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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Gas Prices Jump for Fifth Straight Week w/ Trend to Continue

'There appears to be little good news on the gas price front, with prices unlikely to turn around any time soon... '

(Tom Gantert, The Center Square) Gas prices at the pump rose for the fifth consecutive week and there isn’t much hope of prices going down in the near future, according to a industry analysis.

GasBuddy said that the national average of $3.49 per gallon reported Sunday is up 33.3 cents from a month ago and 14.1 cents higher than a year ago.

Hawaii had the highest average price at $4.88 per gallon followed by California ($4.48) and Washington ($4.03). Texas had the lowest average price per gallon at $3.09 followed by Oklahoma ($3.13) and Arkansas ($3.15).

“The national average price of gasoline has risen for the fifth straight week as retailers pass along the rise in wholesale gasoline prices due to continued challenges: refinery utilization that still hasn’t fully recovered from December’s cold weather, and refinery maintenance season that’s just around the corner,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, in a news release.

“There appears to be little good news on the gas price front, with prices unlikely to turn around any time soon. Because of the surge in prices last spring, many refineries that had planned maintenance deferred maintenance until 2023. With the can kicked to this year, we may have similar challenges producing enough refined products to meet demand, especially with the European Union cutting off refined products from Russia starting February 5.”

AAA reported that the national average price was $3.50 per gallon as of Jan. 31.

“January’s weather was relatively mild in much of the nation, which led to more drivers hitting the road. However, a return of wintery conditions in February may see a revival of seasonal driving patterns,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, in a news release. “… but with the cost of oil stubbornly hovering around $80 per barrel, drivers probably won’t catch a big break at the pump over the next week or two.”

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