17:00 PM

AAA: Gas Prices Continue to Rise on Strong Oil Prices

The average cost for a gallon of gas rose five cents in North Dakota last week to hit $3.15. The national average also rose a nickel to hit $3.32.

Retail gasoline prices have jumped to the highest averages since November 2014, and several more cents are expected to be tacked on over the coming days, according to AAA. The primary driver of this surge is the cost of crude oil, which is now trading above $82 a barrel. In August, the price of crude was as low as $62 per barrel. The global market is digesting strengthening demand while simultaneously witnessing tightening supply.

Compared to the price of gas a year ago, it now costs consumers about $17 more to fill up their vehicles, according to Gene LaDoucer, North Dakota director of public affairs for AAA-The Auto Club Group.

"Typically, softening demand this time of year results in easing of pump prices, but the higher cost for crude is preventing that from happening," said LaDoucer. "With oil prices continuing to move higher, gas prices will follow suit because the cost of crude oil accounts for more than half the price of each gallon of gas."

Forecasts from the International Energy Agency for more robust oil demand, especially heating oil this winter, is helping keep crude oil prices elevated.

Today's averages for North Dakota's largest cities are: Bismarck, $3.16; Fargo, $3.08; Grand Forks, $3.12; and Minot, $3.19.

For more information on gas prices, visit AAA.com/gas.