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National average gas price up for 4th week; local prices up 21 cents

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GILLETTE, Wyo. — Campbell County’s average gas price rose for a fourth straight week along with the national average, which rose 8.7 cents from a week ago.

The national increase brought the average price per gallon to $3.26 per gallon Sunday, according to GasBuddy data. The national average is up 16.7 cents from a month ago but is down 11.6 cents from a year ago.

The national average price of diesel has risen 10 cents in the last week to stand at $4.09 per gallon — 38 cents lower than one year ago.

“Roses are red, violets are blue, Valentine’s is over, and gas prices are going anywhere but lower,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “With Valentine’s Day now behind us, we have officially entered the time of year when gas prices traditionally start their spring fling, but we’ve already seen the streak of consecutive increases in the national average hit four weeks.

“While the early start could also mean an early end, we still have as many as 8 weeks before gas prices typically increase, and anything can happen between now and then. One of the most critical elements to how much gas prices will climb is how quickly and effectively refiners can finish their pre-summer maintenance, start producing EPA-mandated summer gasoline, and build up supply of it before Memorial Day.”

On Monday, AAA reported the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline at $3.27 per gallon, up 8 cents from a week ago. Wyoming’s average is $2.82, up 12 cents from a week ago. Campbell County’s average of $2.71 is up 21 cents, slipping from Wyoming’s second cheapest to the state’s fifth. The cheapest gas is found in Natrona County, where the average is $2.54, according to AAA.

(AAA graphic)

The cheapest fuel in Campbell County on Monday was $2.49 at Loaf ‘N Jug, 2800 S. Douglas Highway, followed by $2.65 at Good 2 Go, 1616 E. Highway 14-16, and M.G. Oil Co., 502 El Camino Road, according to GasBuddy.

Also included in GasBuddy’s report Monday:

OIL PRICES
The price of oil has seen some sideways movement, but overall strength continues, with oil now closing in on $80, its highest level since November. In limited trade due to the President’s Day holiday, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude was up 5 cents to $79.24 per barrel, a $3 per barrel rise from last Monday’s $76.18 per barrel level. Brent crude was seeing a slight dip, falling 4 cents in early trade to $83.43 per barrel, but still some $2 higher than last week’s $81.42 per barrel fetch. Global inventories continue to tighten heading into a time of year when demand typically increases, while tensions in the Middle East again perk up between Israel and Lebanon, as Israel bombed Lebanon last week in retaliation for earlier rocket attacks.

OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed a large 12-million-barrel build in oil inventories as refineries slipped into maintenance season. Domestic crude oil production remained at 13.3 million barrels per day, still a million higher than a year ago, while the SPR rose another 700,000 barrels to stand at nearly 359 million barrels. Gasoline inventories fell 3.7 million barrels as refiners began the purge of winter gasoline, while distillate inventories fell 1.8 million barrels but still stand some 5% above last year’s level. Implied gasoline demand, a proxy for retail demand, fell 639,000 bpd to 8.17 million, in agreement with previous GasBuddy data showing a decline. Refinery utilization, meanwhile, fell 1.8 percentage points to just 80.6% of capacity, likely as refiners begin the transition into winter maintenance, ahead of warmer weather and the changeover to summer-spec fuels.

FUEL DEMAND
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy™ fuel card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw an increase of 0.7% for the week ending February 18 (Sun-Sat). Broken down by PADD region, demand fell 2.1% in PADD 1, rose 3.3% in PADD 2, fell 3.1% in PADD 3, rose 0.3% in PADD 4, and rose 5.0% in PADD 5. GasBuddy models U.S. gasoline demand at 8.381 million barrels per day.

GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $2.99 per gallon, down 20 cents from last week, followed by $3.19, $2.89, $3.29, and $3.09 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.17 per gallon, up 8 cents from last week and about 9 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $4.40 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $2.74 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Oklahoma ($2.75), Wyoming ($2.81), Mississippi ($2.83).
The states with the highest average prices: Hawaii ($4.68), California ($4.62), 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 $4.19, $3.89, $3.79, and $3.69 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. diesel price is $3.99 per gallon, up 6 cents from last week and about 10 cents lower than the national average for diesel.
Diesel prices at the top 10% of stations in the country average $5.03 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.54 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average diesel prices: Oklahoma ($3.60), Mississippi ($3.70), and Kansas ($3.71).
The states with the highest average diesel prices: Hawaii ($5.58), California ($5.37), and Washington ($4.61). GasBuddy

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