From staff reports

Gasoline prices rose 4 cents in Maine during the past week to an average of $2.31 a gallon.

The price-tracking website GasBuddy.com reported Monday that Mainers saw a smaller jump during the past week than consumers did nationally, with prices rising 4.7 cents across the country. The average price-per-gallon in the state remained slightly higher than the national average of $2.29, according to GasBuddy.

Gas prices have risen nearly 19 cents a gallon in Maine during the past month – compared with a nearly 27-cent increase nationally – but are still $1.22 per gallon less than one year ago.

Factors behind the increase include seasonal demand, a growing refinery worker strike in the U.S., and an explosion at a California refinery last week.

“The seasonal lift in gasoline prices remains well underway across the country, with the West Coast seeing the most excruciating rate of price increases,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. “Not only is the national average up some 27 cents per gallon versus last month, but some areas – like California – are seeing extra hits at the pump as a refinery explosion and seasonal gasoline requirements leading to a home run – and not for the home team.”