Analyst: Demand outpacing supply drives up Arkansas gas prices

Analyst: Demand outpacing supply drives up Arkansas gas prices
According to GasBuddy.com’s Sunday survey of Arkansas’s 1,826 stations, the average price of a gallon of gas rose 10 cents in the last week to $2.47. (Source: AP)

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The month of February ended with another significant jump at the pump.

According to GasBuddy.com’s Sunday survey of Arkansas’s 1,826 stations, the average price of a gallon of gas rose 10 cents in the last week to $2.47.

Motorists are paying 29.5 cents more than they did a month ago, and 31 cents more than this time last year.

Meanwhile, the national average rose 7.5 cents a gallon in the last week to $2.72. That’s an increase of 30.3 cents a gallon from a month ago, and 30.6 cents more than last year.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, attributed the jump at the pump to cold weather-related shutdowns in Texas.

“Going forward, the impact from the cold has likely run its course,” he said in a Monday news release. “However, several other factors will rise in their influence on gas prices again, including the fact that gasoline demand continues up steam.”

He said demand in the past week “soared to the highest level since the pandemic began as COVID-19 cases continue to drop and Americans are filling up more.”

However, while demand rose, he said the number of active oil rigs in the United States is nearly 50 percent lower than a year ago.

“To put it simply, demand is recovering much, much faster than oil production levels, which is why oil prices have soared,” De Haan said. “This week, OPEC will be meeting to hopefully increase oil production to temper the rise in prices, but will they increase oil production enough to match the growing appetite of a global economy that’s seen oil demand jump? We’ll have to wait and see.”

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