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Las Vegas gas prices are on the rise. Here’s why

Updated April 4, 2024 - 12:39 pm

Steadily rising Nevada gas prices may be near their spring peak, a petroleum industry analyst says. But don’t take that to the bank as prices don’t appear to be slowing yet.

AAA reports the statewide average price of a gallon of regular rose 2 cents overnight from $4.44 a gallon to $4.46 a gallon on Tuesday. In Las Vegas, the average price Tuesday was up a bit more than 2 cents, $4.51 a gallon, up from the Monday average of $4.49.

Increased demand and the switch to more expensive summer blends traditionally cause significant gas price increases in the spring. This year is no exception.

GasBuddy reports Nevada prices are 40 cents a gallon higher than a month ago and stand 22 cents a gallon higher than a year ago.

“Just like the temperatures, gas prices start to rise with the season change,” AAA’s Las Vegas-based spokesman John Treanor said. “While AAA doesn’t make predictions on where prices are going to go, what we are seeing is a seasonal increase and with the summer blend coming and demand likely not going anywhere its safe to say prices are not going to decrease, at least not significantly, anytime soon.”

GasBuddy’s petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan sees the spring price rise and summer expectations a bit differently.

“The national average price of gasoline has slowed a bit after four weeks of notable increases,” De Haan said. “For now, motorists have a bit of a reprieve from the constant big weekly price jumps. So long as we don’t see extenuating circumstances, we’re likely close to a top in prices.”

Those extenuating circumstances include foreign conflicts.

“Uncertainty of the impact of Ukraine’s targeting of Russia’s oil infrastructure likely spiked oil prices recently,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “But those concerns have abated somewhat for now, and gas prices are settling into a pattern similar to last year when the usual seasonal increase was slow and steady.”

If traveling west from Las Vegas, fueling up here will save motorists some money. The current California average is $5.12 a gallon, and usually much higher along Interstate 15.

According to GasBuddy, the average price for regular on Tuesday was $3.50 in Bullhead City, Arizona, $3.96 in Pahrump and $3.92 in St. George, Utah.

Local and national supply and demand can influence prices as well.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand dipped slightly from 8.81 to 8.72 million barrels last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 1.3 million barrels to 232.1 million barrels. Lower demand would typically contribute to pushing pump prices lower or slowing increases, but rising oil prices have kept them elevated instead.

Nationwide, the average price Tuesday was $3.53 a gallon, down a tenth of a cent from Monday.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com.

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