The average price has increased 12.8 cents over the past 15 days, including four-tenths of a cent Monday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 5.4 cents more than one week ago, 15.7 cents higher than one month ago and $1.387 greater than one year ago.
The Orange County average price rose for the 14th time in 15 days, increasing nine-tenths of a cent to $4.527, its highest amount since Oct. 18, 2012. It is 4.7 cents more than one week ago, 16.5 cents higher than one month ago and $1.389 greater than one year ago.
The Orange County average price has increased 12.3 cents over the past 15 days, including two-tenths of a cent Monday.
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The rising gas prices are caused by high crude oil prices. The price of a barrel of West Texas intermediate crude for December delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was unchanged Monday, remaining at $83.76. The only day of the year the settlement price was higher was Wednesday when it was $83.87.
The crude oil price has increased 134.03% from its 52-week low of $35.79 on Oct. 30, 2020, because of higher demand following the elimination of coronavirus-related restrictions.
Crude oil costs account for slightly more than half of the pump price, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
"With the U.S. economy slowly recovering from the depths of the pandemic, demand for gas is robust, but the supply is tight," said Andrew Gross, an AAA national public relations manager.