The beginning of spring and a big spike in crude oil prices means U.S. consumers are paying more for gasoline and should get used to it, analysts said.
UPI reported that motor club AAA reports a national average retail price of $2.62 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, a 2.5% jump from last week. That increase followed a spike in crude oil prices last week of nearly 8%, driven by tensions in the Middle East and concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump will upend the nuclear deal that lets Iranian oil flow through the European market.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Iran is a member, is limiting production to erase a market surplus that pushed oil prices to historic lows. With the tighter market, there’s little room for the shortages that would come from the Trump decision on Iran, which is expected in May.
The United States is exporting more of its own oil, meanwhile, creating even tighter market conditions.
Jeanette Casselano, a spokeswoman for AAA, said that, with refiners shifting to a summer-blend of gasoline that’s more expensive to make, higher gas prices may become the new normal.
For the full story click here.