overall, I would be surprised if we see the national average rise substantially more since the deadline for refiners to switch over to summer gasoline is nearly here."

DeHaan also points out that U.S. oil production numbers are up, and that's keeping pressure on oil prices.  At the same time, gasoline inventories remain at what DeHaan calls "very healthy" levels.

"While we may see the national average rise to the low side of our previous predictions of $2.51-$2.83 a gallon for May, we're unlikely to see anything higher, which is certainly good news for motorists," DeHaan added.

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