An increase in oil prices on Wednesday does not necessarily mean higher gasoline prices at this time, according to Satterfield Oil President Branch Satterfield.

According to the Associated Press, "Oil prices rose Wednesday as the market reacted favorably to signs of an increase in future demand in China and a further loosening of the recession’s grip in the U.S. That trumped data showing a continued slump in the nation’s appetite for oil."

Satterfield said, "I don’t think today’s rise in oil prices is necessarily indicative of a price increase at the pump right now."

He noted although there have been some slight increases in the price of gasoline, it has only changed about 4 cents in the past week.

"The price changes every day, but when you compare it to last year, a two- to three-cent change is pretty small compared to the 15 to 18 cent changes we were seeing last year. The volatility is less.

"We’ve been at this level already this year, around the first week of June. We were up in the $2.50 area. It got up to even $2.59 and backed off a little, and here we are in the $2.40s. We’re not any higher than we have been already this year, and we’re a lot lower than this time last year."

He said the average price in August 2008 was about $3.60.

According to ArkansasGasPrices.com, gas prices in Conway on Wednesday ranged from $2.41 to $2.49.

Customers at a local gas station had differing views on the price of gasoline.

Mike Mayfield of Vilonia said, "Everybody’s noticed it’s gone up quite a bit, especially in the last couple weeks. I work in North Little Rock, drive back and forth to commute. There’s nothing we can do about it."

Bud Fouts, a traveling salesman from Copper Canyon, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, said gas prices in Conway are almost exactly the same as in his home town. He said he drives quite a few miles a year and prices are not too bad right now.

"It’s a whole lot better than they were a few years ago," he said.

Mary Ann Parish of Conway said, "For a while they were real, real high. Then they went back down. Now they’re back up again. They’re not as high as they were at one time. There’s not a lot we can do about it, I guess."

(Staff writer Rachel Parker Dickerson can be reached by e-mail at rachel.dickerson@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1277. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)