Since Monday (Feb. 27), the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by a penny to $3.37, which is still two cents less than a week ago. One reason could be an increase in demand, as the cost of oil has barely budged for the past few weeks, according to AAA.
“Another reason is that the seasonal switch to summer blend gasoline is underway, which may account for this bounce in pump prices,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, “This blend is designed to lower emissions during the summer and is more expensive to refine. Switching to summer blend usually adds about five to ten cents to the price of gasoline.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand jumped from 8.91 million to 9.11 million b/d last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by nearly 1 million bbl to 239.2 million bbl last week. The increase in gas demand, amid tighter supplies, has contributed to rising pump prices. If demand continues to grow, drivers will likely continue to see pump prices increase.
Today’s national average of $3.37 is 12 cents less than a month ago and 28 cents less than a year ago.
Since last Thursday, these 10 states have seen the largest changes in their averages: Arizona (+10 cents), California (+8 cents), Florida (−8 cents), Colorado (−8 cents), Wisconsin (+7 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Washington, D.C. (−6 cents), North Carolina (−6 cents), Georgia (−6 cents) and Virginia (−6 cents).
The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: Hawaii ($4.87), California ($4.83), Nevada ($4.28), Washington ($4.22), Colorado ($4.01), Oregon ($3.89), Alaska ($3.84), Utah ($3.72), Idaho ($3.66) and Arizona ($3.66).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 64 cents to settle at $77.69. Crude prices increased yesterday after the market saw that manufacturing activity rose in China last month, signaling that global oil demand may be more robust than anticipated this year. Additionally, the EIA reported that total domestic commercial crude inventories increased by 1.2 million bbl to 480.2 million bbl last week.
Drivers can find current gas prices along their route using the AAA TripTik Travel planner.