Arizona gas prices spiked 21 cents last week. Here's why

Arizonans saw a 21-cent jump in gas prices since last week while the national average only inched forward 5 cents.

The increase in both the state and across the nation deviated from recent trends where Arizona saw an increase while the U.S. average had a drop in prices.

As of Sept. 19, Arizonans, on average, paid $4.607 for gas while the rest of the nation paid an average of $3.880, according to AAA data.

Since last Thursday, Arizona was reported to have seen one of the largest price increases across the nation with a spike of 17 cents, according to AAA's weekly report. The highest was Minnesota, which saw an increase of 32 cents.

The Grand Canyon state remained the seventh most expensive state in the U.S., where residents are paying an average of $4.51 for gasoline, the report showed.

The national average was 12 cents higher than in 2022 as of Tuesday. AAA said there has been a decrease in demand as the arrival of the fall season nears. Will this bring lower prices? Here is what you need to know.

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Lower demand for gas keeps prices lower as cost of oil increases

The U.S. saw a nickel-worth increase in average gas prices on Thursday compared to the previous week, according to the AAA's weekly report.

This was the primary result of a surge in oil costs, which jumped several dollars to hover around $90 a barrel, the report stated.

"Oil costs are putting upward pressure on pump prices, but the rise is tempered by much lower demand," said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, in the report. "The slide in people fueling up is typical, with schools back in session, the days getting shorter, and the weather less pleasant. But the usual decline in pump prices is being stymied for now by these high oil costs."

The demand for gas decreased significantly from 9.32 to 8.31 million barrels per day on Thursday compared to the previous week, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. However, elevated oil prices are what continued pushing gas prices higher.

AAA's weekly report stated that oil prices increased in response to ongoing concern that the global oil supply will remain tight for the rest of the year. It stated that according to a September oil market report by the International Energy Agency, production cuts from Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will lead to an oil supply shortfall in fall and winter.

Why is gas so expensive right now in Arizona?

Julian Paredes, AAA Mountain West Group spokesperson, said last month there are multiple reasons for Arizona's higher prices:

  • This summer was hot: "Arizona was kind of at the center of that extreme heat," Parades said. Arizona has no gasoline production, but fuel refineries in California, Texas, and New Mexico, all of which supply Arizona, were all impacted by extreme heat conditions more than other parts of the country, Parades said.

  • The state has unique fuel requirements: Arizona requires a particular oil blend of gasoline to meet air quality regulations, which results in more expensive gas.

  • There is a shortage of pipelines: Refineries in New Mexico and Texas pipe fuel to Arizona via a pipeline to the east, and refineries in California send gas to Phoenix via one to the west. The west pipeline didn't have enough room for additional fuel, HF Sinclair, the day fuel company, said, and trucking more fuel to Phoenix from California not only is expensive but would require 50 to 70 trucks a day.

  • Some parts of Arizona are supplied by California refineries: Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at Gas Buddy, said last month that some parts of Arizona obtain their gas from refineries in Southern California, which have much more expensive gasoline because the Golden State's regulations on refineries add to the cost.

How much does gas cost in Arizona?

  • Maricopa: $4.923

  • Pinal: $4.800

  • Coconino: $4.320

  • Mohave: $4.354

  • Santa Cruz: $4.271

  • Yavapai: $4.275

  • Graham: $4.138

  • La Paz: $4.216

  • Gila: $4.172

  • Pima: $4.242

  • Cochise: $4.125

  • Apache: $4.100

  • Navajo: $4.073

  • Yuma: $4.118

  • Greenlee: $4.126

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Why is gas so expensive right now in Arizona?