Gas prices are moving higher, driven primarily by a jump in crude oil prices.
Some refinery and distribution issues in the Pacific Northwest are causing prices here to rise faster than the national average. For the week, the national average for regular climbs a penny to $3.30 a gallon. The Oregon average jumps seven cents to $3.90. This is the fifth-largest weekly jump of a state average in the nation.
The Oregon average is now at its highest price since August 2014. The national average is at its highest price since December 2021.
Crude oil has surged to $80 a barrel. Events on the far side of the globe are fueling the recent rise. Social unrest and violence in Kazakhstan, a member of the OPEC+ alliance, have forced that nation to cut production. Before the recent flare-up of violence, Kazakhstan pumped nearly 2 million barrels of crude a day. In contrast, the United States, as the top oil-producing country in the world, pumped an average of 18.6 million barrels a day.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, some refinery and distribution snags have led to some supply disruptions. At least two refineries including HollyFrontier Puget Sound and Phillips 66 Ferndale have reportedly had some issues, impacting Washington and Oregon. Weather has also played a role. Mountain snow has made traveling over the passes challenging, and flooding has impacted roads in Washington.
“The West Coast region tends to produce about as much gasoline as is consumed. So when refinery and distribution issues put a crimp in supplies, prices can climb in a hurry,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.
Oregon is one of 23 states and the District of Columbia with higher prices now than a week ago. Indiana (+15 cents) has the largest weekly increase in the nation. Oregon (+7 cents) has the fifth-largest weekly increase. Utah (-4 cents) has the largest week-over-week decline.
California ($4.65) and Hawaii ($4.34) continue to have the most expensive gas prices in the country and are the only states in the nation with averages above $4 a gallon, while 42 states and the District of Columbia have averages above $3 a gallon.
The cheapest gas in the nation is in Texas ($2.90) and Oklahoma ($2.92). They are among eight states that have averages below $3 a gallon. For the 53rd week in a row, no state has an average below $2 a gallon.
Oregon is one of only seven states and the District of Columbia with higher prices now than a month ago. The national average is three cents less and the Oregon average is 11 cents more than a month ago. This is the largest monthly increase in the nation. Arizona (-16 cents) has the largest month-over-month decrease.