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October 6, 2012

Gas prices higher on Cape Ann, but likely to fall after weekend

Rockporter Nick Benn stood next to a gasoline pump, directing the nozzle into his yellow 1968 GMC pick-up Friday.

“I’m running on fumes,” Benn called out to a familiar motorist. He eyed the sign advertising super unleaded grade gasoline at $4.19 a gallon, 25 cents a gallon more than regular fuel.

“They’ve jazzed the price up again,” Benn said. Benn’s gas bill struck $50 before the pump shut off, forcing him to run his credit card again to finish filling the tank. “When the gas prices skyrocketed before, we had to do this, too.”

Gas prices trend higher on Cape Ann than some nearby towns because of the distance distributors must travel to deliver the fuel, according to Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst at the gas price rating site GasBuddy.com. Prices on Cape Ann for regular gas ranged from $3.94 to $4.09 on Friday.

Still, the prices in Cape Ann are lower than many towns. Lexington for example, reflected prices up to $4.59 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline Friday. The average price Friday at pumps in Massachusetts was $3.93, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge report. A year ago at this time the Massachusetts average price was $3.45.

But Californians are paying more than anyone at the pump — the average price of regular gas across the state was nearly $4.49 a gallon, said AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge report.

Just like years past, gasoline prices have risen this summer, but the steep prices could tumble downward after this Columbus Day weekend, said Laskoski.

“The end of the tourist season, you’re going to see demand diminish significantly and that’s when you’ll see the prices drop significantly,” Laskoski said. “Retailers feel compelled to charge the price they know the consumer will pay.”

Though Rockporter Stephanie Tucci said she doesn’t use GasBuddy or anything similar to monitor the gas market, she said she keeps an eye on prices. And the Gloucester Twin Stop Gulf station had the lowest prices in town Friday, she said.

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