Get ready to pay $3 or more for a gallon of gas in the coming weeks.
The average price for a gallon of gas on Monday was $2.996 in Bellingham, according to AAA Washington. That’s up 3 cents in the past week, and up 63 cents compared to a year ago, according to AAA’s data.
Gas prices traditionally go up this time of year through Memorial Day weekend across Washington state because of a variety of factors.
Supply tends to be lower as local refineries finish up seasonal maintenance and switch over to a summer blend. At the same time demand for gas starts to pick up as more people travel. Oil prices have also steadily risen after slumping in early March.
According to a AAA report, supply could remain tight in the Pacific Northwest as the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes carries out an 8-week maintenance program. The refinery is expected to meet its obligations in the Oregon and Washington areas by delivering product by barge.
Last week across the nation the average price was $2.40 a gallon, the highest since September 2015, according to the gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said in a news release that the price may reach its 2017 peak in the next few weeks barring something that disrupts global and national oil supplies. He also noted that while up significantly from last year, gas prices remain well below the 5-year average.