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Arizona gas prices among highest in nation, quickly approaching $3 mark

(Facebook/Circle K Arizona)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s average gas price on Monday was $2.97 — about 23 cents higher than this time last year, according to AAA.

In a little over a month, the state’s average has increased more than 40 cents, pushing it to one of the highest in the country.

“We last saw these prices at $3 a gallon back in July, so it’s not like we haven’t paid this before,” Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

“But for this time of year, normally we don’t see prices move up this high, this quickly, this dramatically.”

The national average price was $2.83 per gallon, while last year at this time it was close to 10 cents cheaper.

McTeague said flooding in the Midwest and issues with pipelines and refineries are all possible reasons for the spike.

He said Arizona gets most of its gasoline from California, where about seven plants were down for unplanned reasons.

“It has cast a very tall shadow on the prices that we pay,” he said.

“Like it or not, we’re connected at the hip with what happens over there, and as we’ve seen, prices have certainly been mounting for some time.”

The refinery issues were also a suspected cause of the gas shortages at some Circle K and Fry’s stations in the Valley this spring.

McTeague said until the refineries get back on track, it looks like prices will continue to rise.

“We’re not even at the summer driving season yet, so I’m not thinking that there will be any relief for consumers any time soon,” he said.

“And we could see prices here in the state as well as here in the city going up yet again right into the next week, until we can get a better picture of whether or not critical refineries are back on their feet.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Madison Spence contributed to this report.

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