ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Gas prices surged, jumping 10 cents in New Mexico over the past week. Prices are now the highest they’ve been all year. It has many wondering why, especially after experts projected prices would drop in time for your summer getaway.
We called representatives at AAA of New Mexico who say it’s all relative
“We did see an increase at pumps all across the land of enchantment over the last week. Gas prices rose on higher crude oil costs, but you know the good news in all of this is they still remain significantly less than what we were paying this time last year,” explains AAA of New Mexico Spokesperson Doug Shupe.
Right now, New Mexico drivers are paying around $2.37 a gallon, that’s up 10 cents from last week but about $1.09 less than this time last year and 12 cents less than drivers nationwide.
Drivers in Santa Fe are paying the most out of all New Mexico metro areas with an average of $2.36 a gallon. Those in Albuquerque are paying the least at $2.28 a gallon.
Experts say there are several reasons for the sharp increase in fuel prices. Representatives with AAA say supply built up a lot slower than anticipated. Plus, they say we’re seeing instability on a global level due to political conflict and other overseas issues. They also cite planned and unplanned refinery issues.
“This is the time of year when the refineries switch over to producing that summer blend fuel. During that time if there are disruptions doing that maintenance process, it can cause some regional spike increases,” said Shupe.
Shupe says, as refineries complete maintenance and do that switchover to the summer blend fuel, gas prices could continue to be impacted into the summer driving season.
Right now, Shupe says it’s too early to know exactly what we’ll see this summer, but he did say experts believe we could still be on the right track for lower prices this summer. He says right now, for a 14 gallon tank, we’re paying $15 less than this time last year and unless things change a lot, we could still see lower prices than last summer.
Shupe says regardless of which way prices go, you can still maximize your fuel efficiency by making sure you’re following your manufacturer’s recommendations for regular maintenance.
California drivers are paying the most for gas right now, in part due to lingering effects of a refinery explosion in Torrance back in February. They’re paying around $3.19 a gallon.