(GasBuddy) For the third consecutive week, the nation’s average gas price has risen, climbing 13.6 cents from a week ago to $4.31 per gallon Monday according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average is up 19.6 cents from a month ago and $1.36 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has risen 22.6 cents in the last week and stands at $5.52 per gallon.

“Gasoline and diesel prices alike saw strong upward momentum last week as oil prices continued to climb after the EU signaled its desire to sanction Russian oil. In addition, U.S. petroleum inventories saw yet another weekly decline as we near the start of summer driving season,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Not only are diesel prices at a record high, they are at their largest differential to gasoline on record, surpassing the 98-cent difference in 2008 and currently standing at a $1.20 per gallon premium. While motorists filling with gasoline have seen a slight rise in prices, diesel’s surge will be a double whammy as diesel prices will soon be passed along to retail channels, further pushing up the cost of goods.”

OIL PRICES
For the second straight start to the week, oil prices were trading sharply lower as China brought back restrictions in some of its largest cities, while rising interest rates sent stocks lower, also pulling oil down. In early Monday trade, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down $2.58 to $107.19 per barrel, up over $6 from last week’s $101.00 print. Brent crude oil was down $2.25 to $110.14, up nearly $7 per barrel from last Monday’s $103.50 per barrel print. Oil prices continue their see-saw behavior of volatility as markets continue to digest news that the EU will sanction and curtail Russian oil deliveries, while weighing the global economic situation in which inflation is running rampant and Covid restrictions in China.

According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was up 7 rigs to 705, and was 257 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was down by 4 to 91, or 36 more than a year ago.

OIL AND REFINED PRODUCT INVENTORIES
According to data from the Energy Information Administration, U.S. crude oil inventories rose 1.3 million barrels, but remained 15% below the five year average for this time of year, but was offset by a 3.1 million barrel decline in the nation’s SPR, which is now 13% below a year ago. Domestic oil production, excluding Alaska, fell 100,000 barrels per day to 11.4 million, but including Alaska, was unchanged at 11.9 million barrels per day. Gasoline inventories fell 2.2 million barrels in the last week, and stand 4% below the five year average for this time of year. Gasoline inventories fell the most in the Midwest/Great Lakes and Gulf Coast. Distillate inventories, which include products like diesel, heating oil and jet fuel, fell 2.3 million barrels a 31 million barrel deficit to one year ago. Distillate inventories now stand 22% below the five year average for this time of year. Implied gasoline demand rose a slight 117,000bpd to 8.86 million barrels per day, while refinery utilization struggled and fell 1.9 percentage points to 88.4% as maintenance season continues and wraps up.

FUEL DEMAND
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a slight rise last week (Sun-Sat). Nationally, weekly gasoline demand fell 1.7% from the prior week, while demand fell 2.3% in PADD 1, fell 1.8% in PADD 2, fell 0.2% in PADD 3, fell 0.7% in PADD 4, and fell 2.8% in PADD 5.

GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.99 per gallon, unchanged from last week, followed by $4.09, $3.89, $4.19, and $4.39 rounding out the five most common prices.
The median U.S. price is $4.10 per gallon, up 11 cents from last week and about 21 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $4.68/gal, while the bottom 10% average $3.78/gal.
The states with the lowest average prices: Georgia ($3.82), Oklahoma ($3.89), and Arkansas ($3.91).
The states with the highest prices: California ($5.80), Hawaii ($5.23), and Nevada ($5.08).