Archive for the ‘Fuel’ Category

Gas Prices Approach Six-Month Low

August 19th, 2014 by admin

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, August 18, 2014) With approximately one month remaining before the start of the shift from more expensive summer blend gasoline (September 15) to the relatively less expensive winter blend, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline continues to drift lower and currently sits at $3.45 per gallon. Today’s national average price is two cents less than one week ago, 13 cents less than one month ago, and nine cents less than one year ago. Today’s average of $3.45 is the lowest daily price since February and the lowest August price since 2010.

Avg Gas Prices 2011-2014

Consumers in Hawaii continue to pay the nation’s highest price per gallon at the pump, registering a statewide average of $4.30 per gallon. Alaska ($4.08) and Oregon ($3.90) round out the top three most expensive markets. Drivers in South Carolina ($3.15) are paying the least per gallon, a savings of more than one dollar ($1.15) compared to motorists in Hawaii.

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Over the past seven days the price at the pump has declined in the majority of states (43 states and Washington D.C.), with drivers in Ohio (-11 cents), Michigan (-10 cents) and Indiana (-9 cents) saving the most per gallon. This is in stark contrast to last Monday when these same three states registered the largest two-week increases in the nation. This recent decrease follows a run up in prices due to refinery issues at several facilities that serve the Great Lakes region. Price volatility is unfortunately nothing new for Midwestern drivers, as their state averages have consistently been among the most volatile in the country over the last several years.

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Month-over-month discounts are reflected in the average price per gallon in 47 states and Washington D.C. Of this total, the price in 34 states and Washington D.C. is discounted by a dime or more with the largest declines in eastern states:  New Jersey (-20 cents), West Virginia (-19 cents), Pennsylvania (-19 cents) and Maryland (-18 cents). Drivers in 43 states and Washington D.C are paying less per gallon, based on a year-over-year price comparison. The largest year-over-year savings are found in Kansas (-21 cents), Rhode Island (-18 cents), Delaware (-18 cents), and New Jersey (-18 cents). On the other side of this trend, motorists in seven states are paying premiums at the pump versus this time last year. The largest year-over-year increases in the price per gallon are recorded the western states of Nevada (+14 cents), Colorado (+13 cents) and Oregon (+12 cents), where consumers are paying a dime or more per gallon.

Geopolitical tensions remain front page news as the situations in Russia, Ukraine and Iraq continue to make headlines. Unlike years past when global events would lead to sharp increases in oil prices, due to concerns of supply disruptions, these events have been largely dismissed as global oil prices continue to slide. This is largely due to the relative stability of global supply projections, attributed to the U.S. approaching its highest annual level of oil production since 1972 and Libya’s returning to previous production levels. The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled 94 cents lower at $96.41 per barrel at the close of formal trading today, which is slightly higher than the more than six-month low of $95.58 per barrel registered last Thursday.

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, August 11, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has continued its downward trend despite high-profile conflicts in overseas oil producing countries and declining domestic refinery production. Today’s price is $3.48 per gallon, which is two cents less than one week ago,14 cents less than one month ago and seven cents less than the same date last year.

Avg Gas Prices 2011-2014

The falling national average is largely mirrored at the state level, where drivers in all but a handful of states are paying less at the pump over the last few weeks. Consumers in Hawaii ($4.32), Alaska ($4.10) and California ($3.91) continue to pay the highest prices per gallon, yet week-over-week declines were recorded in each of the nation’s top 10 most expensive markets. Over the past 14 days, average retail prices have dropped in 42 states and Washington D.C. Conversely, the price has increased in eight Midwestern and Central states, led by Ohio (+13 cents), Indiana (+11 cents) and Michigan (+11 cents). These increases can be traced back to refinery problems and maintenance at several facilities supplying the region: two in Kansas (Holly Frontier in El Dorado and the Coffeyville plant); BP’s refinery in Whiting, Ind.; and ExxonMobil’s refinery in Joliet, Ill.; which is running at reduced rates while conducting work.

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Today’s month-over-month comparison shows that drivers in 46 states and Washington D.C. are enjoying a savings at the pump, with the largest price reductions occurring in Washington D.C. (-22 cents), Delaware (-21 cents), West Virginia (-20 cents) and California (-20 cents). In 39 states of these states and Washington D.C., the savings are a dime or more per gallon.

Year-over-year discounts are reflected in the price per gallon in 40 states and Washington D.C., with 27 states and Washington D.C. showing savings in the double-digits. The mid-continent states of Kansas (-21 cents), South Dakota (-21 cents) and North Dakota (-20 cents) posted the largest year-over-year savings, followed by Delaware (-19 cents) and Rhode Island (-18 cents). On the other side of this trend, motorists in 10 states are paying more per gallon versus this time last year, with drivers in Nevada paying the highest premium: 10 cents per gallon.

