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Local, national gas prices up; increases likely to continue

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GILLETTE, Wyo. — For a third consecutive week, drivers in Campbell County and nationwide are seeing a higher price at the pump. The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose 5.2 cents in the last week, while in Campbell County prices are up 1 cent.

The nation’s average price climbed to $3.17 per gallon Sunday, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 12 million individual price reports. The national average is up 9.6 cents from a month ago but still down 20 cents from a year ago.

The national average price of diesel has risen 6.9 cents in the last week to stand at $3.99 per gallon — 55 cents lower than one year ago.

“We’ve seen the national average price of gasoline inching higher now for three straight weeks, but I’m afraid the worst is yet to come. With several major refinery issues persisting across various regions, the eventual transition to summer gasoline is likely to continue to put upward pressure on prices, with larger weekly increases likely coming in March and April,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

“While I feel optimistic that the rise in prices will be merely average, the fact that we’ve already seen a few high-level refinery problems doesn’t bode well for the spring squeeze, and is a reminder to motorists that without the critical role that refineries play, we could see a bumpy transition to EPA-mandated summer gasoline.”

On Monday, AAA reported the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline at $3.19 per gallon, up 5 cents from a week ago. Wyoming’s average is $2.70, up 3 cents from a week ago. Campbell County’s average of $2.50 is up 1 cent, but remains the second cheapest in the state. The next closest average is Natrona County’s at $2.43, according to AAA.

(AAA Graphic)

The cheapest fuel in Campbell County on Tuesday was $2.33 at M.G. Oil Co., 502 El Camino Road, followed by $2.37 at Good 2 Go, 1616 E. Highway 14-16, according to GasBuddy.

Also included in GasBuddy’s report Monday:

OIL PRICES
Last week saw oil prices rallying throughout the week, rising from nearly $72 to start last week to finish the week at nearly $77 per barrel. Monday, however, is seeing some downward moves in both WTI and Brent, with WTI crude down 66 cents to $76.18 per barrel, while Brent is off 77 cents to $81.42 per barrel. Global oil inventories have been on the decline in recent weeks, putting upward pressure on oil markets, while Saudi Arabia has looked to cut its capacity, likely to realize growing output from North America and put upward pressure on prices that have remained below $80 since November. In addition, dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia about a solution in Gaza has helped reduce concern in the region.

OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed a 5.5 million barrel increase in oil inventories, which are now 4% below the five-year average for this time of year, while gasoline inventories plummeted 3.1 million barrels, likely as refineries begin draining winter-spec fuel ahead of the transition to cleaner, EPA-required summer spec fuels. Distillate fuel inventories also fell, shedding 3.2 million barrels, and are 7% below their five-year average range. Implied gasoline demand rose in agreement with Pay with GasBuddy™ data, adding 663,000 barrels per day to 8.807 million. Refinery utilization slipped another 0.5 percentage points to 82.4%, but some recent issues will likely push the number down in the coming weeks.

FUEL DEMAND
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy™ fuel card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a decrease of 0.7% for the week ending February 10 (Sun-Sat). Broken down by PADD region, demand rose 0.8% in PADD 1, fell 3.5% in PADD 2, rose 2.5% in PADD 3, rose 2.1% in PADD 4, and fell 1.9% in PADD 5. GasBuddy models U.S. gasoline demand at 8.321 million barrels per day.

GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.19 per gallon, up 20 cents from last week, followed by $2.99, $3.09, $2.89, and $2.79 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.09 per gallon, up 10 cents from last week and about 7 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $4.34 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $2.61 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Wyoming ($2.67), Oklahoma ($2.68), Colorado ($2.68).
The states with the highest average prices: Hawaii ($4.66), California ($4.58), and Washington ($3.85).

DIESEL PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. diesel price stood at $3.99 per gallon, unchanged from last week, followed by $3.89, $3.79, $3.69, and $3.59 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. diesel price is $3.93 per gallon, up 14 cents from last week and about 6 cents lower than the national average for diesel.
Diesel prices at the top 10% of stations in the country average $5.07 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.40 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average diesel prices: Oklahoma ($3.50), Colorado ($3.53), and Texas ($3.58).
The states with the highest average diesel prices: Hawaii ($5.63), California ($5.34), and Washington ($4.62). GasBuddy

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