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Gas prices too spring forward but remain low compared to last year

Posted at 12:21 PM, Mar 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-14 12:29:45-04

RICHMOND, Va. – Gas prices have jumped almost 20 cents per gallon in the past week.

Average retail gasoline prices in Richmond have risen 18.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $1.74/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 567 gas outlets in Richmond. This compares with the national average that has increased 11.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $1.93/gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Richmond during the past week, prices yesterday were 50.2 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 25.6 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 March 14 in Richmond have ranged widely over the last five years:
$2.25/g in 2015, $3.24/g in 2014, $3.54/g in 2013, $3.69/g in 2012 and $3.45/g in 2011.

“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% 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, according to analysts.

“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,” DeHann said. “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.”

To check gas prices near you, use the CBS 6 Gas Tracker.