We're in the middle of winter and still dealing with a global pandemic but gas prices in New Jersey continue to climb — and they're likely to keep doing so.

In the Garden State, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline on Thursday was around $2.64, which is six cents higher than one week ago, and 17 cents higher than one month ago, according to GasBuddy.

Supply concerns, rather than demand, are driving up the price, experts say — folks are still limiting their travel due to health risks. Crude oil is at its highest price since the start of 2020, following OPEC's decision to keep their production cuts unchanged. Crude accounts for more than 50% of gasoline's retail price.

“Consumers can expect to continue paying more to fill up this month, potentially up to 10 cents more a gallon, depending on how high crude goes,” said Robert Sinclair, senior manager of public affairs for AAA Northeast. “If demand grows, that will further fuel pump price increases.”

New Jersey's average gasoline price is about 15 cents higher than the national average.

"It'll get a little bit more expensive, but it's probably not going to be something that nudges people into depression," said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service.

Kloza noted New Jersey drivers were paying around $3.50, even $3.80, per gallon at points during the first few years of last decade, so today's pump prices are "cheap by historical standards."

New Jersey's gas tax increased by 9.3 cents per gallon on Oct. 1. Prices today are about 17 cents higher than where they were on the same day in 2020, when pandemic-related lockdowns were still about a month away.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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