VALDOSTA — Gas prices in Lowndes County skyrocketed in the past week, statistics show.
The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the county early this week was $3.05, a hike of eight cents in seven days, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
The lowest fuel price reported in Lowndes County Monday was $2.77 per gallon in Hahira, according to the price tracking website gasbuddy.com.
Valdosta was tied with Athens for the fifth most expensive fuel prices out of the 15 Georgia markets monitored by the auto club — behind Savannah, Macon, Hinesville, Brunswick and Atlanta but ahead of Warner Robins, Gainesville, Dalton, Colubus, Catoosa, Augusta and Albany.
Nationally, the average price of gasoline was $3.27 per gallon, up a nickel in seven days, while Georgia’s average of $3.07 per gallon was eight cents higher in the same period, AAA said.
“The key driver for this recent rise in the price of gas is crude oil, which typically accounts for between 50% and 60% of the price at the pump,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “And last week’s decision by OPEC and its oil-producing allies to not increase production further only exacerbated the upward momentum for crude oil prices.”
In midday market action early this week, benchmark U.S. crude oil for November delivery rose $1.05 to $79.35 a barrel Friday. Brent crude oil for December delivery rose 44 cents to $82.39 a barrel.
Wholesale gasoline for November delivery rose 4 cents to $2.37 a gallon. November heating oil rose 1 cent to $2.47 a gallon. November natural gas fell 11 cents to $5.57 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.