The average national price for gasoline is at $2.51 according to Feb. 16, 2021 data, which is up five cents from the previous week and will soon be more expensive than the highest price of 2020 despite low demand. - Graphic: AAA

The average national price for gasoline is at $2.51 according to Feb. 16, 2021 data, which is up five cents from the previous week and will soon be more expensive than the highest price of 2020 despite low demand.

Graphic: AAA

The average national price for gasoline is at $2.51 according to Feb. 16, 2021 data, which is up five cents from the previous week and will soon be more expensive than the highest price of 2020 despite low demand, according to AAA.

At the end of last week, crude was priced at $59.47/barrel of oil That’s just under $4 less than last year’s most expensive price of $63.27/barrel of oil, on Jan. 6, 2020, said AAA. Since the end of November, the price of crude oil has increased as much as $5/barrel of oil a week, meaning 2021 crude oil prices could top 2020 as early as this week.

“Crude, not demand, has been the main factor driving gas price increases this year,” said Jeanette Casselano McGee, AAA spokesperson. “Today’s average is $2.51, which is just seven cents less than the most expensive national gas price average in 2020.”

Nearly 40 state gas price averages are already more than last year, with half of those averages seeing double-digit increases, AAA said. Just how expensive gas will get this year is largely dependent on crude price and demand.

The nation’s top 10 largest monthly increases according to Feb. 16, 2021 data from AAA were Idaho (up 20 cents), Wisconsin (up 19 cents), Illinois (up 19 cents), Utah (up 18 cents), Nebraska (up 18 cents), Missouri (up 17 cents), Connecticut (up 17 cents), Oklahoma (up 17 cents), West Virginia (up 16 cents) and Florida (up 16 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets were Mississippi ($2.17), Texas ($2.21), Louisiana ($2.22), Alabama ($2.24), Arkansas ($2.26), Oklahoma ($2.27), Missouri ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.28), Tennessee ($2.28) and Kansas ($2.32).

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