Drivers see rare jump in January gas prices

Oil prices highest in 3 years

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Gas prices typically chill out in January, but this year, drivers are seeing a rare jump at the pump. 

Driven by rising oil prices, gas prices have climbed 17 cents a gallon in the past month.

The $10 Diana Vera said she put into her tank won't take her as far as it would have just days ago.

"Well, I guess I won't go and have McDonald's this week," she said.

What's pushing the winter pump prices is the price of crude. U.S. crude oil surpassed $66 a barrel Thursday upon word that inventories had dropped to their lowest level in three years. 

"It affects me on a daily basis," said Eugene Garcia, who drives for ride-sharing companies for his livelihood. "I just have to work more diligently and smarter than I have in the past to make my gas dollars stretch."

Drivers can expect to see higher prices than last year, according to the analysts at GasBuddy.com, with the average U.S. household spending $1,898 a year on gasoline. That's a $133 increase over last year.

As is typical, prices are expected to climb through spring as driving picks up and refineries switch to summer blends. The peak would come in May, with prices averaging between $2.35 and $2.65 a gallon in San Antonio.

That's barring any major disruptions, such as hurricanes.

For now, San Antonians can take solace. AAA said at an average $2.23 a gallon, the Alamo city has the cheapest gas in the state.

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