Average gasoline prices per gallon across Georgia are up by more than 6 cents, and it’s going to get worse, analysts predict.

Just how worse will depend on how soon the Colonial Pipeline is back online. The company said the pipeline — which provides gas, jet fuel and diesel to many Southeastern states — was the target of a cyberattack.

Georgia gas prices per gallon have risen by 6.7 cents in the past week, climbing to an average of $2.73. The figure is based on a survey of 5,883 gas outlets in Georgia.

Prices in the Peach State are 6.2 cents higher than they were a month ago and $1.12 higher than they were a year ago, according to GasBuddy.

In Georgia, the highest price recorded in the survey was $3.19 per gallon and the lowest $2.44.

“While average gas prices jumped last week as the nation continues to see COVID-19 recovery, all eyes are now on the Colonial Pipeline and the fact a cyberattack has completely shut all lines, leading to what could become a major challenge for fuel delivery,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “The situation is growing more intense each day that passes without the pipeline restarting, and motorists are advised to show extreme restraint or (they will) exacerbate and prolong the challenges.”

He said if the pipeline returns to service in the next day or two, the challenges will be minimal, but if a full restart doesn’t happen by then, “we’re likely to see a slight rise in gas prices, but more importantly, challenges for motorists needing fuel in Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Virginia, Northern Florida and surrounding areas.

“I’m hopeful the situation will quickly improve as multiple levels of government are involved. This may become a nightmare should it continue just ahead of the start of the summer driving season.”

The Memorial Day weekend, May 29-31, usually signals the start of the summer travel season. It is the beginning of the summer break for thousands of students in the Golden Isles.

Gas prices nationwide rose by 4.5 cents per gallon for a national average price of $2.95, an increase of 10 cents over a month ago.

GasBuddy’s survey updates multiple times a day from a list of sources covering nearly 150,000 stations nationwide.

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