By Edward Cardenas
SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – Gas prices rose for the third week in row, AAA Michigan reports, with gas rising about 5 cents to a statewide average to $2.29 a gallon.
The average price of gasoline is about $2.28 a gallon in Metro Detroit, which is about 6 cents more than last week. In addition to being the third week of price increases, it is also the third week gas prices have risen above $2.
“Prices at the pump are starting to heat back up, mostly driven by a rebound in crude oil prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. “Nationally, almost 9 in 10 stations is selling over $2/gal, while a month ago, less than half of stations were selling over that price- clearly we’re seeing the typical seasonal rebound in prices, being led higher by oil’s rebound, and soon to be enhanced further by refinery maintenance season- which hasn’t yet gotten well underway.”
AAA states that February usually marks the start of seasonal refinery maintenance in preparation for the busy summer driving season, which can lead to decreased production and supplies.
Potentially adding volatility to gas prices is a nationwide strike by approximately 5,200 members of the United Steelworkers, AAA reported. Members of the union walked off their jobs at refineries and chemical plants responsible for processing more than 10 percent of U.S. petroleum products.
Large petroleum supplies may provide both refiners and unions with a chance to reach an agreement before there is a larger impact on consumers, AAA reported.
AAA found the lowest average price for self-serve unleaded fuel in the Flint area at $2.22 a gallon. The highest average gas price can be found in the Traverse City area at $2.36 a gallon.