From Tampa, FL to Sacramento, CA and everywhere in between, Americans are once again starting to pay a little bit more at the gas pump.
Since hitting a record low of $2.03 per gallon in January, fuel prices have been steadily on the rise, with the national average for gas prices now hovering around $2.58 per gallon. This 55 cent increase marks both the highest gas prices seen in 2015 so far and the largest seasonal increase in fuel prices since 2012, according to ClarksvilleOnline.com.
AAA – The Auto Club Group explains the rise in prices stems primarily from rising crude oil prices spurred upward by uncertainty and conflict throughout the oil and gas hubs of the Middle East, especially Iraq and Yemen.
Because American oil companies have been reaching all-time highs of oil production, meaning there are millions of gallons of oil and gasoline currently residing in storage tanks across the country, experts predict that prices will likely stabilize as we head into the summer.
“Just as the rapid and surprising fall of oil prices in 2014 was dependent on a complex number of variables and circumstances, so is the current uptick in prices,” says Mandy Raps, Marketing Team Lead with Dragon Products, a severe-duty U.S.-owned oilfield equipment manufacturer. “Unrest in the Middle East and a steady increase in consumption entering the summer months are just two contributing factors.”
While many American drivers might not be happy to see prices for gas constantly inching upward, AAA spokesperson Josh Carrasco tells WTSP Tampa Bay that motorists are still saving a significant amount at the gas pump.
“Although prices are at their highest level of the year, they are still more than a dollar cheaper than this time last year,” Carrasco says.
That extra dollar per gallon translates to an average of $500 in annual savings — savings that can be put toward life essentials like food and clothing and savings. That’s something American consumers everywhere will be happy to hear.
“With storage tanks at capacity across the U.S., any increase in demand is a positive sign for oil and gas companies because it helps stabilize the market,” adds Raps. “It is impossible to predict where pricing will go from here. Drilling has cut back, so if demand continues to rise and the economy slowly grows, we should see the price tick back up.”