One factor that may help to keep the national gas price average below $3/gallon is the price of crude, which accounts for nearly 60% of the price at the pump. After hitting a 12-month high of $66/bbl last month, crude has been priced mostly at the $60/bbl mark recently. If it stays low, even with demand increasing, it will contribute to less frequent pump price jumps. However, at the end of last week, crude started to see higher movement following a production announcement by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus (OPEC+).
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes: Ohio (+15 cents), Michigan (+11 cents), Indiana (+11 cents), Wisconsin (+7 cents), Kentucky (+4 cents), Illinois (+4 cents), Hawaii (+4 cents), Florida (−3 cents), Idaho (+3 cents) and Tennessee (+3 cents).
The nation’s top 10 least expensive state averages: Mississippi ($2.58), South Carolina ($2.58), Texas ($2.59), Louisiana ($2.62), North Carolina ($2.62), Oklahoma ($2.62), Missouri ($2.64), Alabama ($2.64), Kansas ($2.66) and Arkansas ($2.67).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of last week’s formal trading session, WTI increased $2.29 to settle at $61.45. Crude oil prices saw gains at the end of the week following the OPEC+ announcement that they will modestly increase production by 350,000 bbl starting in May. The production increase is less than the market expected, but enough to send crude oil prices higher. This week prices are likely to fluctuate, but not spike.