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Gas prices

Gas prices nationally average $2.71 per gallon, according to AAA.

The bad news: Gas prices are at their highest levels in almost three years.

The good news: They may not go much higher.

Nationally, the price of unleaded gas as of Monday morning was $2.71 a gallon, according to AAA.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for gas price comparison site GasBuddy.com, said that's the highest national average price since July 2015.

Locally, prices are lower, with the Lincoln average sitting at just less than $2.63 a gallon and the state average at $2.59, according to AAA.

Both of those averages are about 20 cents higher than at the same time a year ago.

If gas prices follow their typical trajectory, they may rise slightly in the next month or so but should start falling after that, DeHaan said.

"In the past few years, the average date that gas prices have peaked is mid-May, which is just around the corner, and by all metrics, that could be very close to what we expect this time around," DeHaan said Monday in a news release.

DeHaan said refinery maintenance has gone well so far, gasoline supply has continued to increase and the transition to summer gasoline supplies is almost finished.

That means, "the reasons gas prices rise will shrink," DeHaan said.

His opinion about prices not having much higher to rise is backed up by information the Energy Information Administration released last week that predicted gas prices will average $2.74 a gallon nationally this summer. But that's 26 cents higher than last year and would be the highest average summer price in the U.S. since 2014.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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