U.S. Gas Prices Surge Week Over Week
Americans setting off on late-summer road trips are likely to encounter higher prices at the pump due to a confluence of factors.
The latest figures:
According to the newest data from GasBuddy, the national average for a gallon of gasoline rose 16.5¢ from one week prior. Currently, the average is $3.72 per gallon based on price data from more than 150,000 stations across the country. Similarly, the price of diesel has gone up 15.5¢ in the past week to reach an average of $3.99.
During the past week, the most common gas price that U.S. drivers encountered was $3.49 per gallon — which was up 20¢ from the week before. Other common prices were $3.59, $3.69, and $3.39 respectively. Meanwhile, the median gas price came in at $3.59. While that is also up 20¢ week-over-week, it is still below the mean price.
As for the states where gasoline is the cheapest, Mississippi once again topped the list. The average in the Magnolia State came in at $3.24 per gallon this week. It was followed by Louisiana ($3.33) and Alabama ($3.34). On the other end of the list, California had the highest average price per gallon at $4.95. Washington ($4.90) and Hawaii ($4.70) joined the Golden State in nearing $5 a gallon.
Behind the surge:
One key reason why prices are on the rise is due to heat. Specifically, as Axios reports, heat waves in Texas and Louisiana have led to a slowdown in refinery output. On top of that, while demand for gas has likely peaked for the summer, it remains high.
What they’re saying:
Commenting on the latest figures and the reasons for the surge, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis Patrick De Haan said, “Gas prices suddenly soared over the last week due to heat-related refinery outages that impacted some of the largest refineries in the country, at a time when summer gasoline demand peaks and as gasoline inventories slid to their lowest July level since 2015. In addition, oil prices surged to their highest level in months, rising to over $80 per barrel due to SPR releases coming to an end and concerns over cuts in supply from Saudi Arabia and Russia, the second and third largest oil producers in the world.”
Unfortunately, De Haan has more potentially bad news, adding, “As we get ever closer to the peak of hurricane season, any new issues could easily push the national average over $4 per gallon for the first time in 2023. Drivers may want to brace for potentially higher prices yet.”
While gas prices may be on the rise now, the good news is that they’re still far lower than they were last summer. Of course, as De Haan notes, we will need to be on alert as summer gives way to hurricane season. In any case, those looking to save on gas may want to check out apps such as GasBuddy to find the best prices and/or look into rewards credit cards that earn cashback at the pump.