The average nationwide price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has jumped 17 cents in the last week, which is five cents higher than the average price a year ago, according to the latest Fuel Gauge Report from AAA. The company said this price is the highest on record for this calendar day (Feb. 5). In addition, AAA said the national average has set a new daily record for five days in a row.
AAA attributes the recent jump in prices is due to higher crude oil and prices in the central U.S. states adjusting upward after falling to low levels at the end of 2012. The national average price in the U.S. started 2013 at $3.29 per gallon and remained stable until Jan. 17, when it went up 23 cents per gallon and increased for 18 days in a row.
In addition, AAA said regional refinery production issues are contributing to price increases in specific parts of the country.
Although the average price has gone up 17 cents, some states have seen increases of at least 30 cents since last week, including Indiana, up 34 cents to $3.68 per gallon and Michigan, up 32 cents to $3.70. Rounding out the top 10 states with the largest price jumps since last week are Illinois, with a 25-cent increase, to $3.70; California, with a 23-cent increase to $3.91; Wisconsin, up 23 cents to $3.52 per gallon; Colorado, up 21 cents to $3.17; Kansas, also up 21 cents to $3.41; Kentucky, up 21 cents to $3.51; Minnesota, up 21 cents to $3.48 per gallon; and Missouri, up 21 cents to $3.33.
States with the highest prices include Connecticut, at $3.85; Vermont, at $3.72; and Maine, at $3.71, in addition to California. States with the lowest prices include Wyoming, at $2.94; Montana, at $3.04; Utah, at $3.13; New Mexico, at $3.16; and Colorado, at $3.17.
In terms of oil prices, West Texas Crude settled at $96.17 per barrel and traded at its most expensive price since Sept. 14, 2012, according to AAA. Brent crude is near highs seen in April, 2012.