Gas prices rising as protests spread in Mideast, N. Africa

Gas prices continue to rise in Georgia, and they're now 55 cents higher than they were a year ago.

The average price of regular unleaded is $3.09, up 3 cents from last week. Metro Atlanta's average is $3.10.

The national average of $3.16 is 4 cents higher than last week.

Protests across the Mideast and North Africa have sparked concern in the oil market. Friday's closing price of $86.20 on the New York Mercantile Exchange was 20 cents higher than a week earlier. However, experts say there have been no distruptions in oil supply.

"Although investor concerns about the Mideast and North Africa are legitimate, since they account for 35 percent of the world's oil supply and reserves, the unrest has not affected oil production or exports," AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady said. "Retail gas prices are starting the week a little higher, with a 4-cent increase in the national average from last week. Depending on what happens this week in the Middle East, the price of oil and gas could make further gains."