(WASHINGTON) -- The price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.684, up 5 cents from a week ago, according to the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration’s weekly gasoline update. The Energy Department, which gets its data from 800 stations, said prices are up 19 cents from a year ago at this time.
Earlier Monday, AAA said the average price of regular gas was $3.67 a gallon, up 20 cents over the last two weeks, which is the largest price spike since February. The association gets its data from credit card transactions and direct feeds from 120,000 stations a day.
Michael Green, spokesman for AAA, said there are three factors driving up gas prices: the high cost of oil, rising demand as more people hit the roads for summer travel, and tightening supplies due to refinery glitches in parts of the country.
Recent turmoil in Egypt, which has spooked the market and increased prices, is one of the reasons why the price of oil has increased to more than $100 a barrel, he said. While Egypt is not an oil-producing country, its territory, which includes the Suez Canal, plays an important part in oil distribution. Investors are also watching whether political unrest will spread to neighboring countries.
Decreased supplies of oils are commonly seen in summertime as people use more petroleum products, he said.
“It’s a tough time for motorists when many people are traveling, and spending more on gasoline means less on shopping, dining out and even for saving,” Green said.
Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com, said the dramatic rise in prices may come to an end soon.
“Rising prices may begin cooling towards the mid-to-end of this week thanks to oil prices slowing their dramatic rise in the last week,” DeHaan said.
Some areas may see falling prices, such as California and the Great Lakes, which have already seen prices falling for the last few days.
“Prices will remain volatile, and look to the tropics -- any major storm in the tropics will be sure to make pump prices splash,” DeHaan said.
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