Photo by Vince Taroc.

Photo by Vince Taroc.

The national gasoline price average increased three cents to $2.61 per gallon for the week ending Feb. 5 for the sixth consecutive weekly increase, according to AAA.

The current price level is 18 cents higher since prices started the upward trend in late-December.

“At 18 cents, Utah is seeing the smallest increase and California is feeling the biggest increase at 52 cents compared to the same time last year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Strong demand coupled with steadily rising oil prices means filling up will continue to cost consumers more this month. In fact, the last time the national gas price average was this high, but under $3 per gallon in February was in 2010.”

U.S. consumer gasoline demand reached 9 million barrels in the past week. In 2017, demand did not reach this mark until early March, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The largest increases among states include Iowa (22 cents), California (21 cents), Minnesota (19 cents), Nebraska (18 cents), Kansas (17 cents), North Dakota (17 cents), Oklahoma (17 cents), Florida (16 cents), Louisiana (16 cents), and Missouri (16 cents).

The states with the least expensive markets include Texas ($2.36), Mississippi ($2.37), South Carolina ($2.37), Alabama ($2.37), Missouri ($2.38), Arizona ($2.38), Arkansas ($2.39), Tennessee ($2.41), Oklahoma ($2.42), and New Mexico ($2.43).