Gas prices skyrocket as oil market heaves

Published on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 by Pat Grubb

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From the Strait of Hormuz to the BP refinery at Cherry Point, the oil market is experiencing an upheaval the likes of which haven’t been seen since 2008.

Prices for regular gasoline in Blaine and Birch Bay on Wednesday, February 29, ranged from $4.03 to $4.39 per gallon. Average prices in Washington hit $3.85/gallon, a rise of 21.8 cents per gallon in the last week. National prices increased 11.3 cents to $3.64/gallon.

Average gas prices in Washington were 40.9 cents a gallon higher than at the same time last year. Most of that increase, 38.8 cents, has come in the last month. The national average tells the same story with an increase of 29.9 cents over last year and a 26.6 cent increase in the last month.

As of the end of February, Washington state has the seventh highest average gas price; Wyoming has the lowest price at $3.10/gallon and Alaska has the highest at $4.34/gallon.

Comparing the oil situation now to 2008, Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, said, “Gasoline prices are climbing aggressively as speculation drives crude oil higher and, once again, it’s an election year. But this time it’s the volatility in the Middle East that has everyone wondering how high is up.”