The average cost of a gallon of gasoline in Massachusetts rose again over the last week, with regular grade increasing two cents to $3.40 per gallon. That price is 24 cents higher than a month ago ($3.16), and $1.33 higher than one year ago ($2.07).
Comparison to neighboring states, according to AAA:
While gas prices are high in Massachusetts, they remain well short of the highest prices seen in the state. On July 8, 2008, prices climbed to their all-time high of $4.09 for a gallon of regular unleaded In Massachusetts.
The average cost of a gallon of regular grade gas is two cents higher over the last week across the United States, now $3.42. Today’s national average price is 16 cents higher than a month ago ($3.26) and $1.31 higher than this day last year ($2.16).
Nationwide Gasoline Prices
While current prices are well short of the all-time nationwide high of $4.11 for regular, which occurred on July 17, 2008. The current average price is the highest since August 2014.
The price of gasoline is a product of the price of crude oil. According to the U.S., Energy Information Administration [EIA], a division of the Department of Energy, 53 percent of the cost of regular grade gasoline is the cost of crude oil.
While the United States produces more oil than any single nation, producing over 11 million barrels per day in 2020, around 15 percent of the world’s supply, its ability to affect the cost of crude oil is negligible.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC] is a permanent intergovernmental organization of 13 oil-exporting developing nations that coordinates and unifies the petroleum policies. Its member nations combined produced over 27 million barrels per day in 2020, around 36 percent of the world’s crude oil. Its members are:
In 2016, OPEC and ten oil-exporting countries that are not OPEC members formed a new organization called OPEC+. These ten countries produced nearly 16 million barrels per day in 2020, around 21% of the world's oil.
Combined, OPEC+ countries produced over 43 million barrels of oil per day in 2020, around 57% of the world’s supply, giving it extraordinary control over the price of oil based on the volume it produces, or chooses not to produce.
OPEC+ implemented a plan August to increase oil production by 400,000 barrels per day to meet growing demand as pandemic restrictions lifted across the world. Many world leaders, including President Joe Biden, argue that growth of demand has exceeded the OPEC+ plan and have pressured the organization to increase its output further.
In meetings in October and on November 4, OPEC+ declined to increase production beyond its August plan. The organization meets again on December 2.
As pandemic restrictions lifted worldwide, demand for energy increased rapidly. As production ramped up to meet demand, Hurricanes Marco, Laura and Ida in August and Hurricanes Delta and Zeta in October 2020, move through the Gulf of Mexico, where around 16% of oil production takes place in the U.S. Hurricane Ida did substantial damage to energy production, virtually brining the industry to a standstill for days, which caused the loss of production of around $30 million barrels of oil.
In its report on production of crude oil in the U.S. on October 29, the EIA reported 11.5 million barrels of production during that week, the most since May 2020.
Although oil production is increasing, gas demand has also been increasing, which has reduced the amount of gas in stock in the U.S. and affected prices upward. Andrew Ross, a AAA spokesperson, said shorter days could reduce demand.
“Not everybody loves changing their household clocks for the end of Daylight Saving Time,” said Gross. “But the shorter days could lead to lower demand for gas. Drivers may head straight home from work to avoid the darkness rather than tack on side trips for shopping or errands.”
Not everybody loves changing their household clocks for the end of Daylight Saving Time,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “But the shorter days could lead to lower demand for gas. Drivers may head straight home from work to avoid the darkness rather than tack on side trips for shopping or errands.”
Below you will find the cheapest places to get gas in the Worcester and Fitchburg area. Gas prices can change multiple times during the day, so these prices are not guaranteed. Also, take note of the date the report on prices was received, which is also displayed. The most recent report are likely to be more accurate.
Note: Scroll to the bottom and advance to the second page to see prices and locations in and around Fitchburg.