Gas prices up, ending the cheapest prices in years

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Average retail gasoline prices in West Virginia have risen 5.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $1.89/g on Sunday, Mar. 13, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,154 gas outlets in West Virginia. This compares with the national average that has increased 11.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $1.93/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in West Virginia during the past week, prices last week were 55.1 cents per gallon lower than one year ago and are 16.0 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 23.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 50.2 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on Mar. 14 in West Virginia have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.44/g in 2015, $3.52/g in 2014, $3.77/g in 2013, $3.88/g in 2012 and $3.64/g in 2011.

Areas nearby West Virginia and their current gas price climate: Pittsburgh – $1.97/g, up 7.9 cents per gallon from last week’s $1.89/g; Charleston – $1.89/g, up 5.6 cents per gallon from last week’s $1.83/g; Virginia – $1.76/g, up 16.4 cents per gallon from last week’s $1.59/g.

“The cheapest gas prices of the year are now solidly behind us as the national average will soon again hit $2,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “The current upward trend is an unfortunate one that we witness every year, but the sudden jolt this time around has been enhanced by a 45 percent jump in the price of crude oil in the last month. The large jump in crude oil prices comes amidst record oil inventories, yet it’s the mere threat that oil supply could be slashed from OPEC and non-OPEC countries at the same time oil demand is growing driving prices higher. And while oil inventories sound staggering at over 500 million barrels, that number represents 26 days of U.S. oil consumption, a rise of three days versus inventories a year ago. At the end of the day, we expect this rally in gasoline prices to run for another month or two before stalling out. Perhaps the best news? Motorists still could see the cheapest average summer gasoline prices in over a decade,” DeHaan said.