WASHINGTON, D.C. — High fuel demand is a significant factor behind the national gas price average's 40-percent rise from $2.25 per gallon on Jan. 1 to $3.13 on July 6.
This is unlikely to mark the high point for the year, as gas prices are expected to rise 10 cents to 20 cents higher through the end of August, pushing the national average well above $3.25 this summer, reported AAA.
"Robust gasoline demand and more expensive crude oil prices are pushing gas prices higher," said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. "We had hoped that global crude production increases would bring some relief at the pump this month, but weekend OPEC negotiations fell through with no agreement reached. As a result, crude prices are set to surge to a seven year-high."
The last time crude oil was more than $76.40 per barrel and the national average gas price was at $3.25 was November and October 2014, respectively, according to AAA. Current crude prices are expected to exceed this threshold in the immediate future with gas prices following suit.
Current gasoline demand is 9.1 million barrels per day despite a decrease on the week, reported the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The current national average gas price is 4 cents higher than one week ago, 8 cents higher than one month ago, and 95 cents higher than one year ago.
Tropical Storm Elsa may also affect fuel prices, as it is expected to bring storm surge and possible flooding to areas of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina despite avoiding interruptions to the production of crude oil and gasoline along the Gulf Coast.
The top 10 largest weekly prices increases in the country occurred in Idaho (10 cents), Alaska (9 cents), Washington (7 cents), Oregon (7 cents), Colorado (7 cents), Ohio (6 cents), Utah (6 cents), Wyoming (6 cents), Nevada (5 cents) and Montana (5 cents).
The top 10 least expensive markets are Mississippi ($2.75), Louisiana ($2.76), Texas ($2.80), Missouri ($2.80), South Carolina ($2.81), Alabama ($2.81), Arkansas ($2.82), Oklahoma ($2.83), Kansas ($2.87) and Tennessee ($2.88).