Gas Price Sees Weekly Rise, Pace Slowing

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The price of gasoline on Monday morning was higher by a single penny a gallon compared with last week’s national average pump price for regular gasoline. Compared with the same day last year, Monday’s national average price of $2.420 is about 28 cents a gallon higher.

The price of crude oil has risen about 17% since February, while gasoline prices have risen by about 5%. Typically that means that pump prices are likely to rise as gasoline prices catch up with crude oil prices. This year the rise seems to be happening in slow motion though.

GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said:

Overall, I would be surprised if we see the national average rise substantially more since the deadline for refiners to switch over to summer gasoline is nearly here. In addition, U.S. oil production numbers are up, keeping pressure on oil prices, while gasoline inventories remain very healthy. While we may see the national average rise to the low side of our previous predictions of $2.51-$2.83/gal for May, we’re unlikely to see anything higher, which is certainly good news for motorists.

Gas prices rose in 29 states over the past week, down from 41 in the previous week and 48 two weeks ago. The five states taking the largest increases were Utah (up 9.4 cents a gallon), Ohio (7.1 cents), Alaska (6.8 cents), Connecticut (4.7 cents) and Idaho (4.5 cents).

The five states where prices slipped the most were Oklahoma (down 3.9 cents a gallon), Iowa (3.2 cents), Louisiana (1.9 cents), Wisconsin (1.7 cents) and South Carolina (1.6 cents).

No state showed an average of below $2.10 a gallon Monday morning. The five states with the lowest prices are South Carolina ($2.109 a gallon), Oklahoma ($2.121), Arkansas ($2.164), Mississippi ($2.164) and Tennessee ($2.167). States posting the highest prices are Hawaii ($3.065 a gallon), California ($3.012), Alaska ($2.914), Washington ($2.900) and Oregon $2.766).

The most common price across the country is $2.399, with the highest 5% of stations charging an average of $3.168 and the lowest 5% of stations charging $2.066. Less than 1% of all U.S. gas stations are charging less than $2.00 a gallon as of Monday morning.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil for June delivery traded down about 0.7% Monday morning at $49.23 a barrel, a whopping $3.88 a barrel below last Monday’s closing price of $53.11.