The national average price for unleaded gasoline bumped higher for the week ending Aug. 22, driven by higher crude prices resulting from a weaker dollar and possible supply cuts from imported oil.
The average price increased 4.4 cents to $2.193, according to federal data. Gasoline is now 44.4 cents lower than a year ago. Retail prices as tracked by AAA showed an average price of $2.16 for regular unleaded, which is four cents higher than a week ago.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is considering production cuts to boost prices, and a weakening U.S. dollar is making crude oil cheaper for those holding foreign currencies, according to AAA.
Refinery issues have exacerbated price increases, including a number of refineries in the Gulf Coast that are undergoing unplanned maintenance as a result of flooding in Louisiana and a refinery fire in Texas. Drivers in the Midwest and Central U.S. continue to see the most dramatic recent price movement as the impact of outages, including the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind., has pushed prices higher. The facility is reported to be slowly coming back online, which could allow regional prices to drop back down, reports AAA.
Among the regions tracked by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the East Coast's 5.1-cent increase ($2.126) was the sharpest among the five regions. In the East Coast's sub-regions, New England's 6.2-cent increase ($2.166) and the Lower Atlantic's 5.2-cent increase ($2.068) were the highest.
Meanwhile, the average price of diesel fuel increased 6 cents to $2.37 per gallon. Diesel is 19.1 cents higher than a year ago.