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AAA: Crude oil costs, travel demand are behind big jump in gas prices

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(The Center Square) – A jump in crude oil costs and increased travel demand are behind the 11-cent hike in Arkansas gas prices, according to AAA.

Arkansas motorists pay an average of $3.18 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, up 14 cents from the same time last year.

The change in seasons is a factor, according to AAA.

“They start to rise with the arrival of spring,” said AAA spokesman Andrew Gross about the gas prices. “And the national average for gas is now higher than a year ago, which we have not seen since late December.”

Crude oil, one of the main components of gasoline, is also getting more expensive. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is priced at $4, according to AAA.

Drivers in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers are experiencing the most sticker shock, with gas prices at $3.27. The average cost for an unleaded gallon of gasoline in Pine Bluff is $3.11, the lowest in the state, according to AAA.

Arkansas is tied with its neighbors Texas and Louisiana for the third lowest fuel costs in the U.S. Colorado and Mississippi are tied at first for the cheapest gas at $3.09 a gallon. Kansas is alone in the second spot at $3.18

The national average fuel price is $3.53, 13 cents higher than last week. California has the most expensive gas at $4.95 for a regular unleaded gallon.

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