Arizona gasoline prices on Monday were at an all-time high, breaking a record set after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
A gallon of regular unleaded reached a state average of $3.134, compared with $3.131 on Sept. 7, 2005.
Nationally, the average price of gas was expected to break a record today, said Linda Gorman, AAA Arizona public affairs manager.
U.S. average prices on Monday surged to $3.222, a half-cent shy of the all-time high of $3.227 a gallon, Gorman said.
They peaked last May primarily because of growing demand, she said.
“Not all of Arizona has record prices, yet,” said Gorman, adding the highest price listed Monday was $3.23 in Flagstaff.
The East Valley reached $3.09 a gallon on average Monday, 4 cents away from the record of $3.13, said Gorman. In Scottsdale, prices were at $3.15, 3 cents off the record.
But the prices are expected to rise even higher this week, primarily because of climbing oil prices and the processing of oil at refineries to lower octane levels of gasoline for summer driving, Gorman said.
Tom Kloza, chief analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, predicts fuel prices will continue to rise, but he expects them to level off midway between March 15 and May 15 and probably begin to drop in about three months.
“The rising price of gasoline is based primarily on the rising price of crude oil,” said Kloza. “It’s global.”
He said crude oil on Feb. 7 was at $87 a barrel and on Monday reached a record $108.