(GasBuddy) For the fourth straight week, the nation’s average gas price has risen, climbing 1.8 cents from a week ago and stands at $3.32 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 3.3 cents from a month ago and 92.0 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has risen 5.4 cents in the last week and stands at $3.66 per gallon- the highest level since October, 2014.

“With oil prices remaining elevated, average gas prices inched up in most states over the last week even as gasoline demand weakened, a testament to how concerned oil markets are with unrest in oil producing nations. With all eyes on the Russia/Ukraine situation, oil will likely remain north of $80 per barrel, with additional volatility. Prices could rise even more significantly if there is any further deterioration in the situation,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “For now, I don’t expect any immediate fireworks at the pump, but the trend of rising gas prices will likely persist as worries continue to overpower weak global consumption.”

OIL PRICES
The price of crude oil was seen falling nearly 2% in early Monday trade, alongside a broader market pullback. Dow futures were also down by over 200 points, continuing the plummet from last week, as tech stocks saw notable drops as the market focuses on the Federal Reserve and the likelihood of tighter monetary policy. In early Monday trade, WTI crude oil was down $1.41 per barrel to $83.73 per barrel, still slightly higher than last Monday’s $82.35 level. Brent crude was also down in early trade by $1.17 to $86.72 per barrel, still above last Monday’s $85.84 level. Continued attention is focusing on Russia and the possibility of the world’s second largest oil producer making a move into Ukraine.

According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was up 3 rigs to 604, and was 226 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was up by 21 to 212, or 40 more than a year ago.

OIL AND REFINED PRODUCT INVENTORIES
The weekly report from the Energy Information Administration showed a slight rise in oil inventories of 500,000 barrels, while crude oil production was unchanged at 11.7 million barrels. Gasoline inventories jumped higher again, posting a 5.9 million barrel rise, but still remain 2% below the average for this time of year. Distillate inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels and are down nearly 22% from last year and down 16% from the normal range for this time of year. Implied gasoline demand, a proxy for retail gasoline demand, rose by 317,000 barrels per day to 8.22 million barrels, showing demand remains weak, but this is hardly a seasonal surprise.

FUEL DEMAND
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand fell last week (Sun-Sat). Weather, rising unemployment figures and omicron may have all played some role in a big drop in gasoline demand. Nationally, weekly gasoline demand fell 6.4% from the prior week, while demand fell 13.7% in PADD 1, fell 2.9% in PADD 2, fell 2.9% in PADD 3, fell 3.9% in PADD 4, and rose 0.4% in PADD 5.

GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.19 per gallon, up 20 cents from last week, followed by $3.09, $2.99, $3.29, and $2.89 rounding out the five most common prices.
The average cost at the priciest 10% of stations stands at $4.36 per gallon, down 3 cents from a week ago, while the lowest 10% average $2.85 per gallon, up 3 cents from a week ago.
The median U.S. price is $3.19 per gallon, an increase of 2 cents from last week and about 13 cents lower than the national average.
The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($2.95), Arkansas ($2.97), and Kentucky ($2.97).
The states with the highest prices: California ($4.63), Hawaii ($4.31), and Washington ($3.94).