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Last week President Obama announced that the U.S. would begin airstrikes in Iraq, in response to the continuing escalation of violence by the group known as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant). Iraq is the world’s seventh-largest oil producer and a disruption in production could impact the global supply. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and the situation Libya also remain front of mind for many, although none of these occurrences have resulted in a disruption to supply. Ultimately, despite these geopolitical headlines, oil prices continue to trade near multi-month lows. The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled 43 cents higher at $98.08 per barrel at the close of formal trading today, which is slightly lower than the price to begin last week and equal to the lowest settlement to begin a week since the start of February.

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, August 4, 2014) For the first time since March 12, the national average price for unleaded gasoline has dropped below $3.50 per gallon ($3.4997). Today’s national average is at the lowest level for early August since 2010. The national average has fallen for 37 out of 38 days, and has dropped 18 cents per gallon over this span. Today’s price is two cents less than one week ago, 16 cents less than one month ago and 12 cents less than the same date last year.

Avg Gas Prices 2011-2014

Motorists in Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($4.11) and California ($3.96) continue to pay the highest prices per gallon for regular unleaded fuel. Last Tuesday (July 29) marked the first time since this spring (March 28) that Californians have paid an average less than $4.00 per gallon at the pump. This decrease is one of 12 states where week-over-week declines of four cents or more were recorded – consumers in Minnesota are experiencing the largest savings per gallon (six cents).

The retail price per gallon fell in 40 states and Washington, D.C over the last seven days, providing the majority of drivers with a bit more relief at the pump. Average prices increased in 10 states, led by Ohio (+10 cents) and Kentucky (+5 cents). Price swings are unfortunately nothing new for Midwesterners, as their states have consistently been among the most volatile in the country. Prices in the region often increase and decrease quickly. While prices have risen slightly over the last week in parts of the Midwest due to refinery problems, many of these same states also lead the nation in month-over-month price decreases: Michigan (-30 cents), Kentucky (-24 cents), Illinois (-24 cents) and Minnesota (-24 cents). Overall, drivers in 48 states and Washington, D.C. have seen prices drop over the last month, with only Wyoming (+2 cents) and Idaho (+4 cents) bucking the trend.

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The year-over-year price at the pump is lower in all but four states: Nevada (+9 cents), Colorado (+6 cents), Oregon (+5 cents) and Alaska (+ 4 cents). Last summer, many Midwestern states were in the midst of rollercoaster gas prices due to regional refinery glitches. As a result, of the 46 states and Washington, D.C. where retail prices have dropped, the Midwestern states of Minnesota (-26 cents), Kansas (-26 cents) and Nebraska (-25 cents) lead the nation in year-over-year discounts.

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Oil market watchers continue to monitor the Middle East and northern Africa, paying special attention to growing tensions in Eastern Europe. United States and European powers last week announced coordinated sanctions targeting Russia’s long-term ability to develop new oil resources, in response to the country’s involvement in the insurgency in eastern Ukraine. Some have suggested that the latest prohibitions eventually could impact the global supply of crude oil by denying exports of oil industry equipment and restricting Russian state-owned banks from accessing European capital markets. While West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices settled 41 cents higher today at $98.29 per barrel, this marks just a slight increase from Friday’s nearly-six month low of $97.88 per barrel and the first time that WTI has settled below $100 per barrel on three straight days since the start of May.

Michael Green

 

 

 

 

 

Gas Prices Post Unusual July Decline with Record-High Refinery Production

  • The national average price of gas posted the largest July decline in six years with average prices dropping about 16 cents per gallon during the month. Even more unusual, gas prices fell 30 out of 31 days during the month, making it the first time on record that prices have fallen this consistently in July. Today’s national average price of gas is $3.52 per gallon.
  • “Falling gas prices are nearly the opposite to what we usually see this time of year,” said AAA spokesman Avery Ash. “Refineries are running at full tilt and there is more than enough gasoline in the market, which has helped bring down prices despite multiple overseas conflicts.”
  • Gas prices have declined primarily due to record-high refinery production and adequate supplies. Domestic refineries have processed the most crude oil on record during the previous four weeks (four-week average of 16.5 million barrels per day), according to data by the Energy Information Administration. This has led to very high utilization rates, particularly for refineries that have access to North American crude oil supplies. Strong refinery production generally results in higher gasoline supplies and lower fuel prices.
  • In recent years gas prices have increased considerably in July due to significant demand and occasional problems with refinery production. From 2011-2013, gas prices nationally increased in July by an average of 16 cents per gallon.
  • Gas prices began the current slide in the final days of June. The national average price of gas has declined for 33 out of 34 days for a total of about 17 cents per gallon.
  • The decline in gas prices has come despite significant conflicts overseas in places like Iraq, Libya, Gaza and Ukraine. While oil prices remain expensive, prices are relatively stable because oil production and export levels have not noticeably changed.
  • The monthly average price of gas in July was $3.60 per gallon. Due to the high cost of gas at the beginning of July, the monthly average was slightly higher than last year’s monthly average of $3.58 per gallon. Gas prices averaged $3.67 per gallon last month.

