standing gas pump

PROVIDENCE — The cost for gasoline remains steady in Rhode Island, with prices remaining the same this week despite an increase in travelers over Memorial Day weekend.

A survey of prices in the state conducted through AAA Northeast on Tuesday found a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline averaging $1.96 in the state. The price is the same as the national average.

Lloyd Albert, senior vice president of AAA public and government affairs, said the recent price increases across the country in recent weeks can be attributed to crude oil beginning a return to rates held prior to the COVID-19 crisis. The price for crude oil reached $34 per barrel last week, the highest value for crude oil since the crisis began in March.

“Americans have seen significantly cheaper-than-normal gas prices the past two months. However, those low prices, as well as crude oil prices, have been pushing more expensive,” Albert said. “While motorists will see pump prices continue to increase, AAA does not expect the summer average to be as expensive as last year’s season.”

One factor that could cause a sudden spike in gas prices is the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 until Nov. 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts the 2020 season will be above-normal, potentially resulting in 13 to 19 named storms. An average Atlantic hurricane season typically produces 12 named storms, including 3 major hurricanes, Albert said.

A year ago at this time, the average price in Rhode Island was 88 cents higher at $2.84 per gallon.

The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 51 cents, from a low of $1.72 to a high of $2.23.

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