Gas prices start to rise again, and drivers notice

Oil Gas prices are on the rise again, and consumers, who barely had time to enjoy their savings over the past few months, are taking notice.

“It’s still low by our standards,” Pete Diaz of San Jose told the Mercury News. “I’m not complaining — yet.”

Diaz paid a little less than $2.20 a gallon when he filled up Friday at an ARCO. That was actually a bargain: On Monday, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the average in San Jose was $2.636 for regular gas, up from $2.443 a week earlier.

The national average Monday was $2.177, up from $2.056 a week earlier.

Los Angeles-based Gas Buddy reports that, over the last week, the proportion of stations selling gas for under $2 a gallon has shrunk from more than 50 percent to 27 percent.

Stories are popping up all over the country about rising gas prices: from Maine to New Jersey to Texas to Arizona.

Oil prices dropped by 60 percent between June and January, a trend analysts spectacularly failed to predict. But in a four-day span between Jan. 30 to Feb. 3, oil surged 18 percent.

Gasoline prices, in turn, went up in an instant, a clear example of the market volatility that makes it nearly impossible to plan household budgets, much less a career. The latest round of job cuts was just announced by Weatherford International, one of the world’s largest oilfield services companies. It will lay off 5,000 employees, 85 percent of them in the United States.

Prices might keep on rising. Major media outlets reported Monday that oil was still on the rise, based on OPEC forecasting higher demand in 2015.

Other factors contributing to the price increase include:

  • The looming seasonal switch to “summer blends” of gasoline. As Gas Buddy notes: “As air temperatures warm, refineries also begin the progressive switch to cleaner variations of gasoline, which also adds to cost.”
  • Refineries are undergoing maintenance to prepare for the summer switch.
  • Refinery workers around the country are striking for better health benefits. It’s the largest such walkout since 1980.

Now it’s your turn to tell your story. How does the day-to-day price of gas affect you and your business?

 

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