Based on information gathered by AAA, drivers are paying a lot more at the pump as the cost of gasoline moves steadily higher. In the past two weeks, the national average for a gallon of gasoline has risen 20 cents to $4.32, a penny less than the record high set on March 11. The increase is primarily due to the high cost of crude oil, which was hovering near $100 a barrel last week and is now closing in on $110.
“With the cost of oil accounting for more than half of the pump price, more expensive oil means more expensive gasoline,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “These prices are creeping closer to those record high levels of early March.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2.2 million bbl to 228.6 million bbl last week. However, gasoline demand increased slightly from 8.74 million b/d to 8.86 million b/d. Increasing gas demand and rising oil prices have pushed pump prices higher. Pump prices will likely face upward pressure as oil prices remain above $105 per barrel.
For those in the market for a new ride, one way to end the pain at the pump may be to dump the pump. In the latest online AAA Car Guide, all category winners for 2022 are electric or electric hybrid vehicles. In addition to being highly fuel-efficient, the winners are loaded with the latest advanced driver assistance systems. The AAA Car Guide also contains detailed information about AAA’s recent research on current automotive technologies and topics, such as driver assistance systems, gasoline quality, headlight effectiveness and much more.
Meanwhile, today’s national average for a gallon of gas is $4.32, which is 20 cents more than a month ago, and $1.36 more than a year ago.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Michigan (+26 cents), New Jersey (+25 cents), Connecticut (+19 cents), Kentucky (+19 cents), Indiana (+19 cents), Rhode Island (+19 cents), Illinois (+18 cents), Washington, D.C. (+18 cents), Alabama (+18 cents) and Tennessee (+18 cents).
The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($5.82), Hawaii ($5.28), Nevada ($5.11), Washington ($4.83), Oregon ($4.81), Alaska ($4.73), Washington, D.C. ($4.69), Arizona ($4.66), Illinois ($4.59) and New York ($4.51).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $1.51 to settle at $109.77. Crude prices rose last week after the European Union announced a proposal to ban Russian oil imports within six months, while refined product imports would be prohibited by the end of 2022. The price increases occurred despite continuing COVID lockdowns in China weighing down crude demand and EIA reporting that total domestic crude inventories increased by 1.3 million bbl to 415.7 million bbl, which is approximately 14% lower than the storage level at the end of April 2021. Since supply remains tight and the market remains highly volatile, crude prices will likely continue to fluctuate this week, potentially pushing pump prices higher.