As Ukraine crisis intensifies, Florida gas prices up are 4 cents in past week

Floridians are seeing an average price of $3.52 per gallon.

Gas prices across Florida increased by an average of 4 cents per gallon in the past week as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine raised prospects of even further impacts on the global oil supply, AAA — The Auto Club Group reported Monday.

Floridians are paying an average price of $3.52 per gallon, AAA reported. That’s the most expensive daily average since July 2014. Florida gas prices have risen an average of 33 cents per gallon since the beginning of 2022, and $1.33 per gallon since the beginning of 2021.

If Russia’s oil and gas supply to Europe is fully disrupted by the war, the impact on gas prices could grow, AAA warned.

Russia is the third-largest oil-producing country in the world. The crude oil market was already tight before this conflict began. Last week, oil prices spiked when Russia invaded Ukraine. However, prices quickly retreated to previous levels after President Joe Biden announced sanctions that didn’t specifically target Russian oil.

Nonetheless, Sunday night, the U.S. price of oil was trading above $96 per barrel — an increase of more than $4 per barrel from Friday’s closing price of $91.59.

“Unless oil prices reverse course, the pain at the pump is about to get even worse for Floridians,” Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, said in a news release issued early Monday morning. “There has been a lot of speculation about oil prices, and the high seems like a moving target. If oil lands at $95 a barrel for a sustained period of time, drivers could expect to see a 15-cent jump at the pump. If U.S. oil reaches $100 a barrel, the total increase would be more like 25-30 cents per gallon.”

Oil prices have increased around $20 per barrel in 2022, AAA reported.

The national average gasoline price Monday morning was $3.61 per gallon.

The Russian invasion isn’t the only issue keeping upward pressure on pump prices, the organization noted. The busy spring and summer driving seasons are drawing near, which typically lead to strong fuel demand. Summer gasoline is moving into the market, which is more expensive to produce. Refineries are conducting seasonal maintenance, which can reduce normal gasoline production levels. And in addition to all those seasonal trends, there was an explosion at a Louisiana refinery last week.

With all that, in Florida, Crestview-Fort Walton Beach drivers found the best deals, with an average price of $3.47 per gallon. In Orlando, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, Punta Gorda and Fort Myers-Cape Coral, it was $3.49; and Tampa, Sarasota and Melbourne, $3.50;

In the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton market, the average price was highest in the state at $3.66 per gallon. In Panama City, it was $3.57; Gainesville and Fort Lauderdale, $3.55; Miami, $3.53; and Tallahassee and Pensacola, $3.52.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].

One comment

  • Andrew Finn

    February 28, 2022 at 11:15 am

    Imagine that — gas prices are going up !!!!!! The Ukraine “crisis” is only the latest excuse for the prices of gas to go up this time of year. Here in Florida, the weather is getting nicer by the day and people are out and about more, plus the inevitable price increase that “magically appears” in time for the Spring Break travelers. The Ukraine is just another excuse for the oil companies (poor babies) to jack up prices and screw the public a little more.

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