AAA: Kentucky sees some of the biggest gas price increases in the nation

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The average gas price in Kentucky climbed 9 cents in the past week, putting it among the nation’s top 10 states for largest weekly increase, according to AAA.

On the week, 28 states saw gas price averages increase by at least a nickel, pushing the national gas price average up 6 cents to land at $2.33. That is the largest one-week increase seen at the national level this year. In Lexington, the average gas price is now at $2.28, a 20 cent climb from a week ago.

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“Motorists are seeing more expensive gas prices as a result of ongoing refinery problems coupled with crude oil prices hitting their highest level so far this year as global crude inventories tighten,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public and government affairs manager, AAA Blue Grass. “Inventories are likely to continue to tighten and keep gas prices higher through the end of the month.”

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report details demand dropping for a second week to total 8.6 million barrels per day. Frigid and severe winter weather has been a driving factor for declining demand and this week’s approaching storm from the Plains to the Northeast has the potential to drop demand further. Refinery problems and increasing exports have kept inventories at minimal builds. For the week ending Feb. 8, inventories increased only 408,000 barrels to total 258.3 million.

In Kentucky, the average price is also 9 cents less than a month ago, but remains 13 cents lower than a year ago.