The price on a gallon of gas is slowly creeping toward the $3 mark.

In a report released by AAA of Arizona last week, the average price is $2.97 for a gallon of gas in the East Valley, a 5-cent increase from the previous week and the seventh consecutive week that the price of gas has risen.

This comes on the heels of the news from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) that the average price of crude oil is expected to reach $93.42 per barrel in 2011, up $14 from the average price in 2010, according to the report.

Elsewhere around Arizona, Flagstaff, Scottsdale and Yuma are three cities where the average has climbed above $3 per gallon. Yuma has the highest price, at $3.08 per gallon, up 7 cents from the previous week, and Tucson, at $2.86, has the lowest average price in the state.

"While the EIA's projections do not bode well for consumers who are already anxious about gas prices for the coming year, the agency's forecast contains noteworthy expectations for the price of fuel," said Linda Gorman, director of communication and public affairs for AAA Arizona. "The forecasted increase in the cost of fuel is in large part due to the rising cost of crude oil and increased global demand for gasoline."

The national average is $3.11 per gallon.

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