Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) April 20, 2008
On Sunday the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline broke through the $3.50 per gallon barrier for the first time ever. Just one month ago the price was $3.27 and compared to one year ago the average price is up from $2.86. That is a painful 64 cents per gallon price increase.
The primary reason for record gas prices is that crude oil is trading at all time highs of $117 per barrel which is nearly double the price of $63 per barrel one year ago. With crude oil accounting for 72% of the cost of a gallon of gas, the high oil prices translate into higher pump prices for consumers. In addition to high oil prices, other seasonal factors are also helping to drive gas prices higher. As we approach the start of summer driving season, gasoline demand typically increases by 100,000 barrels per day compared to winter consumption levels. Refineries are also making the seasonal switch to summer fuel blends which reduce smog, but are more costly to produce. These seasonal effects are worsened by the stronger than ever worldwide demand for gasoline and oil, most notably by developing nations such as China and India.
According to Jason Toews, gasoline price analyst with GasBuddy.com, the skyrocketing gas prices are not expected to end soon. Toews says that, "Gas prices will likely increase to $3.65 per gallon within the next month. If there are any major supply disruptions the national average price could easily reach $4.00 per gallon."
San Francisco drivers are suffering more than anywhere else in the nation. The average price for regular unleaded gasoline in San Francisco is currently $3.95. As of Sunday, some stations surveyed in Michigan were found to be charging as much as $4.99 per gallon for regular unleaded.
GasBuddy.com collects retail gasoline and diesel prices for up to 130,000 gas stations across the United States each day. GasBuddy.com is able to provide the most timely, comprehensive and accurate pump prices in the industry through its network of 700,000 fuel price spotters, direct station surveys and relationships with credit card companies. The GasBuddy.com data is relied on by some of the top companies in the country such as Google, Yahoo, Expedia, and over 1000 major media outlets.