High Gas Prices to Start Summer Driving Season

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, May 27, 2014) Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.65 per gallon.  This is one cent more than last week and two cents more than the same date last year, but the national price at the pump is five cent less than one month ago.

Yesterday’s Memorial Day holiday saw drivers paying slightly more for gasoline than the previous two years – three cents more than in 2013 ($3.63) and two cents more than in 2012 ($3.64).  However, yesterday’s price reflected a discount of 13 cents from the Memorial Day average of $3.79 per gallon in 2011.

Avg Gas Prices 2011-2014

On Sunday, for the first time in 2014, consumers in three states paid $4 dollars or more per gallon: Hawaii, California and Alaska. As of today, drivers in Missouri are paying the least per gallon ($3.38), which is a difference of 99 cents from nation’s most expensive market (Hawaii: $4.37). The price at the pump in 44 states and the District of Columbia has remained relatively stable over the past seven days (+/- 2 cents), and only three states have seen the price move more than a nickel: Ohio (+11 cents), Michigan (+8 cents) and Kentucky (+6 cents).

Highest & Lowest Avg Gas Prices-5-27

Drivers in the majority of states (37) and the District of Columbia continue to experience a month-over-month discount, with only Utah (+14 cents), Idaho (+13 cents) and Arkansas (+11 cents) reflecting premiums in the double digits. Although consumers in 30 states and the District of Columbia continue to pay a year-over-year premium, drivers in a 10 states are experiencing savings of a quarter or more versus the same date in 2013, led by North Dakota (-58 cents), Minnesota (-55 cents), Iowa (-46 cents), Nebraska (-45 cents) and Kansas (-43 cents).

Elevated global oil prices have kept a relative floor under retail gas prices for motorists.  Oil markets are keeping a close eye on simmering geopolitical tensions, most notably those in Ukraine and Libya, for any developments that might impact global supply.  Over the weekend Ukraine elected a new president, Petro Poroshenko, which some analysts had suggested would increase stability in the region.  However, yesterday the government in Kiev ordered an airstrike on an air base held by rebels, and it remains likely that heightened tensions will persist.  At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 24 cents lower at $104.11 per barrel.  This marks the third straight week that WTI closed above the $100 per barrel threshold.

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