March 2- Average retail gasoline prices in Arizona have risen 14.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.38/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 2,269 gas outlets in Arizona. This compares with the national average that has increased 12.0 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.42/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Arizona during the past week, prices yesterday were 92.6 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 48.2 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 37.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 103.8 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
"The spring spike has hit pumps across the nation, and it certainly has motorists wonder what in the heck is going on," said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. "New records were broken last week in California as prices spiked at their fastest pace ever, even faster than when Chevron's sprawling Richmond, CA refinery caught fire. Meanwhile every single state- all 50 of them- saw a price increase in the last week, with a common theme behind the increases: refinery this, refinery that," he said.
DeHaan noted that In the last two weeks, a rash of refinery problems has pushed up wholesale prices significantly: an explosion at a California refinery, unexpected cold-related shut downs along the East Coast and Great Lakes, and maintenance that's beginning at other refineries across the country. If that wasn't enough, throw in the transition to cleaner, more costly blends of gasoline and declining gasoline inventories, and it's a bleak picture.
DeHaan said while the massive spikes on the West Coast will likely slow over the next week, "increases will persist country wide, and the general upward trend will likely remain in place for 6-8 more weeks before motorists see declining prices ahead of Memorial Day weekend as maintenance work wraps up and the transition to summer gasoline concludes."
GasBuddy is the premiere source for real-time local gas prices. Founded in 2000, GasBuddy.com developed as an initiative to provide consumers access to local, current gas prices. Through the GasBuddy.com website and the free GasBuddy mobile app, users can find and share gas prices with fellow drivers, saving big money at the pump.