Local gas prices stable but volatility looms

THE AVERAGE WEEKLY price of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline in Rhode Island dropped 1 cent to $3.13 per gallon this week. That is 13 cents lower than the national average, AAA Northeast said on Monday.  /ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO /JOHN RAOUX

PROVIDENCE – The average weekly price of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline in Rhode Island dropped 1 cent to $3.13 per gallon this week. That is 13 cents lower than the national average, AAA Northeast said on Monday. 

The agency said Northeast gasoline prices are taking a pit stop as demand remains soft and continues to track below year-ago levels. At the same time, regional gasoline inventories increased by more than 600,000 barrels last week, bolstering already ample supplies that now stand more than 2 million barrels above the same time last year.

The price of oil is also a factor: U.S. oil production matched an all-time high last week, helping to send prices lower, according to the agency.

“The seasonal trend of price increases ahead of spring is paused, for now,” said Mark Schieldrop, senior spokesperson for AAA Northeast. “Prices could be wobbly over the next few weeks as we creep our way out of winter and get closer to when refineries switch to producing summer blend fuel.”

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 Midgrade gas in Rhode Island averages $3.77 per gallon, premium gas averages $4.21 per gallon and diesel fuel averages $4.24 per gallon, AAA Northeast said.      

A year ago, the price of regular gas in Rhode Island was $3.27 per gallon. 

In Massachusetts, the average price of self-serve, regular unleaded gas stayed at $3.18 per gallon.       

Midgrade gas in the Bay State averages $3.73 per gallon, premium gas averages $4.10 per gallon and diesel fuel averages $4.20 per gallon.       

A year ago, the price of regular gas in Massachusetts was $3.30 per gallon. 

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