Weather, inventory, global demand is hiking gas prices

11 Listens and gets answers on why Arkansans are seeing a spike in prices at the gas pump.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Some of you want to know, why gasoline prices have been going up over the past few weeks.

So, THV11 set out to get answers and to see how it's been impacting drivers.

Lawanda Gray spends $25 a week filling up her tank and said she has noticed a steady climb in the cost of gas.

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“Now since the prices have gone up I’m like $35, ten dollars more so that's a big difference,” said Lawanda Gray. Now, she's even more conscious about how often she drives.

Lawanda Gray

“I stay at home a lot more now other than getting out because the prices are extremely high and the cost of living is high on everything and gas don't make it no better,” she added.

But Lawanda isn’t the only one feeling pain at the pump.

“I think they're ridiculous myself, I mean a man can hardly make it. I mean you go to work one day and come back the gas is sky high seems like it's going up every day," said Horace Ames.

Ames commutes to work daily and said the higher prices are putting a dent in his wallet.

“I drive to Maumelle and it just takes a lot out of my paycheck just to go to work,” he said.

Horace Ames

One viewer who contacted THV11 said they wanted to know why there's an uptick in gas prices. Kelly Robbins with the Arkansas Petroleum Council said the main factor behind the increase is higher crude oil prices.

“That represents more than 50 percent of the costs that we pay when we go and fill our cars up," said Robbins. The largest entity impacting the world's oil supplies is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or “OPEC,” and if it decides to raise crude oil prices, it reduces production. “Those 14 countries that make up OPEC decided over a year ago to pull back under 2 million barrels of crude oil production per day so that's obviously had an impact," said Robbins.

Kelly Robbins, Arkansas Petroleum Council

This agreement helped reverse a three-year oil price downturn that impacted hundreds of thousands of energy jobs. But there’s still a lot of other factors that come into play like weather, inventory and global demand. Robbins said there's been a seven percent increase in demand in the U.S. for gasoline since the first of the year.

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But in reality, he said Arkansans don't have it as bad as they think.

“Arkansas still has the 6th lowest average price among the 50 states. We're about 22 cents below the national average of 2.58 per gallon."

As of February 19, 2018, in Arkansas, the average price for gasoline is $2.32, compared to the national average of $2.53. This time last year, the average price was in Arkansas was $2.10, compared to the national average of $2.28.

Those numbers came from the AAA website, click here.