After 2 months of steady decline, the Oregon average price for a gallon of regular gasoline suddenly reversed itself, closing the week almost 8 cents higher than a week ago at $2.49. The national average price, which began its downward trend in mid-August, rose less than 4 cents per gallon in the same time period and now stands at $2.23.

“Interestingly, in recent weeks, average prices among Oregon′s four measured metro areas have equalized. It often was common to see the Portland area average price much lower than that of the Medford/Ashland area. Now, average prices across the state generally are separated by only a few cents per gallon,” said AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Elliott Eki.

While the anticipated increase in consumer demand for fuel during the Thanksgiving holiday might be a factor behind the price hikes, U.S. oil and gasoline inventories remain strong, and the price of crude oil remains below $60 per barrel. Another circumstance which could temporarily impact fuel prices is the closure of a Puget Sound refinery for scheduled maintenance, which should be completed soon.

Expectations are that pump prices will level off and remain near current levels at least until the Spring driving season arrives.

Oregon and Nevada share the nation′s 4th highest average gasoline price at $2.49. Hawaii has the highest average price at $2.86, followed by Alaska at $2.51, and Washington at $2.50. Idaho′s statewide average price dipped to $2.39 and California′s went up to $2.48. New Jersey has the lowest statewide average price at $2.05. Diesel prices generally moved upward. The current national average price is $2.63 per gallon. Idaho′s average diesel price went up to $2.71, Washington′s went up 15 cents per gallon to $2.75, California′s rose to $2.83, Nevada′s added 4 cents to $2.73 and Oregon′s increased by 16 cents per gallon to $2.80.