Since Louisiana is nestled along the Gulf of Mexico we are used to the concept of "ebb and flow". It's something that happens with the ocean tides on a daily basis and here lately it's something that happens with gasoline prices almost every day too.

The American Automobile Association is reporting that in a span of fewer than 24 hours the average price for regular gasoline in Louisiana jumped by almost a dime. To be exact, it was a seven cent increase from $3.41 a gallon to $3.48 a gallon, but what's three cents when you're talking about gas prices, right?

Hand with gas pump and money
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Analysts attribute the steep jump in fuel prices to the steep jump in crude oil prices and those price increases are being blamed on the current crisis between Russia and Ukraine. To say the oil markets are jittery would be a complete understatement. As of early this morning, crude oil prices were $110 a barrel and they are forecast to increase even more.

We did a spot check of fuel prices around South Louisiana and found that in Lafayette the lowest price for a gallon of regular gas was $3.29. However, there were several gas stations that reflected fuel prices of $3.55 a gallon and higher.

In Lake Charles, there were several stations reporting prices for a gallon of regular gas at $3.30 cents. The lowest we found was $3.19 but that seemed to be an outlier compared to other fuel suppliers in the city.

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If you're looking at history, Louisiana has recorded an average price of more than $ 4.00 a gallon for fuel. You might recall fuel prices were incredibly high following the hurricanes of 2005. That was the year that Louisiana's coast was struck by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Both of those storms greatly disrupted oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.

NWSNewOrleans Via Twitter
NWSNewOrleans Via Twitter
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Gas industry analysts say that motorists need to begin budgeting now for fuel prices that will be at least $4.00 a gallon or more in the coming weeks. Especially if you plan on taking a road trip over spring or Easter break. Although, it's very likely that the higher fuel prices will continue into the summer and vacation driving season as well.

By the way, if you're looking for the lowest prices for gas in a town you don't know we do suggest using apps like Gas Buddy or Fuel Finder. Their information is usually up to date and accurate. Also, consider buying your fuel away from major highways and interstates. Prices at those stations have a tendency to be just a little bit higher as travellers don't mind paying the extra cost for the convenience of "easy on/easy off".

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Oh, one other tip we can toss your way, fill up early in the morning or late at night. Most gas stations will change their prices during the day, usually before lunchtime so, the early bird might get the worm and save on gas too.

And if you're on the road, don't forget fuel for yourself.

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