The average price per gallon of gasoline in the United States increased in the first two weeks of 2022.
Currently, prices at the pump stand at $ 3.29 a gallon, an increase of 2.3 cents from a week ago, according to GasBuddy, which compiles data from price reports covering more than 150 000 service stations across the country.
Although the national average is down 5.5 cents per gallon from a month ago, it is still 97.5 cents per gallon higher than a year ago, according to GasBuddy data. Prices are expected to rise even more as spring approaches.
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Patrick De Haan, head of oil analysis for GasBuddy, said gas prices continued to rise even as demand for gas struggled due to the fact that oil prices “remained stubbornly strong”.
Crude oil prices hit nearly $ 80 a barrel last week, according to GasBuddy. West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at $ 81.45 a barrel on Tuesday.
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Oil production is being hampered in part by unrest in Kazakhstan and Libya, according to De Haan.
“The unrest in Kazakhstan, the 18th largest oil producer, is likely to have impacts on oil production, while the lingering unrest in Libya also worries the markets and exceeds the seasonal decline in gasoline demand,” he said. he declares.
If there is no “improvement or stability” in the countries, “we are likely to continue to see upward pressure on oil prices,” according to De Haan.
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Earlier this month, GasBuddy predicted that the national average could reach $ 4 a gallon this spring, “largely due to the pandemic recovery and rising demand before additional aid or supply. in oil does not arrive later in 2022 “.
The average price of a gallon of gasoline is expected to peak at $ 4.13 in June before finally “falling back to just under $ 3 a gallon” by the 2022 holiday season.