Average retail gasoline prices in Maine have risen 2.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.36 per gallon Jan. 1. This compares with the national average that has increased 2.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.25 per gallon, according to gasoline price website mainegasprices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Maine during the past week, prices yesterday were 21.1 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 1.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 4.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 20.9 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

“Average gasoline prices are moving up as we enter the New Year, a trend that has held since 2008,” said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “The biggest problem with that trend holding true this year is that we’re starting 2012 about 20-cents per gallon higher than 2011, breaking yet another high price record and setting up an ugly year for motorists.”

GasBuddy analysts will also release 2012 projections in the next two weeks and early indications show this year may see the highest ever recorded prices at the pump, with real potentials for some areas to see close to $5 per gallon gasoline if conflict arises in Iran over several key issues.

GasBuddy operates gasbuddy.com, mainegasprices.com, and more than 225 other local gasoline price-tracking websites that follow prices at more than 125,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. GasBuddy also uses Facebook (facebook.com/gasbuddy) Twitter (twitter.com/gasbuddy), and phone apps to keep motorists ahead of changing gasoline prices.