Gas prices skyrocket to near record highs

Crude oil and gas prices skyrocketed this past week as the national average for a gallon of gas surged 45 cents in seven days and 62 cents since last month, hitting its highest mark in almost 14 years.

In Gainesville, the average cost for regular unleaded per gallon is $4.06, which is up from $3.56 last week and $3.48 a month ago, according to the AAA. The highest recorded average price was $4.16 per gallon on July 17, 2008. 

As of Monday afternoon, GasBuddy.com was experiencing technical difficulties, leaving its Gainesville gas pricing page unavailable. In surrounding rural areas, drivers reported gas stations in Melrose and Tioga were out of regular unleaded and only had premium fuel for as much as $4.90 per gallon.

On AAA’s website, Florida ranks 21st in the country with the average price per gallon at $4.01, up 49 cents since last week and 54 cents since last month. The average price per gallon last year at this time statewide was $2.72. 

According to Monday’s AAA weekly report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced a coordinated release of crude oil last week from its strategic reserves —which included the U.S., Germany, Canada, South Korea, and Mexico —to help counter the impact of rising crude prices.

On Friday, the IEA said its 31 member countries committed to releasing 61.7 million barrels of crude oil (bbl) from their strategic reserves to reassure markets roiled by the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the AAA release stated. This amount—half of which is expected to come from the U.S.—is the largest coordinated release since IEA was founded in 1974.

Despite the IEA’s announcement, the impact on pricing is limited given that the amount of oil being released is minimal compared to the amount that flows daily from Russia to other countries around the globe. According to the IEA, Russia exports approximately 5 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil, representing about 12 percent of its global trade.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 500,000 bbl to 246 million bbl last week. Meanwhile, gasoline demand rose slightly from 8.66 million b/d to 8.74 million b/d. The increase in gas demand and a reduction in total supply contribute to rising pump prices. 

But, increasing oil prices play a leading role in pushing gas prices higher. Consumers can expect the current trend at the pump to continue as long as crude prices climb.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Rhode Island (+58 cents), Nevada (+57 cents), Connecticut (+56 cents), Kentucky (+56 cents), Alabama (+56 cents), West Virginia (+55 cents), Virginia (+55 cents), Massachusetts (+54 cents), New Hampshire (+52 cents) and New Jersey (+52 cents).

The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($5.34), Hawaii ($4.69), Nevada ($4.59), Oregon ($4.51), Washington ($4.44), Alaska ($4.39), Illinois ($4.30), Connecticut ($4.28), New York ($4.26) and Pennsylvania ($4.23).

AAA National Gas Price Comparison chart 2019-22 3-7-22
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