US Gas Prices on Track for Highest Memorial Day Level in 4 Years

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The average U.S. price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose by nearly five cents last week to start the new week at $2.93, according to the latest data from GasBuddy. Month over month, the price is up about 16 cents a gallon, and it is more than 56 cents a gallon higher year over year. Last month the national average was $2.763, while the year-ago average was $2.362.

Pump prices rose in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for the second consecutive time last week. Crude prices for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) remained around $71 a barrel, primarily the result of geopolitical risks such as the Venezuelan elections and the impact of the announced U.S. reimposition of sanctions against Iran.

U.S. petroleum inventories fell last week, with crude oil stockpiles down by 1.4 million barrels and gasoline inventories down by 3.8 million barrels. Crude oil exports jumped to nearly 2.6 million barrels a day last week and production topped 10.7 million barrels a day.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said:

For all those that have said summer travel will be unaffected by high gas prices, we offer thousands of respondents who have strongly indicated that’s not true, especially as gas prices continue to climb. For the first time in years, the annual GasBuddy Summer Travel Survey revealed that higher prices are hurting the tradition of the summer road trip as we near a national average of $3 per gallon. It’s no shock as we continue to see higher prices in all of the nation’s 50 states. What especially rings true is that with such a big jump in prices, motorists are absolutely becoming more price conscious as they make plans this summer. High gas prices are starting to eat away at the travel plans of many, and the number will likely rise as gasoline prices appear poised to continue moving higher in the weeks ahead.

According to GasBuddy, states where prices moved most last week were: Minnesota, Illinois, Montana and Wisconsin (up eight cents), and Ohio, New Mexico, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma (up seven cents).

States with the lowest average prices last week included: Mississippi ($2.60); Arkansas, South Carolina, Louisiana and Alabama ($2.63); Oklahoma ($2.65); Tennessee and Missouri ($2.67); and Kansas and Texas ($2.71).

The highest average prices per gallon last week were reported from California ($3.70), Hawaii ($3.64), Washington ($3.39), Nevada ($3.32), Alaska ($3.31), Oregon ($3.27), Utah ($3.18), Idaho ($3.12), Connecticut ($3.11) and Pennsylvania ($3.06).

WTI crude oil for June delivery traded up about 1% in the noon hour Monday at $71.97, while Brent for July delivery traded at $78.92. The price differential (spread) between WTI and Brent crude dipped by nine cents to $6.98 a barrel week over week.