Gas Prices Fall As Situation Stabilizes In Iraq
(WASHINGTON, July 14, 2014) Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.61 per gallon. This price is four cents less than one week ago and five cents less than one month ago. Drivers continue to pay higher prices in comparison to a year ago ($3.60), but the difference has narrowed to just a penny compared to 19 cents to begin July. Today is the 17th consecutive day the national average has decreased.
As predicted by AAA, the retail price at the pump continued to tick lower following the Independence Day holiday due primarily to lower crude oil costs as the situation stabilizes in Iraq, The national average may continue to slide or remain flat, barring any geopolitical concerns, major hurricane or refinery disruptions.
Hawaii leads the market with the most expensive price per gallon at $4.34, followed by Alaska ($4.19) and California ($4.10). While prices in many states remain elevated, the price at the pump in 45 states and Washington D.C. has fallen over the past week with the biggest savings occurring in the Midwest: Indiana (-13 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Kentucky (-10 cents), Ohio (-9 cents) and Illinois (-8 cents). This downward trend is also reflected over the past two weeks with drivers in 42 states and Washington D.C. experiencing savings at the pump, including six states where consumers are saving a dime or more per gallon: Michigan (-22 cents), Ohio (-16 cents), Kentucky (-16 cents), Indiana (-14 cents), Illinois (-13 cents) and Missouri (-10 cents).
The month-over-month comparison is more evenly split – the price per gallon has decreased in 27 states and increased in 23 states and Washington DC. The largest price drops have been in the Midwestern states of Ohio (-41 cents), Indiana (-36) and Michigan (-28 cents) and Illinois (-23 cents), while drivers in four states are paying a dime or more per gallon: Idaho (+14 cents), Utah (+13 cents), Alaska (+12 cents) and Colorado (+12 cents). Year-over-year averages have increased in 36 states and Washington D.C. led by: Nevada (+18 cents), Pennsylvania (+18 cents) and Alaska (+15 cents).
Although the situation in Iraq remains unresolved, the possibility of disruptions to supply is increasingly viewed as unlikely. Oil production has returned in Libya, following the labor disputes and violence that resulted in the closing of national oil fields and ports. Market watchers will continue to monitor the instability in Iraq and Libya, with a watchful eye to Ukraine, Venezuela and Nigeria, but after rising to a multi-month high ($107.26 per barrel on June 20), the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has now fallen over three straight weeks.
At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled eight cents higher at $100.91. Should WTI prices fall below $100 in the coming days it would be the first time since May 9 that prices have dipped below this threshold.