We're on a streak here in the U.S., and not one that motorists like: yesterday marked the 32nd day in a row that the national average has risen, and it now stands 19 cents higher than a month ago.
This comes a midst higher oil prices as geopolitical tensions result in buyers flooding back into oil, with speculative long positions, or bets that oil prices will rise, at high levels.
Also at play is the often mentioned refinery maintenance season which leads to the eventual flow of summer spec gasoline. The EPA requires cleaner burning gasoline in warmer months to offset warmer temperatures, leading to an improvement in emissions. To see the many types of various summer gasoline,
click here to see ExxonMobil's summer gasoline map.
Good news to begin this week, however, as oil prices are on the decline. At this writing, WTI crude is trading down over $1/bbl to $101/bbl, and Brent crude is also off about $1/bbl to $108/bbl. This is leading spot gasoline prices lower as well, so motorists may see a brief reprieve at the pump in several days if this trend on markets can continue- but I wouldn't hold my breathe.
Cheapest gasoline prices in the country this week are in the... SOUTH. South Carolina leads at $3.17/gal this morning, while Tennessee comes in at $3.20/gal, as does Alabama. Mississippi comes in at an average $3.21/gal, and Montana comes in fifth at $3.21/gal as well.
On the flip side, many cities in California are nearing an average of 4-bucks a gallon: Ventura is at $3.98/gal, Los Angeles at $3.98/gal, Orange County at $3.94/gal. It's likely that these cities soon tip $4/gal.