The Recent OPEC Agreement Hasn't Stopped Gas Prices From Rising

July 19, 2021 Topic: Gas Prices Blog Brand: Politics Tags: Gas PricesGasBuddyOPECGas DemandPandemic Recovery

The Recent OPEC Agreement Hasn't Stopped Gas Prices From Rising

Gas prices in some places have topped $3.00 a gallon, and they keep rising. 

The average gas price in the United States has been rising throughout the year, and this past week, it rose yet again, to $3.16 a gallon, a few months after breaking $3. That’s according to the gas price discover website GasBuddy.

In a blog post published Monday, GasBuddy said that the average prices have risen 10.2 cents in the last month, and nearly a dollar since a year ago.

The rise has been a slow one, attributed to a variety of factors. Demand for gasoline rose 1.8 percent in the last week, the site said.

The week before, gas prices had risen 5 cents in fourteen days, according to an Associated Press analysis earlier this month.

“Gas prices across the country have been a bit sideways in the last week with a mixed bag of decreases and increases. But overall, the national average hasn’t seen much meaningful direction as oil prices remain under their early-July levels thanks to OPEC coming to an agreement on production over the weekend,”  Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in the blog post.

“OPEC’s plan is to raise oil production by 400,000 bpd each month until 2022, at which time OPEC’s oil production will be back at pre-Covid levels. It’s a positive development in light of U.S. gasoline demand which rose nearly 2% last week, which should act as a loose ceiling on the price of oil. This could mean we’re even closer to seeing a peak in the national average if we haven’t already.”

The most common gasoline price this past week was $2.99 per gallon, the same as the week before, and $2.99 was also the median cost for a gallon of gasoline.

The states with the lowest gas prices were Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, while those with the highest were California, Hawaii and Nevada, according to GasBuddy’s report.

“Robust gasoline demand and more expensive crude oil prices are pushing gas prices higher,” Jeanette McGee, a AAA spokesperson, said earlier in July. “We had hoped that global crude production increases would bring some relief at the pump this month, but weekend OPEC negotiations fell through with no agreement reached. As a result, crude prices are set to surge to a seven-year high.” 

Gas prices plunged significantly in 2020, as the onset of the pandemic kept cars off the road and caused demand to crash. While average prices went below $2 a gallon for a time in the summer of 2020, they have gradually risen since, as the pandemic has receded, Americans have resumed traveling, and more cars have returned to the road, therefore driving up demand much higher than 2020 levels.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters