Gasoline prices highest in 7 months

CREATED Mar 24, 2014

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Gasoline prices in Southwest Florida are climbing.  Gas prices remain at their highest level since September, amid tightened ethanol supplies, geopolitical tension and typical spring factors.

According to AAA, a shortage of ethanol in the southeast could put upward pressure on gas prices. Since gas in most areas typically contains a blend of as much as 10 percent ethanol, product outages are being averted by blending premium gasoline with sub-octane to reach an 87-octane grade material, according to the Oil Price Information Service.

Meanwhile, refinery maintenance and continued tension between Russia and Ukraine is putting upward pressure on oil. The threat of a supply disruption could cause prices to spike.

Historically, gas prices rose around 20 cents during the month of March, two of the last three years. So far this month, the national average rose 8 cents. Prices are also up 11 cents in Florida, 8 cents in Georgia, and 7 cents in Tennessee. While increases are expected to continue through the month, AAA does not expect prices to reach last year's levels.