The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose nine cents since last week to hit $3.64. The main culprit is the high cost of oil, gasoline’s main ingredient, which is hovering in the low $80s per barrel. The national average has risen daily since March 29, according to AAA.
“When the cost of crude oil crosses the $80 a barrel mark, that puts a lot of upward pressure on what we pay at the pump,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, “and as long as oil costs remain at the current level, drivers will likely see incremental price increases for now.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand decreased from 9.3 to 8.94 million b/d last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks dropped slightly by 400,000 bbl to 222.2 million bbl. Lower demand would typically push pump prices down; instead, elevated oil prices have pushed them higher. If oil prices continue to rise, pump prices will follow suit.
Today’s national average of $3.64 is 17 cents more than a month ago but 44 cents less than a year ago.
Since last Thursday, these 10 states have seen the largest increases in their averages: Arizona (+18 cents), North Dakota (+17 cents), South Dakota (+17 cents), Nebraska (+16 cents), Indiana (+16 cents), Kansas (+15 cents), New Mexico (+15 cents), Iowa (+14 cents), Illinois (+14 cents) and Oklahoma (+14 cents).
The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($4.89), Hawaii ($4.78), Arizona ($4.52), Washington ($4.43), Nevada ($4.25), Illinois ($4.06), Oregon ($4.01), Alaska ($3.86), Pennsylvania ($3.74) and Indiana ($3.72).
At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $1.73 to settle at $83.26. Oil prices increased yesterday after the U.S. Labor Department said the U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% in March, a lower rise than the market expected. Additionally, the EIA reported that total domestic commercial crude inventories increased by 500,000 bbl to 470.5 million bbl last week.
Drivers can find current gas prices along their route using the AAA TripTik Travel planner.