The combination of increased demand and reduced supply has caused gas prices to increase 6 cents nationally in the last week, with the West Coast and Midwest feeling the most significant increases.
The average gallon of gas reached $3.80 nationally on Tuesday, according to AAA. California has seen the largest rise in gas prices, going up nearly 60 cents in the last week. Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Nevada have also seen increases of over 30 cents.
“The regional differences in gas prices are stark at the moment, with prices on the West Coast hitting $6 a gallon and higher, while Texas and Gulf Coast states have prices dipping below $3 in some areas.” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “At least six California refineries are undergoing maintenance, and there is limited pipeline supply to the West Coast from locations east of the Rockies.”
AAA also said that a fire at an Ohio refinery is causing prices in the Midwest to go up. The Toledo-area refinery, which produces 160,000 barrels per day, could be out for months, AAA said.
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at Gas Buddy, also noted the difference in gas prices regionally.
“With gas prices continuing to surge on the West Coast and Great Lakes, the national average saw its second straight weekly rise. But at the same time, areas of the Northeast and Gulf Coast have continued to see declines as the nation experiences sharp differences in trends between regions,” said De Haan.
De Haan noted that OPEC has decided to cut its production, which could cause prices across the U.S. to increase.