After several months of falling prices, drivers are once again paying more at the pump. Gasoline prices rose for the fourth straight week in lockstep with the price of West Texas Intermediate crude, which is up $3 per barrel over the past seven days.
The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States was $3.42 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which tracks such data. In early January, the average price was $3.26 but the cost of one gallon was $3.53 on December 1 of last year.
The price is also $0.09 higher than at the same time in 2022.
While prices remain relatively low compared to the surge that brought them to record levels in early June, the bad news is that the cost per gallon is still up $0.59 when compared with the same date one year earlier.
Meanwhile, GasBuddy, a company that tracks fuel prices, is predicting that the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline could be as low as $2.99 by the end of February. The company said that drivers will likely pay less on average in 2023 to fill up than they did in 2022.
The price for one gallon of premium gasoline, which was $5.59 at a Shell station in Whitestone, New York, last June, is now $4.59, although it dipped as low as $4.06 in early December.
The cost of diesel fuel continues to climb as well. The EIA reported that the average price per gallon on Monday was $4.60, up $0.08 since last week and $0.82 when compared with the same date in 2022.
Fuel prices surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March, which disrupted the global oil market, and began their dramatic decline in early June.
Many drivers, after the attack, changed their driving habits to reduce fuel consumption, thereby lowering prices further. Such strategies include combining errands on one trip and simply driving less.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)