Refinery maintenance and global economic indicators haven't done Oklahoma drivers any favors as the price of gasoline has risen about 50 cents in the past month.
Prices in the Oklahoma City area averaged $3.59 for a gallon of regular early Monday, according to AAA. It was a penny more in the Tulsa area.
This time last year, a gallon of regular gasoline cost about $3.42 in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai said averages declined slightly in Oklahoma over the weekend, but the dip could be short-lived. The national average declined a fraction of a penny Saturday, the first time it declined since Jan. 16. It was $3.78 per gallon on Monday.
“It's been on a steady climb ever since mid-January,” Mai said. “I think it's been driven by crude oil prices and the perception in the commodities markets that worldwide, and in this country to some extent, we're seeing economies rebound.”
Mai said the latest federal report on petroleum showed supplies of oil and gasoline are ample to meet gasoline demand, which typically falls in the winter months. But refineries are switching to their summer blends of gasoline earlier than normal, he said.
“That always involves being down for two or three weeks as they ramp down, clear out and gear up to produce the reformulated fuels required by the EPA during the summer months,” Mai said. “It's a little bit earlier than usual. Typically that transition has taken place during late March, April or early May. This year it began late January and early February, and it's continuing now.”