Gasoline prices are following crude oil prices higher, but a buildup in supplies may keep future price hikes in check, at least for the time being.
The AAA Fuel Gauge Survey shows the national average price of regular gas is $3.15 a gallon, about the same as last Friday. The price has climbed 12 cents a gallon since Memorial Day weekend.
The average price of premium gas is $3.77 a gallon, also the same as a week ago. The average price of diesel fuel is $3.27 a gallon, with no change from last week’s price.
At mid-week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported U.S. crude oil stockpiles increased last week by 2.1 million barrels, resulting in a drop in the price of crude. After oil-producing nations agreed last weekend to increase oil production, industry analysts say the outlook is for more oil at lower prices.
Despite the increase in oil stocks, the EIA also reports supplies of gasoline declined by 100,000 barrels for the week leading up to July 16. Gasoline production also declined, which could put upward pressure on prices at the pump, especially if demand continues its current pace.
Despite stable prices nationwide, several Western states continued to see wide price swings. According to AAA, the statewide average price of regular gas gained nine cents a gallon in Nevada, eight cents in Utah, seven cents in Idaho, and four cents in Wyoming.
The average price fell five cents a gallon during the week in Oklahoma.
The states with the most expensive gas
These states currently have the highest prices for regular gas, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Survey:
The states with the cheapest regular gas
The survey found that these states currently have the lowest prices for regular gas:
South Carolina ($2.87)
North Carolina ($2.89)