COOS BAY -- Oregon reached the highest average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in 2014, at $3.88, May 2. Now, officials with AAA Oregon/Idaho believe, the cost could start to begin its annual summer descent.

"Not much movement in gas prices after the traditional start to the summer driving season," says AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds. "The national average for regular unleaded gains a penny to $3.65 a gallon this week, while Oregon's average remains at $3.87 a gallon. Oregon's average is 8 cents less (than it was a year ago)."

Dodds added that Memorial Day travelers probably noticed that difference at the pump.

Increased retail demand for gasoline outpaced supplies last week, putting upward pressure on oil prices and preventing gas prices from falling further. Still, she says, prices remain below last year's peak price of $3.98 a gallon, reached May 22.

Barring unforeseen events, such as a major storm, refinery outages or pipeline problems, AAA believes pump prices will soon start their typical June retreat. Prices tend to decline between late spring and early summer.

Experts will be keeping their eyes, however, on the tension between Russia and Ukraine, which continue to keep crude oil prices elevated.

Investors are concerned that sanctions could impact production or exports from Russia, the world's third-largest oil producer behind Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Although analysts report the probability of a long-term disruption is relatively low, a cutoff of oil supply by Russia could have ripple effects that would be felt in Europe and the United States.

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