Community News

Gas Prices Spike Again, Following Oil Higher

by: Gas Buddy
Posted: January 11, 2021


BOSTON...After falling the week prior, gas prices have risen again, following the price of oil higher. The national average is up 4.9 cents per gallon over the last week to $2.31 today according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average price of diesel has risen 2.8 cents in the last week and stands at $2.59 per gallon.

“With oil’s meteoric rally continuing, motorists continue to face gas prices that continue to advance. With a barrel of crude oil now at its highest level in nearly a year, there’s nowhere for gas prices to go but up,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “In a normal year, this is the time we tend to see gas prices struggle, and according to Pay with GasBuddy data, gasoline demand is indeed seeing seasonal struggles, but that has not tempered the appetite of the market as many remain bullish over the continued rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine. How long we may be on this road relies on continued reduction in new COVID cases, but we may for the coming weeks see gas prices continuing their climb.”

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rallied some $4 per barrel over the last week, but was seeing limited downside in early Monday trade. At last check, a barrel of WTI was fetching $51.80, up from $48.42 last Monday, but down some 44 cents overnight. Brent crude oil was also notably higher than a week ago, fetching $55.32 per barrel, up from $51.93 last week. With continued perceived improvement in the coronavirus situation, oil prices have rallied in recent weeks, pulling retail gasoline prices higher, even as the recovery in oil demand flattens. With a weaker dollar oil prices have recently gotten some support as well, as a weaker dollar makes oil cheaper in all other currencies.

Data from the Energy Information Administration last week saw a large, but unsurprising drop of 8 million barrels from crude oil inventories. It’s fairly common to see large drops to usher in the New Year as oil companies liquidate inventory ahead of the turn to 2021 for tax purposes. The big drop in oil inventories also came as refiners likely temporarily raised inputs, boosting gasoline inventories 4.5 million barrels and pushing distillate inventories up 6.4 million barrels. Implied gasoline demand fell 687,000 bpd to 7.44 million barrels, echoed by Pay with GasBuddy data for the week, while new GasBuddy data showed a very small 0.16% rise in gasoline demand for the week ending Saturday.

At the gas pump, gas prices saw gains in a majority of states, led higher by rising wholesale gasoline prices and the oil complex.

The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists was up 20 cents to $2.29 per gallon, followed by $2.09, $2.19 and $2.15.

The average cost at the priciest 10% of stations stands at $3.18 per gallon, up 10 cents from a week ago, while the lowest 10% average $1.91 per gallon, up 8 cents from a week ago.

The median U.S. price was unchanged at $2.24 per gallon, up 9 cents from last week and about 7 cents lower than the national average.

The states with the lowest average prices: Louisiana ($1.97), Mississippi ($1.98) and Texas ($1.98), while the highest priced states were California ($3.27), Hawaii ($3.22) and Washington ($2.76).


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