Thu, Sep 14, 2023 3:40 PM
By Merrilee Gasser, The Center Square
Arkansans are paying more at the pump this week but are still seeing the seventh-lowest average gas prices in the country, AAA said Thursday.
In some areas like Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers and Fort Smith, drivers are paying nearly a quarter more per gallon than they did a week ago, AAA said.
Arkansas’ statewide average gas price rose seven cents over the last week to $3.49 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, according to the AAA Arkansas Weekend Gas Watch.
Drivers in Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers are seeing the highest average prices in the state at $3.72 per gallon. The lowest average price of the areas surveyed was Jonesboro at $3.33 per gallon.
Nationally, gas prices are also climbing. The national average is up six cents from last week to $3.86 per gallon, which is 16 cents higher than the average price per gallon this time last year, AAA reported. Arkansas’ current average is 32 cents higher than it was this time last year.
The rising gas prices can partially be blamed on year-high crude oil prices, which have been climbing since June and are up nearly $2 more per barrel than last week, AAA said.
While September usually comes with decreased gas prices, the climb in crude oil prices might quash that this year.
“Fall is typically a time when drivers see a slight decline in prices as gasoline distributors switch to winter blend, a gasoline formula cheaper to produce.” said AAA Spokesperson Nick Chabarria. “But crude oil prices, hovering around $90 per barrel, are negating any price offset at the moment.”
Crude oil makes up around 50 to 60% of each gallon’s cost, according to AAA.