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NEW YORK, NY – Americans already weary of having their wallets hammered at the gas pump for some time now may need to prepare themselves for things to get worse before they – hopefully – get better, experts say.
As of press time, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States is $3.488 – increasing 1.4 percent from last week alone – which represents a 30 percent increase over the same period of time one year ago, when it was $2.505 a gallon.
Experts say there are several factors in play in regards to the currently high gas prices U.S. residents are getting clobbered with, such as overall growing demand for gasoline – recently rising from 8.23 million barrels per day to 9.13 million barrels per day – and the increased cost of crude oil due to COVID-19 supply chain issues and economic woes.
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These issues are also taking a toll on the current U.S. stockpile of gasoline; last week, the total domestic supply was reduced by 1.6 million barrels, leaving only 248.4 million in reserve. In addition, in early February total domestic crude stocks decreased by 4.8 million barrels to 410.4 million, a 13 percent lower year-over-year difference.
A volatile wild card to also consider is the current tensions between Russia and Ukraine; the Biden Administration is currently warning that Russia could invade the former Soviet republic at any time. World leaders are threatening to impose major sanctions if they do invade, which would likely result in Russia – a crude-producing ally of The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – to withhold crude oil from the global market.
All of these factors are combining into one unavoidable certainty – that U.S. residents can expect to pay yet even more when they gas up their vehicles in the very near future, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).
“Pump prices will likely continue to follow suit as demand grows and stocks decrease if crude prices continue to climb,” they said.
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