Average gas prices in metro Albany third-highest for Georgia metro areas Monday

Metro Albany gas rises nearly a nickle in a week while state and national averages decline

ALBANY — Metro Albany opened the post-Thanksgiving week with the third highest average price for retail gasoline among Georgia’s eight metro areas, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

At an average of $3.293 a gallon, Albany was up 4.2 cents per gallon from the Monday of Thanksgiving week and it is 10.9 cents higher than it was a month ago. Year-to-year, Monday was down 2.3 cents per gallon.

That placed the metro Albany area just under a nickle — 4.8 cents — above the Georgia state average of $3.245, which was 1.8 cents higher than last week. Georgia motorists on Monday were paying a little less than a penny (0.8 cent) more than last month and the average was 3.6 cents cheaper than Dec. 2, 2012.

Albany and Georgia bucked the national trend, which showed gas prices slipping from last week. The national average Monday morning was $3.268, down 1.2 cents from last week’s $3.280 and almost flat with last month’s $3.266. Year-to-year, motorists across the nation are seeing an average savings at the pump of 12.3 cents per gallon.

GasBuddy.com, which surveys retail stations nationwide, showed a better national average price Monday of $3.248, down 2.1 cents from a week ago and 2 cents from a month ago. The year-to-year improvement in pump price was 14.9 cents a gallon, according to GasBuddy.

In Georgia, GasBuddy had the state average price pegged at $3.226, down 4.7 cents from last week and slightly above Nov. 2’s $3.223. A year ago, Georgia motorists were paying an average of 4.2 cents more per gallon, according to GasBuddy’s surveys.

“With the Thanksgiving behind us it appears that a nominal decline in retail gasoline prices will ring in the first week of December for most parts of the country,” said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Gregg Laskoski. “With the government’s report of healthy fuel inventories and U.S. refinery output reaching its highest level since early October, the savings at the pump is coming just in time.”

AAA officials noted that motorists in the Southeast saw little relief at the pump after mid-November, with prices rising on Nov. 15 when refinery disruptions cut supply. Florida drivers had the most pain at the pump from the disruption, with the state average climbing to $3.46 for Thanksgiving, 8 cents more than last year’s holiday average, according to AAA.

“Regional issues aside, nationwide gas prices are forecast fall in December,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. “Cheaper oil prices will likely push gas prices lower in the coming weeks. Oil prices dropped for the past several weeks as fuel demand has yet to keep pace with increased global crude production.”

In Albany Monday morning, a survey of local stations found the best prices at stations near the Clark Avenue and Cordele Road intersection in East Albany. Murphy Express, Pilot and Enmark were all at $3.199 for regular gas, as were two stations in the 3000 block of Sylvester Road — FastLane and Pitt Stop.

Elsewhere in Albany, prices ranged from $3.229 to more than $3.40 a gallon, with most stations in the $3.299-$3.319 range.

Among Georgia’s metro areas, the best average price Monday morning, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, was in Augusta, where motorists averaged $3.208 a gallon. Augusta was following, in order, by Atlanta, $3.219; Columbus, $3.225; Macon, $3.226; Athens, $3.274; Albany, and Valdosta, $3.306. The biggest pain at the pump was in Savannah, were drivers paid an average of $3.351 a gallon Monday.