Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by four cents to $3.24, the highest pump price since October 2014. According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 3.3 million bbl to 225.1 million bbl last week. Gasoline demand also increased slightly from 9.40 million b/d to 9.44 million b/d. The slight increase in gas demand has contributed to the rise in the national average. However, the main culprit for rising pump prices remains high crude prices above $70 per barrel. The trend is expected to continue through the weekend.
At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 87 cents to settle at $78.30. Prices increased today after the U.S. Department of Energy dispelled speculation that the Biden Administration would sell crude oil held in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The move could have put more crude into the domestic market, but it is unlikely to have had a sustained downward impact on oil prices. Additionally, prices rose earlier this week following OPEC+, which comprises the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and their allies, choosing not to move forward with an agreement to produce 800,000 b/d in November. Instead, OPEC+ decided to keep its 400,000 b/d planned production increase intact for now. Prices have increased this week despite EIA’s latest report showing that total domestic crude inventories increased by 2.4 million bbl to 420.9 million bbl last week.
Largest Weekly Increases
- Since last Thursday, these 10 states have seen the largest increases in their averages: Kentucky (+15 cents), Indiana (+15 cents), Ohio (+13 cents), Washington, D.C. (+12 cents), Tennessee (+9 cents), Illinois (+8 cents), Alabama (+8 cents), Missouri (+8 cents), Virginia (+7 cents) and North Carolina (+7 cents).