ATLANTA — Georgia gas prices increased slightly at the pump compared to a week ago, according to the auto club AAA.

Georgia motorists are now paying an average price of $2.43 per gallon for regular unleaded, AAA said. Monday's state average was 2 cents more than a week ago, 2 cents more than last month and 3 cents more than this time last year.

It now costs $36.45 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline, the club said. That is $6.15 less than what motorists paid in May of 2018, when pump prices hit their peak of $2.84 per gallon.

The most expensive Georgia metro markets were Atlanta-Savannah at $2.48 per gallon, Athens-Savannah at $2.45 and Gainesville at $2.44.

The least expensive Georgia metro markets were Catoosa-Dade-Walker at $2.29 per gallon, Augusta-Aiken at $2.32 and Dalton at $2.33.

"Gas prices have been fluctuating as of late, but are currently cheaper than the national average at this time last year, giving Americans a little extra money to spend on travel and motivating millions to take road trips,” said Montrae Waiters, a spokeswoman for AAA. “For the majority of Americans, AAA expects gas prices to be fairly similar to last year's Thanksgiving holiday, which averaged $2.57.”

Crude oil prices have increased slightly this week due to reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners will likely decide to extend their production reduction agreement through the middle of 2020 at OPEC’s upcoming meeting in Vienna on Dec. 5 and 6, AAA said. Price gains were limited by continued market fear that the trade war between China and the U.S. — the world’s two largest crude consumers — will reduce crude demand moving into next year.

In related news, the Energy Information Administration weekly report showed that total domestic crude inventories increased by 1.4 million barrels last week, bringing the new total to 450.4 million barrels, AAA said. The current level is 3.5 million barrels higher than last year’s level at this same time.

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