By New Mexico Business Weekly

The average price for a gallon of gas in New Mexico has increased to $2.97 this week, according to the AAA New Mexico Weekend Gas Watch.

The national average is $3.09. A month ago, the average in the state was $2.72.

Among metro areas, motorists are paying the least in Albuquerque, at $2.90 a gallon. Santa Fe is the most expensive at $2.97.

Analysts say the price of oil is driving increases in retail gas prices. Crude oil was trading Thursday at $91.86 per barrel, its highest level since 2008. In addition, oil delivery from Alaskaâ¿¿s North Slope was halted after a leak was discovered at a pumping station on the Trans-Alaska pipeline. The 33-year-old pipeline provides about 15 percent of the countryâ¿¿s domestic oil production. The pipeline is still not running at full capacity, affecting prices, according to analysts.

â¿¿In August [2010], a 14-gallon fill-up in New Mexico cost motorists about $39.50. Today, that same tank is nearly $41.60. Thatâ¿¿s an increase of $2.10 per tank, or more than 5 percent, in five months," AAA Texas/New Mexico corporate communications manager Dan Ronan said.

Average gas prices:

  • National $3.09
  • New Mexico $2.97
  • Albuquerque $2.90
  • Las Cruces $2.91
  • Santa Fe area $2.97
  • Texas $2.94
  • Colorado $2.89
  • Nevada $3.12
  • Arizona $2.95

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