That pain at the pump we’ve been feeling since the beginning of 2021 just got worse.
Gas prices jumped last week, making them the highest since November 2014, according to travel club AAA.
The average price for unleaded regular across the U.S. was at $3.08 on Monday.
The worse news: Crude oil prices, which drive the price of gas, will remain high through the summer, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its most recent forecast.
What’s keeping prices high is skyrocketing demand by consumers and businesses returning to work commutes, vacations and normal recreational activities while production so far is stuck below pre-pandemic levels.
The not-as-bad news is that high crude oil prices are expected to spur increased production by OPEC nations, Russia, Iran and the United States, which should stabilize oil prices and bring down gasoline prices in the second half of the year.
Analysts estimate that global production will increase from 25.5 million barrels a day in May to 28.7 million barrels a day by the fourth quarter of the year, driving per-barrel crude prices from the current $66 a barrel to $61.
Next year, production should further increase, driving crude oil prices even lower, the EIA said. In the U.S., for example, producers are expected to drill enough wells to bring daily production back to its pre-pandemic level of 13 million barrels a day compared to the current 11 million barrels a day.
For now, though, the high gasoline prices are squeezing our wallets. “It now costs $2 more to fill an average-size 15-gallon gas tank than it did a week ago,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.
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