With signs that the price of petroleum has begun to stabilize, the price of gasoline continues to climb across the U.S., according to AAA.
The national average price jumped six cents on the week, the largest one-week increase since the beginning of the year, and the average price of gasoline now stands at $1.81 per gallon.
AAA reported the national average is likely to continue to move higher due to spring turnaround activity and reductions in supply in select regional markets. However, significant yearly discounts remain and pump prices are down 65 cents on the year, AAA said.
Gas prices generally moved higher largely due to the spring refinery maintenance season being underway in many parts of the country, AAA said.
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Pump prices are up week-over-week in a total of 48 states and consumers in 28 states are paying a nickel or more per gallon to refuel their vehicles versus one week ago, according to AAA.
Averages climbed higher by double-digits in eight states during this same period, with Michigan where prices increased by 14 cents per gallon and Colorado where prices jumped by 12 cents per gallon, leading the way.
Year-over-year drivers nationwide are experiencing savings at the pump of more than a quarter per gallon. Pump prices are down by more than 50 cents per gallon in 44 states and Washington, D.C. in comparison to this same date last year.
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The largest yearly savings are seen in California, where prices have dropped by nearly a dollar or 98 cents per gallon. In Arizona prices have declined by 91 cents and in Oregon prices have dropped by 90 cents per gallon. Last year, California was grappling with a major outage at an ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, California, and prices were sent noticeably higher in the region due to supply shortages.
Both global oil benchmarks, Brent and West Texas Intermediate, closed out the week posting gains due to speculations that the lower price environment was beginning to take its toll on global oil production, AAA noted.
AAA suggested market fundamentals are starting to point toward supply and demand coming more into balance in the nearer-term, despite a considerable amount of skepticism remaining around the potential deal between Nigeria, Russia and other production countries to freeze output in an effort to help stabilize prices.
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Signs the U.S. economy continues to expand, notably a positive job report, and a falling U.S. rig count helped to boost the domestic benchmark. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up $1.35 and settled at $35.92 per barrel.