gasGasoline prices are inching upward in Iowa after many weeks of falling. Gail Weinholzer, at AAA-Iowa, says a glut of crude oil is prompting some refineries to shut down and do maintenance work, plus, there is a labor dispute that started over the weekend that’s impacting about one in every ten U.S. refineries.

“After 123 days of consecutive decline, we finally hit the bottom price and started to bounce back up a little bit,” Weinholzer says. The statewide average is now at two-oh-four for a gallon of gas, up 13-cents in the past week. The national average is $2.11. Sioux City has Iowa’s cheapest gas at $1.90 a gallon while it’s most expensive in Waterloo at $2.07.

Weinholzer says it’s likely pump prices will keep climbing. “They will continue to rise further, not too substantially we hope,” she says. “I wouldn’t expect numbers to get near the $3 mark but certainly back into the mid-$2s is within reason and within reach over the next couple of weeks.” Some Iowa retailers were selling ethanol blends in the $1.70s as recently as last week.

A year ago, gas prices in Iowa were retailing at $3.22 a gallon.

(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)