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Gas Price Rise Hits Four Straight Weeks

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Average gasoline prices in the U.S. are up for their fourth straight week, posting a 5 cent per gallon rise over the last week to $2.48 per gallon, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 10 million individual price reports covering 135,000 gas stations across the United States. The average price of diesel rose 1.7 cents to $3.01 per gallon.

“As predicted, gas prices advanced across much of the country for the fourth straight week even as oil prices held relatively stable at $56 per barrel. The reason for the continued disconnect remains similar to weeks past: refinery maintenance is ongoing and eating into supply and production levels, while more expensive, cleaner burning gasoline is now the predominate fuel being produced. This has pushed up wholesale gas prices even as oil remains mostly calm,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Expect rising prices to knock out the 135 remaining stations in the nation priced at $1.99 per gallon of less, while the number of stations over $3 per gallon will likely grow, mainly out West as the pinch at the pump grows in those areas- the first in the nation to fully move to summer gasoline in the next two weeks.”

West Texas Intermediate crude oil posted a slight rise last week, finishing the week at $56.07 per barrel, a rise of 37 cents on the week after oil inventories posted a large 7.1 million barrel increase and amidst concerns of a slowdown in global economic activity according to the EIA.

In last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration, oil inventories stood 27 million barrels above their year-ago level while gasoline inventories dropped a healthy 4.2 million barrels and distillate inventories sank 2.4 million barrels. Refinery utilization rebounded slightly, rising 0.4% to 87.5%, still reflective of ongoing turnarounds ahead of the summer driving season but a slight improvement from the previous week. The East Coast saw the large rebound in refinery utilization, rising 7.7% to 67.7%, still the lowest rate of any region by far nearly 20 percentage points.

At gas pumps, motorists saw average prices rise in 49 of the nation’s 50 states as of late Sunday, with three states (Indiana, West Virginia and Ohio) seeing double-digit average price increases. Mississippi claimed the nation’s cheapest gasoline, tied with Texas at $2.21 per gallon, followed by Louisiana, Utah and Missouri. California, meanwhile, was the priciest state with an average of $3.31, followed by Hawaii at $3.27 and Washington state at $2.90.

The most common price for gasoline stood at $2.39 per gallon across the country while just 134 gas stations were still selling under $2 per gallon at the close of the week. Gasoline prices are likely somewhere in the middle of their traditional seasonal rally that pushes them higher until April or May, meaning a further rise of 15-25 cents per gallon is possible over the next four to six weeks.

GasBuddy is a company that connects drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop. As the leading source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews. GasBuddy’s first-of-its-kind fuel savings program, Pay with GasBuddy, has saved Americans more than $6 million at the pumps since its launch in 2017.