State, national averages see slight rises over last week — but still might dip below $2

While the summer months have seen gas prices either hold steady or drop, that's starting to fluctuate across the country. The average prices nationwide and in New York state both have seen rises from last week, according to AAA.

But as summer closes, pump prices could drop again — maybe even dipping down below the $2 mark, barring some significant dilemma.

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is now $2.16 per gallon, up 4 cents from last week. The state average is $2.30 per gallon, up 1 cent from last week. That's still significantly lower than one year ago, when the New York average was $2.72.

As for regional prices? They're "inconsistent" in New York, says the AAA: up in Syracuse, while down in Buffalo, for instance. (See sidebar.)

In Canandaigua, you could get gas Monday for as low as $2.11 per gallon at three locations: Sunoco at South Main and Parrish streets; Kwik Fill on Route 332 near North Street; and Speedway on Lakeshore Drive. Two others — Mobil on Lakeshore and Valero on South Main Street — had it at $2.13. All were under the national average and well below the state average.

Oil prices have been swaying over the past week, which impacts prices at the pump, says the AAA, which notes that a large spike in gas prices is not expected in the near future and that in fact gas prices could go below $2 a gallon nationally once the summer driving season is complete. But that's not carved in stone, the AAA cautions: A hurricane, increasing crude-oil costs or some other major market-moving event could offset the decline and drive prices higher.

Refineries will begin to switch to the less expensive winter-blend gasoline in mid-September.


Closer to home

AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

• Buffalo: $2.27 (down 1 cent)

• Rochester: $2.24 (no change)

• Syracuse: $2.16 (up 4 cents)