ST. GEORGE — Though rising gas prices may have somewhat stabilized and even seen a slight decrease, Utah’s prices are ranked among the highest in the country.
According to the AAA, the average price per gallon in Utah for regular gas is $3.15 as of Friday. The national average for a gallon of gas is $2.87.
Between February and mid-March, gas prices saw a 14% rise, which the AAA has attributed to the winter storms in Texas that froze oil production there. From this event to March 15, the national average for gas rose by 40 cents. For Utah, that translated to a 25-cent rise.
Last week, the national price-per-gallon average increased by 2 cents to $2.88, according to the AAA. The AAA reported this was due to “high crude prices and growing refinery utilization — which increased from 69 to 76 percent last week according to new data from the Energy Information Administration.”
The rise in gas prices appeared to have leveled off by the start of this week as the national average held steady at $2.88; however, that average is the highest price since May 2019 and is 2 cents per gallon higher than it was the week prior, 25 cents higher than a month ago and 74 cents higher than a year ago.
Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson, said Monday that a dip in demand along with a simultaneous increase in supply and refinery utilization has contributed to slower movement in gas price increases.
“On the week, 32 states had increases of only 3 cents or less. This does not mean gas prices have hit their peak, but is a positive sign for consumers.”
On the production side, there has been a supply increase coupled with increased refinery utilization that has brought production to within 7 percentage points of where it was before the Texas winter storms.
On Monday, AAA ranked Utah as the fifth highest state for gas prices at $3.15 per gallon. Ahead of Utah was California at $3.88, Hawaii at $3.59, Washington at $3.31 and Nevada at $3.29.
According to AAA’s latest report, which published Thursday, the national average for gas decreased a penny to $2.87.
The report states:
Growing stock levels have helped to put downward pressure on pump prices, increasing slightly from 232.1 million bbl (barrels of oil) to 232.3 million bbl last week, according to the latest weekly report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The national average decreased despite rising gas demand, which increased from 8.44 million b/d (barrels per day) to 8.62 million b/d last week. If total domestic stocks of gas continue to increase, and demand does not spike, drivers can expect prices to remain stable and decrease through the weekend.
As of a week ago, Utah’s own average price of gas per gallon has risen by an additional 8 cents, according to the AAA.
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