Jamestown area motorists continue to dig deeper for an extra 4 cents per gallon of gas this week, as prices increase to $3.945. The state average, $3.984, is the fourth highest in the country.
The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.74. This price is 22 cents more than one month ago, but it is 3 cents less expensive than one week ago and 3 cents less than the average price one year ago.
Motorists in every state are paying more at the pump than one month ago. However, many drivers are beginning to feel some welcome relief. Twenty-seven states have an average price that is cheaper than one year ago, and 38 states and Washington D.C. are paying less than one week ago.
In 2012, the national average for regular unleaded peaked at $3.94 on April 5-6. During 2011, the price peaked at $3.98 on May 5.
Sharply higher pump prices in January and February of this year were driven by refinery maintenance and concerns, rather than more expensive crude oil. These refinery issues pressured wholesale gasoline prices higher, while crude oil prices only rose slightly during the same period. The recent decline in the national average is partially due to cheaper crude oil but is more closely linked to tumbling wholesale gasoline prices.
Crude oil prices began 2013 at $93.12 per barrel and increased as high as $97.94 on Jan. 30. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX Monday, WTI prices settled 56 cents lower at $90.12 per barrel.