(GasBuddy) After declining last week, the nation’s average gas prices have begun to climb again, rising 2.5 cents per gallon from a week ago to $3.09 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 now stands 4.7 cents higher than a month ago and 92.1 cents higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has risen 2.3 cents in the last week and stands at $3.24 per gallon.

“With oil’s continued push higher, fueled by continued strong demand globally and production only slowly answering, gasoline prices have had no choice but following oil’s rise last week setting a new 2021 high,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “As we approach July 4, it appears the only way forward is for gas prices to continue to rise as Americans’ insatiable demand for gasoline continues to act as a catalyst. And with hurricane season soon coming into its prime, we have plenty more catalysts for a rise in price, and few that could restrain the situation. Motorists should prepare to dig deeper for the second half of the summer, unfortunately.”

The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was in the red Monday morning after briefly trading at nearly $74.50 in overnight trade. As of press time, WTI crude was down 34 cents to $73.71 per barrel, up from last Monday’s $72.08 level. Brent crude oil was also down in early Monday trade to $75.84, still holding onto gains versus last Monday’s $73.62 level. A spike in new Covid cases in Asia was putting a damper on prices as concerns that the new Delta variant would continue to spread worry traders. In addition, OPEC+ countries are planning to meet this week to discuss oil production levels and potentially raise them for future months. In addition, U.S. oil production numbers are only slowly responding to higher demand as shale producers keep their discipline even as oil rallies.

According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was unchanged at 470, and was 205 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count rose by 9 to 126, or 113 more than a year ago.

Crude oil inventories saw another plunge in last week’s EIA report, falling 7.6 million barrels and now stand 6% under the average for this time of year. Gasoline inventories also dipped, dropping 2.9 million barrels, while distillate inventories rose 1.8 million barrels. Implied gasoline demand, or the measure of gasoline moving downstream, indicated gasoline demand fell 80,000 barrels per day to 9.44 million barrels. Refinery utilization rates fell 0.4% to 92.2% of capacity, but gasoline production surged to 10.3 million barrels per day.

According to a new dataset being released by GasBuddy, U.S. gasoline fell slightly after reaching new records for consecutive weeks. Nationally, weekly gasoline demand fell 2.1%. Due to a system outage the prior week, specific demand changes by PADD are unavailable this week, but will return next week.

The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists was $2.89 per gallon, unchanged from last week, followed by $2.99, $2.79 and $3.09.

The average cost at the priciest 10% of stations stands at $4.11 per gallon, up 6 cents from a week ago, while the lowest 10% average $2.64 per gallon, up 4 cents from a week ago.

The median U.S. price is $2.96 per gallon, up 2 cents from last week and about 13 cents lower than the national average.

The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($2.71), Louisiana ($2.72) and Texas ($2.76).
The states with the highest priced states: California ($4.27), Hawaii ($3.96) and Nevada ($3.71).