standing gas pump

PROVIDENCE — Winter storms and icy temperatures in the southern U.S. has caused a spike in gasoline costs, pushing prices up by nearly a dime per gallon over the past week.

A survey of gas prices Monday found self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.55 per gallon in Rhode Island. Prices are 9 cents higher than they were a week ago and 19 cents higher than on Jan. 22.

With much of the nation's crude oil production offline due to weather-related issues, prices are expected to continue to increase in the coming weeks as well said Lloyd Albert, senior vice president of public and government affairs for AAA Northeast.

“When close to 40% of U.S. crude production is offline because refineries are closed, there is going to be pain at the pump until operations resume,” Albert said. “The good news is the nearly two dozen impacted refiners are expected to restart operations this week, if they haven’t already.”

Despite the recent rise in gas prices, Rhode Island still remains in better position than much of the U.S. The state's price remains eight cents below the national average, which rose to $2.63 per gallon over the past week.

— Jason Vallee

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