Back to Analyst

Deal to Cut More Oil Production Drives Gasoline Prices Even Higher


The national average continues to trend higher, rising an average of 3 cents in the last week to $2.21 per gallon, following previous gains in oil prices that brings an upward trend rarely seen during December.

Four out of five states saw gasoline prices rise over the week, with the ten exceptions being:

  • Utah (down five cents)
  • Idaho (down three cents)
  • Nevada (down 2 cents)
  • Arizona (down 1 cent)
  • Oklahoma (down 1 cent)
  • Washington (down 1 cent)
  • California (down 1 cent)

Oregon, Montana and Missouri rounded out the list, each down mere fractions of a penny over the last week.

Leading states higher were:

  • Michigan (up 10 cents)
  • Indiana (up 9 cents)
  • Hawaii (up 9 cents)
  • Ohio (up 7 cents)
  • Georgia (up 6 cents) in the last week.

Last week’s rise in gas prices leaves just two states—Nevada and Montana—that have average gasoline prices below last year (8 cents and 1 cent, respectively).

The trend at the pump has remained upward as gas prices catch up to the major rise in the price of crude oil; which at $53 per barrel today is nearly $10 per barrel higher, or 25 percent higher, than a month ago. And the pain isn’t likely to subside soon. Over the weekend, some non-OPEC member countries also agreed to cut oil output, led by the Russians, lending more support to the price of oil and causing them to jump again to start the week.

Meanwhile, the number of drilling rigs in the United States saw a major jump, rising by 27 (5%) in the last week to a total of 624 rigs. While the number of rigs is still 12% below last year’s count, a rise in rigs now signals drillers eager to capitalize on the rising price of crude oil.

“Gas prices continue to play catch-up with oil prices, and as motorists traverse the nation’s thoroughfares for the holidays, they’ll be shelling out more money on gasoline,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy. “The current news and trends bode poorly for motorists who’ve gone back to driving larger cars over the last two years, and 2017 will likely see higher prices than where we stand today.”

Overall, four states still have average gasoline prices under the $2 per gallon level:

  • Oklahoma ($1.94)
  • Arkansas ($1.97)
  • Missouri ($1.97)
  • Texas ($1.98).

On the high end of the spectrum are:

  • Hawaii ($2.93)
  • California ($2.66)
  • Washington ($2.58)
  • Alaska ($2.56)
  • Pennsylvania ($2.41)


Head of Petroleum Analysis (USA)

Patrick has developed into the leading source for reliable and accurate information on gas price hikes. Patrick has been interviewed as a gasoline price expert hundreds of times since 2004. Based in Chicago, Patrick brings to GasBuddy all his assets to help consumers by giving reliable and accurate price forecasts, including the San Jose Mercury News dubbing Patrick "one of the nation's most accurate forecasters" in 2012.