The gasoline price rollercoaster is on the upturn once again. Department of Natural Resources energy analyst, Jennifer Moehlmann says prices in a survey completed this morning had jumped from three to 12 cents across the state. She says part of the problem is with extremely tight gas inventories, and a recent increase in the oil market. Moehlmann says gas is now averaging one-dollar-and-forty-nine cents a gallon. She says there are a variety of factors keeping gas inventories low. She says the inventories haven’t recovered from low winter levels as fast as expected, there’ve been some problems with some refineries, and the bombing in Saudi Arabia left the markets jittery. Moehlmann says gas pipelines to Iowa have also been used a lot lately to bring in diesel fuel for farmers who’re heading to the fields. Moehlmann says all the problems bunched together to create the spike, but she says it’s something that should soon be smoothed out. She says the supply problem shouldn’t last more than a week or two and new gas coming in will help with the supply problems. Memorial Day and the start of the summer driving season isn’t that far off, and Moehlmann says that will have an impact on gas prices too. She says this summer could be worse than last year as terrorism fears and the fear of SARS might keep people from flying for vacation, leading to more driving, and more demand for gas. The southeast and southwest parts of the state saw the biggest gas price increases, and average of 12 cents a gallon.
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