SALT LAKE CITY -- Utahns who enjoyed the lowest gasoline prices in the country in January are now paying more than many states and will see prices continue to rise.
A spokesperson for AAA Utah says Utah drivers as of Tuesday were paying $3.15 a gallon, up 33 cents from a month ago. It is the highest jump in two years.
Rolayne Fairclough of AAA Utah says gasoline prices in the state typically begin to rise in March as the seasons change. Prices typically peak during the summer.
Though Utah's supplies come from Canada and western states, she said international crude oil price still affect local rates.
As of Tuesday, Fairclough says 24 states had lower prices than Utah, a sharp contrast from January when the state average was $2.80 a gallon.
On Wednesday the price of oil hit $100 per barrel for the first time in 21aN2 years as the unrest in Libya worsened, and gasoline prices across the country climbed to nearly $3.20 a gallon, the highest level ever for February.
The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose 2.3 cents Wednesday to $3.194, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. Gas has jumped 8.2 cents per gallon in the past month and $1.28 in the past year.
Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service, said he expects gasoline prices will continue to rise in the next few months to between $3.25 and $3.75 per gallon as the spring driving season approaches.
The uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt earlier this month already had markets on edge before protests escalated in Libya, which has the biggest oil reserves in Africa. The rebellion widened Wednesday as protesters overwhelmed government buildings and advanced around Tripoli, the capital.