Gas prices in the state have surged to the highest they’ve been in over a year.
Jacksonville’s average price at the pump today is $2.93. It’s slightly higher than a gallon of gas in neighboring Scott County at $2.86. Morgan, Scott, Sangamon, and Schuyler counties all have the best gas prices in West Central Illinois, while the surrounding counties have all shot beyond $3 a gallon.
Illinois’s average price at the pump is $3.08 a gallon, a dollar more than what you paid at the same time last year during the first month of the pandemic. AAA says that refinery utilization is at its highest so far this year at 84%. This strong utilization rate, as measured by the Energy Information Administration contributed 4 million barrels of gasoline into the nation’s overall supply this week. The refinery and production increases amid a small decrease in demand and cheaper crude oil prices resulted in the national gas price average decreasing by a penny to $2.86 on the week. Molly Hart of AAA says that its caused stabilization in the market overall after wild fluctuations last month.
For the first time in nearly two months, crude oil prices last week held below $60 a barrel for five straight days. The cheaper price is a positive indicator for more stability at the pump. Demand decreased by 1 and a quarter percent last week to 8.7 million barrels a day, nearly 3 and a quarter million barrels higher than last year’s demand at this time. AAA expects April demand to remain below levels from 2019, but see healthy increases from a year ago, when many Americans were quarantining.
In other words, expect gas prices to hover between $2.80 and $3 for the remainder of the month.