Cincinnati gas prices jump to $3.89

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Just as Cincinnati-area gas prices were retreating from the $3.85 they hit a week ago, they are going up again, and even higher.

Speedway, BP, Shell, and many other stations are jumping to $3.89 a gallon, despite a recent drop in oil prices from $97 to $92 a barrel.

But this has very little to do with crude oil prices, according to analysts, who blame demand and refinery problems.

What's going on?

A number of refineries have shut down for maintenance this month, as well as for the start of the annual switchover to summer blended gas.

Those temporary shortages, combined with increased demand due to an improved economy, have led traders (or "speculators" as they often called) to drive up the price of gasoline futures.

That has resulted in the highest February prices in history, and prices that are averaging 40 cents a gallon higher than this time in 2012.

The Department of Energy has predicted that summer gas prices will be less than last year's $4.05 peak, but with prices just 10 cents below $4 at the end of February, that is starting to seem less likely.

All that has many drivers saying "doesn't that stink?"

As always, don't waste your money.
    
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