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Gas Prices Stabilize as Crude Oil Remains above $100 per Barrel

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PORTLAND, Ore., – Gas prices are showing little movement this week as the cost of a barrel of oil has stubbornly remained above $100 per barrel. Crude oil prices surged as Russia invaded Ukraine last month and have remained elevated. For the week, the national average for regular holds steady at $4.24. The Oregon average edges up one-and-a-half cents to $4.72.

The national and Oregon averages are both a bit lower than their record highs set earlier this month. The national average peaked at $4.331 on March 11 while the Oregon average peaked at $4.739 on March 11. These prices eclipse the old record highs set in 2008 when the national average peaked at $4.11 on July 17, and the Oregon average peaked at $4.29 on July 3.

“The global oil market reflects the volatility caused by the war in Ukraine grinding onward with no resolution in sight,” says Marie Dodds. “With crude oil prices remaining high, pump prices are also staying elevated.”

On average, about 53% of what we pay for in a gallon of gasoline is for the price of crude oil,12% is refining, 21% distribution and marketing, and 15% are taxes, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

About 3% of oil, and a total of 8% of oil and refined products used in the U.S. last year came from Russia, while about 25% of Europe’s oil is imported from Russia. The U.S. is the largest oil producer in the world. Other top producers are Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Demand for gasoline in the U.S. usually climbs this time of year. But demand is defying seasonal trends and has dipped for the second week in a row, possibly due to higher pump prices and consumers altering their driving habits. Demand slipped from 8.94 million b/d to 8.63 million b/d. Total domestic gasoline stocks also fell

by 3 million bbl to 238 million bbl last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The decrease in gas demand is helping to put downward pressure on pump prices, but the high cost of crude oil is the major driver of sustained high pump prices.

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