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Rogue Valley gas prices soar to record high

Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune A 76 gas station outside Ashland Monday advertised regular gas for $4.79 per gallon when paying with cash.
Price averages $4.70 per gallon in Medford-Ashland area

Gas prices in the Medford-Ashland area soared to a record high Monday, with the average price of a gallon of regular gas hitting $4.70, according to the American Automobile Association.

The state of Oregon hit a record high Monday as well. The average price for a gallon of regular gas was $4.51 statewide, AAA said.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is causing pain at the pump as crude oil prices surge, AAA reported.

The national average for a gallon of gas is $4.06 — 45 cents more than a week ago, 62 cents more than a month ago and $1.30 more than a year ago, AAA said.

Prices escalated in the Medford-Ashland area, too, as tensions mounted between Russia and Ukraine in recent weeks.

The average cost of a gallon of gas a year ago was $3.09 in the Medford-Ashland area. Prices climbed to $4.13 a month ago, then $4.20 a week ago before spiking to $4.70 Monday, AAA reported.

Jackson, Josephine and Curry counties in Southern Oregon and Tillamook, Multnomah, Hood River and Sherman counties in Northern Oregon had the highest average gas prices in the state, AAA said.

Josephine County was worst off, with gas prices that averaged $4.85 per gallon Monday in the Grants Pass area, AAA said.

Another organization that tracks gas prices, GasBuddy, announced Monday that the average price of a gallon of gas in Medford rose to $4.60.

GasBuddy said it surveyed 64 Medford gas stations Sunday and found prices ranged from a low of $4.15 per gallon to a high of $4.89 a gallon.

At $4.51 per gallon, Oregon had the fourth-most expensive gas in the nation. California had the highest prices at $5.34 a gallon, followed by Hawaii at $4.70 and Nevada at $4.59, according to AAA.

Whether consumers will see any relief soon remains in doubt.

Last week, the International Energy Agency announced a coordinated release of crude oil from the strategic reserves of its 31 member countries, including the United States, Mexico and Canada, to help counter the impact of rising crude oil prices.

On Friday, IEA said member nations committed to releasing 61.7 million barrels from their strategic reserves to reassure markets roiled by the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.

The amount — half of which was expected to come from the U.S. — was the largest coordinated release since IEA was founded in 1974.

Despite the announcement, the impact on prices has been limited. The amount of oil planned for release is small in comparison to the amount that usually flows from Russia to other countries around the globe, AAA said.

Russia is the world’s third-largest oil producer but the globe’s biggest exporter, according to the IEA.

Russia exports approximately five million barrels per day of crude oil, representing about 12% of global trade, the IEA said.

The international community has placed sanctions on Russia for launching a war against Ukraine.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.