Strong demand and the switch to summer blend fuel, continues to drive up gas prices.
For the week, the national average for regular jumps four cents to $2.66 a gallon while the Oregon average adds three cents to $3.09.
The national average is at its highest price since last September following Hurricane Harvey. The Oregon average is at its highest price since August 2015. It remained above $3 a gallon that year from May 8 through August 16.
“Robust demand for gasoline and preparation for summer gasoline are factors that will continue to drive higher pump prices into early spring,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. Many refineries conduct maintenance before making the switch to summer-blend fuel. This creates a temporary drop in supplies that puts additional upward pressure on prices. Summer-blend fuel is a formulation required in many urban areas during the spring and summer months to reduce air pollution.
Demand for gasoline has been very strong for March. The latest report from U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that although demand fell to 9.2 million b/d—the lowest point for March 2018—this is still very robust for this time of year and is similar to demand normally seen during the summer months.
Oregon is one of 47 states and the District of Columbia where gas prices are higher week-over-week. Utah (+13 cents), saw another double-digit increase this week. Oregon’s weekly increase is the 27th largest in the country at three cents. The only states with decreases for the week are Nebraska, North Dakota and Minnesota and all of these declines are just one cent or less.
Oregon is one of 47 states and the District of Columbia where prices are higher now than a month ago. The national average is 12 cents more and the Oregon average is 19 cents more than a month ago. This is the seventh-largest monthly increase in the country. The largest is in Utah (+27 cents). The largest monthly decrease is in North Dakota (-3 cents).
The West Coast still has the most expensive gas prices in the nation with six of the top ten states in this region. Hawaii tops the list, followed by California, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Nevada. Oregon is fifth most expensive for the ninth week in a row. All West Coast states saw pump prices rise this week, with Nevada seeing the largest increase of eight cents and Hawaii the smallest at two-tenths of a cent.