Wisconsin gas prices to climb at a pace not seen since 2008

People filling their tanks and petroleum analysts are surprised how fast prices are rising
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 11:36 AM CST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2022 at 10:05 PM CST
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FOX CROSSING, Wis. (WBAY) - Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is causing crude prices to soar and that means higher costs at the gas pump. And it’s far from over.

“As the conflict continues, the oil markets will likely respond by increasing the price of crude oil to reflect more risk of disruption to tight global oil supplies this week,” says AAA.

“It’s been really bad. I fill up my tank every two days because of my drive to work and so, I mean, it’s rough. It’s been really rough,” Lauren Brimey from Mequon told us while she stopped at a Fox Valley gas station.

GasBuddy says the national average for a gallon of gas hit a record high of $4.104 per gallon, surpassing the previous record set back in July 2008 during the Great Recession.

“It has been absolutely staggering to watch the pace of increases,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.com, said. How that adds up nationally:

  • 49 cents more than one week ago
  • 66 cents more than one month ago
  • $1.34 more than one year ago

AAA reported these prices in its daily update earlier Monday:

EAU CLAIRE$3.842$3.782$3.403$3.336$2.723
GREEN BAY$3.872$3.760$3.350$3.207$2.640
LA CROSSE$3.957$3.859$3.529$3.326$2.762

CLICK HERE for AAA gas prices updated once a day.

The price of gas in the Fox Valley is historically below the national average but it, too, is getting very close to the $4 mark. In Neenah, we found one gas station already advertising regular unleaded at $4.199 a gallon Monday evening.

Diesel prices broke records on Friday, soaring by its largest daily gain ever, more than 22 cents per gallon. That’s 6 cents higher than the previous record one-day rise in 2013.

Right now global consumption is around 100 million barrels a day, and Russia is a big part of that equation.

“The problem is that Russia is a significant producer of about 10 million barrels a day of oil production, and suddenly with the loss of Russian oil the balance has been significantly tipped in a way we have never fully seen before, and so oil prices are surging now,” said De Haan said.

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Prices will continue to rise this week

Right now Russia accounts for about 8 percent of the global supply. It’s only 1 percent of the crude oil processed by U.S. refineries. However, many European countries rely more heavily on Russian oil, which will drive prices up if that source is eliminated.

Experts at GasBuddy are predicting gas could go up to $4.25 to $4.50 a gallon as the national average by the end of the week.

No one is sure if that will be the peak because there is so much turmoil in Ukraine. But experts don’t expect any immediate relief with spring break travel coming up, then the busiest travel time of the year: summer.

Drivers fear this will lead to further inflation, and not just at the pumps.

“Obviously, I like so many others rely on my vehicle to get to work and wherever else, and I just think with the economy the way it is right now I feel like not a lot of people can afford gas when it’s getting that expensive,” Moe Oliver from Appleton expressed.

“This is when Americans need to band together to cut our fuel consumption,” De Haan said. “That is really the only thing we can do at this moment. Supply as we know has been curtailed by the fact we have seen sanctions placed on Russia.”

The most expensive gas in the country continues to be in states with large metropolitan areas, like California and New York. The cheapest right now is in the middle states from North Dakota to Texas, which are also big oil producers.

AAA says, “According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 500,000 bbl to 246 million bbl last week. Meanwhile, gasoline demand rose slightly from 8.66 million b/d to 8.74 million b/d. The increase in gas demand and a reduction in total supply contribute to rising pump prices. But, increasing oil prices play a leading role in pushing gas prices higher. Consumers can expect the current trend at the pump to continue as long as crude prices climb.”

The International Energy Agency has announced a coordinated release of crude oil from 31 member countries. Those countries are committed to releasing 61.7 million bbl from their reserves. Half of this amount is expected to come from the United States.

GasBuddy reports national gas prices hit an all-time high, breaking a nearly 14-year-old record

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