Florida, U.S. gas prices climb amid world tensions

Tensions over Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine are affecting the oil market and driving gas prices up throughout the United States. 

The national average for a gallon of gas has risen to $3.53, four cents more than a week ago, according to the AAA’s weekly report on Tuesday.

AAA stated that a Russian attack on Western-backed Ukraine would result in financial sanctions led by the U.S. and its allies. Russia will likely respond by withholding oil from the world market, which is already struggling to keep up with demands as nations worldwide move on from COVID-related economic slowdowns.

“Russia is one of the leading oil producers globally, behind only the United States and Saudi Arabia,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson in a press release. “And if they choose to withhold their oil from the global market, such a move would eventually be reflected in higher gas prices for American drivers.”

Florida has the 20th most expensive average price per gallon in the United States at $3.49, up four cents since last week.

Locally, people are trying to roll with the ever-increasing price surge.

“I’m retired, I don’t drive that much, so it’s all good,” said Kim Dyle of Gainesville, adding she saves at the pump by purchasing gas cards. “I ride my bike for exercise, even to the grocery store.

“Absolutely [gas prices] are going up, but I’m just going to live my best life and just go with it. Because really, it’s out of my control so I’m just going to enjoy my life every day and not let it consume my thoughts.”

Caleb Dugan of Gainesville also notices the ever-rising prices.

“I’m having to pay more, I’m not happy about it,” he said. “I used to pay almost $38 to get full and not it’s like $48 or $49. I’ve got a little I’ve got money left over to do what I want, but gas is a bigger expenditure at the end of the month.”

In Gainesville, the average cost for regular unleaded per gallon is $3.53, which is up from $3.51 last week and $3.24 a month ago, according to the AAA. This marks a jump of nearly a dollar from a year ago when the average price per gallon was $2.61.

GasBuddy reports found the lowest gas price gallon in Alachua County is $3.39 at Pilot at 17276 US 301 in Waldo, Murphy Express at 6323 NW 13th Street in Gainesville, Circle K at 16070 Martin Luther King Blvd. in Gainesville and Circle K at 15089 NW 441 in Alachua. 

As of Tuesday, the national average for a gallon of gas is $3.53— up 21 cents from a month ago and 90 cents from a year ago.

Quick Stats 

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Ohio (+10 cents), Maryland (+8 cents), North Carolina (+7 cents), Minnesota (+6 cents), Nevada (+5 cents), Louisiana (+5 cents), New Hampshire (+5 cents), Arizona (+5 cents), New York (+5 cents) and Hawaii (+5 cents).

The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($4.74), Hawaii ($4.51), Oregon ($3.98), Washington ($3.98), Nevada ($3.95), Alaska ($3.85), New York ($3.75), Pennsylvania ($3.73), Washington, D.C. ($3.72) and Arizona ($3.71).

Oil Market Dynamics (AAA)

 At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate (WTI)  decreased by 69 cents to settle at $91.07. Although crude prices declined at the end of last week due to increased market expectations that more oil could enter the global market if the U.S. and Iran complete a new nuclear agreement, and related sanctions are lifted, the tension between Russia and Ukraine contributed to rising oil prices earlier in the week. 

Additionally, EIA reported that total domestic crude stocks increased by 1.1 million bbl to 411.5 million bbl. The current stock level is approximately 11 percent lower than mid-February 2021, contributing to pressure on domestic crude prices. For this week, crude prices could climb if EIA’s next report shows a decrease in total stocks.

AAA National Gas Price Comparison 2019-2022 charge 2-22-22
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