Gas prices in Pennsylvania are almost four cents higher this week at $3.630 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s most recent Gas Price Report.
In the Lehigh Valley the price increased to an average of $3.506 per gallon on Jan 3., up from an average of $3.415. The numbers are steady over last year. The average price for a gallon of gas on Jan. 3, 2022 was $3.500.
According to AAA, the late December winter storm and its frigid temperatures caused gas prices to spike, with refineries as far south as Texas and the Gulf Coast forced to shut down temporarily.
The storm also caused holiday travelers to fuel up and hit the road early to beat the bad weather, leading to a spike in overall gas demand, AAA said.
The national average for a gallon of gas rose 12 cents over the last week to hit $3.228. This is still almost 20 cents less than a month ago and six cents less than a year ago.
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand rose from 8.7 to 9.3 million barrels per day last week.
Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks fell by 3 million barrels to 223 million barrels. More demand and less supply helped push pump prices higher.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $1.86 to settle at $80.26. A weaker dollar contributed to rising crude prices, AAA said.
Crude prices rose despite the EIA reporting that total domestic commercial crude stocks increased by 800,000 barrels to 419 million barrels.
The increase signals that oil demand may be weakening amid ongoing market concerns that a recession or economic slowdown could occur this year.