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Drivers in the United States are paying more at the pump over the last eight weeks, as retail gasoline prices now averages $2.75 per gallon in the US, according to GasBuddy, who compiles millions of data points from 135,000 gas stations across the US.
Gas prices have ticked upward $0.50 per gallon over the last 90 days. Crude oil prices, a component of gasoline prices, have also risen over the last three months, with WTI climbing from $48.52 per barrel on January 7 to $64.34 per barrel today.
While the nationwide average gas price rises, West Coast gasoline prices—specifically California—have risen even higher, and the Golden State will soon see prices exceed $4 per gallon on average, the liks of which hasn’t been seen for over five years.
Further complicating matters, California has seen some refinery outages including Valero’s refinery in the Bay Area which was shut down after air quality concerns. Phillips 66 refinery in LA was also shut down after a refinery fire, and Chevron’s El Segundo refinery—the largest in the sate—has been down for more than a week.
“It really is going to be ugly this week in the West Coast, and any further issues could lead to more spikes, but for the rest of the country expect the rise to continue for a ninth straight week with little good news on the horizon,” Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy said.
The average cost of a gallon of gasoline was $3.884 in Los Angeles on Monday, surpassing the price at the pump in even Hawaii.
The higher gasoline prices could put additional pressure on Washington, which is still considering a gas tax hike.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.