Today's national average of $2.06 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline represents a total increase of two cents per gallon in the last week, but remains 16 cents less than one month ago and $1.22 less than one year ago.
According to AAA, gas prices have begun to increase due to a series of refinery issues in the Midwest and because crude oil prices are trading at more stable levels following a multi-month selloff.
Similar to years past, AAA says that the national average is expected to rise in the coming months due to the seasonal demand increase and refinery maintenance. However, global oil prices continue to register multi-year lows with supply outpacing demand, and barring any events that cause the global price to increase substantially, AAA expects that the U.S. average will remain below $3 per gallon throughout 2015.
Increasing prices at the pump are reflected across the country with 25 states registering averages below $2 per gallon, which is down three states from last week's report. Idaho, with a statewide average gas price of $1.85, is joined by Texas ($1.87) and Oklahoma ($1.87) as the states with the cheapest gas.
Hawaii ($3.11) remains the only state posting an average above $3 per gallon. Hawaii is followed by Alaska ($2.64), California ($2.45), Washington, D.C. ($2.39) and New York ($2.39) as the nation's top five most expensive markets for retail gasoline.
AAA says that global oil prices are expected to remain relatively low during the first half of 2015, largely due to OPEC's paradigm-shifting decision not to support higher oil prices by cutting production.