During the week of July 16-22, Missouri's average retail gasoline price continued to rise, nearing the national average.

The state's average rose 7.6 cents to $3.36 per gallon yesterday, 13 cents lower than the national average of $3.49 per gallon. The nationwide gas price average rose 4.9 cents during the week, according to a GasBuddy.com news release.

"Gasoline prices continue to rise across much of the nation, which is precisely what we had forecast earlier this year, so it does not come as much of a shock," said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst, in the release. "Either way, I don't expect the national average to break out of its mid-$3 per gallon rut until mid- to late-September - then we may get some action to the downside."

The Missouri average yesterday was 9.3 cents higher than a month ago but 23 cents lower than the same day in 2011, and the U.S. average increased 2.4 cents during the last month and fell 21 cents during the last year.

Missouri's average gas prices rose another cent this morning, landing the state at No. 13 on GasBuddy.com's list of the lowest gas averages by state. A week ago, Missouri ranked No. 15. South Carolina had the least expensive gas in the nation this morning, at an average of $3.15 per gallon. With an average of $4.13, Hawaii had the highest gas prices in the U.S.

As of 10:01 a.m., the lowest price for gas in Missouri was available at five filling stations in Poplar Bluff for $3.04 per gallon. The most expensive gas, $3.54 per gallon, was selling at a station in Cameron.

In Springfield, two stations had the least expensive gas at $3.29 per gallon: Kum & Go, 609 E. Elm St., and Conoco, 945 S. Campbell Ave., according to MissouriGasPrices.com.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil was trading at $88.37 per barrel as of 10:09 a.m., up from $87.15 a week ago. Light sweet crude oil futures for September were trading at $88.92 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.