Georgia (and Cobb) gasoline prices experience sharp rise over past week

Georgia gasoline demand drop due to COVID illustrated by closeup of a gasoline pump nozzleGasoline pump nozzle (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

According to the weekly press release from Montrae Waiters, the spokeswoman for AAA – The Auto Club Group, Georgia drivers experienced a sharp 8-cent increase over the past week, are now paying an average of $3.06 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline.

“Georgia motorists saw a jump at the pump this weekend,” said Waiters. “The probable cause for the increase appears to be an uptick in demand and the high price of crude oil, which is stubbornly staying above $70 per barrel. High crude prices will likely contribute to gas prices remaining elevated this season.”

Prices in Cobb County

The price of a gallon of regular unleaded in Cobb County is $3.049 at the time of this writing, about one cent less expensive than the statewide average.

It is always possible to find lower gas prices than the average by comparison shopping or using tools like http://gasbuddy.com.

AAA’s weekly report stated the following about national gas and oil trends that are driving the higher prices:

Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased 7 cents to $3.26. According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 3.3 million barrel to 225.1 million barrel last week. Gasoline demand also increased slightly from 9.40 million barrels a day to 9.44 million barrels a day. The slight increase in gas demand has contributed to the rise in the national average. However, the main culprit for rising pump prices remains high crude prices above $70 per barrel.

At the close of last Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 87 cents to settle at $78.30. Prices increased today after the U.S. Department of Energy dispelled speculation that the Biden Administration would sell crude oil held in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The move could have put more crude into the domestic market, but it is unlikely to have had a sustained downward impact on oil prices. Additionally, prices rose earlier this week following OPEC+, which comprises the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and their allies, choosing not to move forward with an agreement to produce 800,000 barrels a day in November. Instead, OPEC+ decided to keep its 400,000 barrels a day planned production increase intact for now. Prices have increased this week despite EIA’s latest report showing that total domestic crude inventories increased by 2.4 million barrels to 420.9 million barrels last week.

How does AAA determine gas prices?

According to AAA:

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.GasPrices.AAA.com. Every day up to 130,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.

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