Drivers appear to be taking advantage of the recent milder weather in much of the nation by fueling up and hitting the road, according to AAA. The increase in gasoline demand and slightly more expensive oil pushed the national average for a gallon of gas higher by 12 cents since last week to $3.42.
“The recent rising temperatures led to rising pump prices,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, “And with the cost of oil hitting $80 a barrel, there is a lot of upward pressure on gas prices at the moment.”
According to data from the Energy Information Administration, gas demand rose from 7.56 million to 8.05 million b/d last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 3.5 million bbl to 230.3 million bbl. If demand remains robust, drivers will likely see pump prices rise through the week.
Today’s national average of $3.42 is 33 cents more than a month ago and ten cents more than a year ago.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Colorado (+31 cents), Delaware (+28 cents), West Virginia (+22 cents), Ohio (+22 cents), Maryland (+19 cents), Missouri (+19 cents), Georgia (+18 cents), Virginia (+18 cents), Tennessee (+18 cents) and Louisiana (+18 cents).
The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: Hawaii ($4.94), California ($4.44), Washington ($4.06), Nevada ($3.95), Alaska ($3.72), Oregon ($3.71), Pennsylvania ($3.70), Colorado ($3.65), Washington, D.C. ($3.62) and Illinois ($3.56).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 98 cents to settle at $81.31. Crude prices rose at the end of last week due to increased market optimism that crude demand may be more robust than expected this year. In particular, the market believes that the re-opening of China’s economy, despite high coronavirus infection rates, will help to bolster global crude demand, while supporting elevated prices. For this week, crude prices could continue to climb if ongoing market optimism persists.
Drivers can find current gas prices along their route using the AAA TripTik Travel planner.