April 18 (UPI) — The recent drop in gas prices has slowed as the war in Ukraine continues to exert upward pressure on crude oil prices and higher seasonal demand kicks in, AAA reported Monday.
The national average price for a gallon of gas is $4.08, the auto group said. While that is 3 cents lower than last week’s $4.11, the pace of the decline from record highs has “slowed to a crawl” over concerns about increased global oil prices and the coming of increased travel spurred by warmer weather, they reported.
“As the days get longer, the weather gets warmer, and pump prices dip from their record highs, consumers feel more confident about hitting the road,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said. “But these lower pump prices could be temporary if the global price of oil increases due to constrained supply.”
Crude oil prices on Monday rose to their highest prices of the month so far, pressured by concerns over tight supplies. The benchmark Brent crude was up $1.24, or 1.1%, to $112.94 per barrel.
Oil prices rose last week after The New York Times reported that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was prompting the European Union to seriously consider banning Russian oil imports despite Germany’s dependence on them.
Events in Libya are also adding to global supply worries after the country’s biggest oil field was shut down amid protests against Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.
Government data showed U.S. domestic gas supplies fell by 3.5 million barrels to 233.1 million barrels last week, while demand increased slightly from 8.5 million barrels per day to 8.73 million barrels, AAA reported.