CINCINNATI — Cincinnati-area drivers were stunned to see gas prices on the rise again this week, for the first time in a month.
Pump prices are jumping to $4.15 a gallon at many stations, a 30-cent spike in many cases, where they were recently down to $3.85. The BP at the intersection of Queen City and Harrison Avenue was selling gas for $4.39 a gallon Thursday afternoon. Another BP on Jefferson Avenue in Cincinnati was $4.29.
GasBuddy.com says prices are rising across Ohio, and much of the country, this week, because of increased demand and reduced world supply of crude oil.
Oil was back up to $106 a barrel, after falling below $100 for several weeks, as several European nations cut their import of Russian oil. That is leading to tighter suppliers and higher prices worldwide.
What about the Strategic Reserves?
President Biden's opening of the Strategic Petroleum Reserves in March had an immediate impact, lowering prices below $4 as the spigots opened, increasing supply.
But now those supplies are tightening, Gas Buddy said, negating the lower prices.
But analysts say if the Reserves had not opened, we could be seeing prices 20 cents higher than where they are today.
Summer demand starting to impact prices, too
One more reason for higher prices, Gas Buddy said, is increased demand from commuters, who in April and May returned to the office for the first time in two years.
Summer driving season begins in three weeks, and that will increase demand even more, as Americans hit the road for their summer trips.
It could be worse: Drivers of diesel cars and trucks are filling up at the highest diesel prices ever, now over $5 in many parts of the country.
Looking for cheaper fuel? Try Northern Kentucky, where prices remain below $4 at most stations.
CLICK HERE for WCPO's interactive map of current gas prices in the area.
As always, don't waste your money.