Uncertainty over Russia’s intentions toward Ukraine is contributing to higher crude oil prices, which are closing in on $90 per barrel.
Russia is a member of OPEC+, and any sanctions based on its actions toward Ukraine may cause it to withhold crude oil from the global market, according to the AAA’s weekly report on Monday.
Higher oil prices will lead to higher gas prices for drivers. The national average for a gallon of gas has risen to $3.36, three cents more than a week ago.
“At the moment, only one person knows why Russia is threatening Ukraine, and that’s Russian President Vladimir Putin,” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross. “And the tensions along the Ukrainian border have helped push crude oil prices higher almost daily.”
Florida has the 17th most expensive average price per gallon in the U.S. this week at $3.40. That’s a 12-cent jump from last week—the largest weekly increase for any state in the nation.
In Gainesville, the average cost for regular unleaded per gallon is $3.42, which is up from $3.28 last week and $3.22 a month ago, according to the AAA. GasBuddy.com reports the Short Stop at 2610 NE 39th Ave has the cheapest price at $3.29 per gallon in Gainesville.
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks grew by 1.3 million barrels of crude oil (bbl) to 247.9 million bbl last week. On the other hand, gasoline demand rose slightly from 8.22 million barrels per day (b/d) to 8.51 million b/d.
The increase still puts gas demand in a typical range for the winter driving season, which pre-COVID was 8.8 million b/d in mid-January 2020. Continued growth in crude oil prices has helped maintain elevated pump prices. If oil prices continue to climb toward $90 a barrel, pump prices will likely follow suit.
In December gas prices were in slow decline as fears rose over the economic effects of the omicron variant. Now the omicron surge is in retreat, paving the way for more driving and increased gas demand.
Today’s national average of $3.36 is eight cents more than a month ago and 94 cents more than a year ago.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Florida (+12 cents), Indiana (+10 cents), Ohio (+9 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents), Georgia (+7 cents), South Carolina (+7 cents), Tennessee (+6 cents), Illinois (+6 cents), Alabama (+5 cents) and New York (+5 cents).
The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($4.64), Hawaii ($4.38), Washington ($3.95), Oregon ($3.92), Nevada ($3.80), Alaska ($3.75), Washington, D.C. ($3.58), Arizona ($3.56), New York ($3.54) and Pennsylvania ($3.53).