Oil prices will govern what happens with pump rates. The economies in
and China are showing some
improvement, but Europe still remains plunged
in recession – in general, economic factors affecting oil prices are mixed. In
the last 2 years in the Middle East, threats
to shipments of oil from the region drove crude prices higher during the
winter, thereby increasing the pump prices by spring.
On Monday, benchmark crude went up 10 cents to finish at $93.19 a barrel in
New York, while
Brent crude rose 9 cents to end at $111.40 per barrel in London. The average cost for a gallon was
$3.60 in 2013 in the U.S.,
eclipsing the record of $3.51 a gallon set in 2011, according to AAA. Prices
were always high unplanned outages plagued refineries across the U.S.
such as Hurricane Isaac and Superstorm Sandy.
The calculations of the Energy Department show that gas will average $3.43 a gallon this year due to an anticipated decline in Brent crude, which is a benchmark for oil imported on the U.S. East Coast, to an average of $104 a barrel. Drivers in
Utah and Wyoming
are paying below $3 a gallon on average, whereas Hawaii is the only state above $4.