Oil prices rose $3 last week, pushing retail gas prices 3 cents higher in Florida, and snapping a 62-day streak of gas price declines in the state, AAA said.
Palm Beach County’s average rose 1 cent to $2.21 for a gallon of regular gasoline in the last week, while Florida’s increased to $2.08 from $2.05, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.
“More expensive oil prices caused wholesale gas prices to rise 6 cents, directly leading to the increases at the pump,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “However, wholesale prices slipped 3 cents mid-week, allowing retail prices to stabilize over the weekend. Gas prices are likely to remain volatile through the rest of the month, but stay low through the rest of the year.”
Gas prices remain at the lowest level for this time of year since 2004. Motorists currently save an average of $20 for a full tank of gas – compared to this time two years ago – when pump prices averaged $3.47 nationwide, AAA said.
The weekly average for a barrel of WTI crude oil, $43.10, is $2.27 more than a week ago, and the highest in three weeks. Oil prices rose after the International Energy Agency forecast crude markets would tighten in the second half of 2016. According to the EIA, the global oversupply of crude will clear out during the second half of the year. This is due to deep output cuts by producer outside of OPEC, and healthy global demand for crude oil.
Also putting upward pressure on oil prices is news that OPEC members and non-members agreed to an informal meeting in September to discuss the market situation and possible action to stabilize prices. Analysts believe oil prices could reach as high as $45 in the near term.
Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst, said Monday, “Many communities across the country have witnessed some form of a gas price rebound in the last week. As oil prices have continued to lift, gasoline prices may see additional slight increases in some parts of the country again this week, but overall, gasoline and diesel prices remain very low considering we’re nearing the conclusion of the summer driving season.
“Barring a disruption to fuel supply as we enter the peak of hurricane season, gas prices nationally will spend more time below $2 per gallon this autumn and winter than they did last year, and I’m sure that’ll make many motorists happy,” DeHaan said.