For First Time in More than 19 Months, Average Gas Price Jumps to $2.39
Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.39. This price is six cents more expensive than one week ago, nine cents more than one month ago and 35 cents more than one year ago. The national average is at its highest price this year and has now increased for 13 of the last 14 days. Pump prices in 48 states and Washington D.C. have moved higher over the last week, led by the switch over to more expensive summer-blend gasoline and increased driving demand.
- The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.11), Alabama ($2.14), Tennessee ($2.14), Mississippi ($2.14), Oklahoma ($2.15), Arkansas ($2.16), Virginia ($2.19), Louisiana ($2.19), Missouri ($2.20) and Texas ($2.21).
- The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($3.04), California ($2.99), Washington ($2.89), Alaska ($2.88), Oregon ($2.75), Nevada ($2.67), Pennsylvania ($2.59), Michigan ($2.57), District of Columbia ($2.54) and Illinois ($2.51).
- The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly increases include: Kentucky (+15 cents), Florida (+12 cents), Michigan (+12 cents), Indiana (+11 cents), Alaska (+10 cents), Missouri (+9 cents), Pennsylvania (+9 cents), Illinois (+9 cents), Georgia (+7 cents) and Colorado (+7 cents).
West Coast gas prices continue to prove the highest in the country, with six states in the region topping the list of most expensive U.S. markets: Hawaii ($3.04), California ($2.99), Washington ($2.89), Alaska ($2.88), Oregon ($2.75) and Nevada ($2.67). Pump prices in some states will likely breach the $3/gal mark by July.
Prices in the Northwest and California will continue to rise in the coming weeks due to refinery maintenance. BP’s Cherry Point refinery in Ferndale, WA, began maintenance work last week, which will result in tighter supply in the region. PBF Energy’s 157,800-b/d Torrance, CA, plant is also set to begin planned maintenance while production issues at Air Products Wilmington, a company supplying hydrogen to Los Angeles-area refineries has resulted in reduced supply of hydrogen. This supply shortage will impact gas processing abilities at impacted refineries.
Gas prices in the Rockies remain the most stable in the nation. Prices at the pump fluctuated by only a few cents, except in Colorado where prices jumped 7 cents on the week. The increase is likely the result of planned maintenance at Phillips 66’s 154,000 b/d Borger refinery in the Texas Panhandle. The refiner supplies gasoline to Colorado and parts of the Gulf Coast and Central States via pipeline.
Great Lakes and Central States
Five Great Lakes and Central states saw some of the country’s most significant gas price increases in the past seven days: Michigan (+12 cents), Indiana (+11 cents), Missouri (+9 cents), Illinois (+8 cents) and Wisconsin (+7 cents).
Phillips 66’s 330,000-b/d Wood River refinery in Illinois is still undergoing planned maintenance work, adding to a growing list of refinery issues in the U.S. Midwest. In addition, BP’s 430,000-b/d Whiting, IN, refinery was experiencing a minor issue on its second-largest crude distillation unit, which was affecting normal operations, but should be remedied in a few days.
South and Southeast
The least expensive gasoline prices continue to flow in South and Southeast states, however, this region did see spikes in the last week. Kentucky saw the largest jump (+15 cents) in the country. Despite a 7 cent increase on the week, South Carolina ($2.11) continues to post the lowest prices in the country.
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw some fluctuations in the last week: Pennsylvania (+9 cents), Virginia (+6 cents), New York (+5 cents) and Connecticut (+5 cents). The region will continue to see a jump in price this week as stations make the final change over to summer-blend fuels.
Oil Market Dynamics
Crude oil futures opened Monday trading at their highest level in more than a month as a result of ongoing tensions in the Middle East. An oilfield in Libya was shut down on Sunday after an armed group blocked a pipeline leading to an oil terminal. The Libyan production outage means that one source for crude oil is compromised and may affect global oil supply. Crude oil also rallied and then leveled out following last week’s U.S. missile strike against a Syrian airbase amid fears that further unrest in the region could lead to oil supply disruptions.
Additional factors contributing to increased crude oil prices include high production cut adherence by OPEC and non-OPEC producers and the possibility that participating countries may extend their agreement beyond the June deadline. Traders will keep a close eye on political dynamics in the Middle East and any further discussions between OPEC and non-OPEC producers. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 54 cents to settle at $52.24 per barrel.
Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.