Gas Prices in Good Position for the Remainder of Summer Driving Season

  • “Gas prices may cost less than in recent years this August as long as refinery production remains strong and oil costs do not rise due to unexpected issues,” continued Ash. “The biggest threat to continued falling prices would be a major hurricane striking the U.S. Gulf Coast. Prices also could rise or remain flat if refineries cut back on production or if there are any major refinery outages.”
  • Hurricanes often strike in August, which can disrupt oil production, refinery facilities and pipelines. In August 2012, Hurricane Isaac swept ashore in Louisiana. The brief closure of surrounding refineries helped increase the national average price of gas by 11 cents per gallon over nine days.
  • Gas prices have decreased in August for three of the previous five years. Last year the national average fell about three cents per gallon during the month, but the average spiked 33 cents per gallon in August 2012.
  • August and July generally are the busiest driving months of the year, according to data collected by the Federal Highway Administration. Last August, U.S. drivers drove an estimated 266.9 billion miles.

Consumers Paying the Lowest Gas Prices in More than Four Months

  • Consumers this week have paid the lowest gas prices since the middle of March. Today’s national average price of gas is $3.52 per gallon, which is a fraction of a cent higher than yesterday. Today’s higher average was the first increase since June 27. By comparison, drivers paid about 11 cents more per gallon at this time last year.
  • Gas prices this year generally have remained slightly less expensive on average than in recent years. The annual average so far this year is $3.53 per gallon, which is the lowest average for the first seven months of the year since 2010. Last year the national average through July 31 was $3.57 per gallon.
  • The five states with the highest average prices today include: Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($4.13), California ($3.98), Oregon ($3.92) and Washington ($3.92). The five states with the lowest gas prices today include: South Carolina ($3.25), Alabama ($3.26), Tennessee ($3.29), Oklahoma ($3.30) and Missouri ($3.30).

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082, mgreen@national.aaa.com

July Gas Price Slide Continues

July 28th, 2014 by admin

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014) Amid continuing geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa, American motorists are paying the lowest average retail price at the pump since March 17. This is due to U.S. refineries running near their highest rates since 2005, according to the Energy Information Administration, and domestic demand that was reported last week to have dropped back below nine million barrels per day.

The national average price for unleaded gasoline has dropped every day in July and has fallen on 31 consecutive days, which is just short of the multi-year record of 36 straight daily declines registered last fall. Today’s average of $3.52 per gallon is five cents less than one week ago, 16 cents less than one month ago and 11 cents less than the same date last year. Both the weekly and monthly declines are the largest registered drops since November.

Over the last week consumers in 46 states and Washington D.C. have seen the price at the pump continue to fall, led by drivers in several Midwestern states who are saving more than a dime per gallon: Michigan (-14 cents), Indiana (-13 cents), and Ohio (-12 cents). Motorists in Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($4.15), and California ($4.00) continue to pay the highest prices per gallon, while those in South Carolina ($3.26), Missouri ($3.27) and Alabama ($3.27) pay the least.

Drivers in nearly every state across the country continue to experience month-over-month and year-over-year savings at the pump. The price has dropped in 47 states and Washington D.C. over the past 30 days, with drivers in six states saving a quarter or more per gallon: Michigan (-43 cents), Kentucky (-35 cents), Illinois (-31 cents), Ohio

(-28 cents), Indiana (-28 cents) and Missouri (-25 cents).  Year-over-year averages reflect similar savings, with consumers in 46 states and Washington D.C. paying less at the pump.  Of this total, 27 states and Washington D.C. register double-digit savings per gallon, led by: Illinois (-31 cents), Kansas (25 cents), Missouri (-23 cents) and Delaware (-22 cents). Notably, over the past 14 days the price has fallen in almost every state, and Washington D.C., with the exception of Wyoming and Idaho where drivers are paying a penny more per gallon.

The global oil market continues to closely monitor the situation abroad, including tensions between Ukraine and Russia, Hamas and Israel, and production issues in Libya due to civil unrest. These events have yet to impact global supply, but have been cited by analysts as factors keeping a “floor” under crude oil prices and may limit how far U.S. pump prices can fall.

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, July 22, 2014) The national average price of gas has fallen for 24 consecutive days due to abundant refinery production, even as geopolitical tensions gain global attention. Russia and Ukraine returned to the forefront this past week when Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crashed in eastern Ukraine in an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists.  Additionally, intensifying violence between Israeli and Hamas forces in Gaza has drawn headlines and concerns that the conflict could have a broader regional impact.   Despite these issues, oil markets remain relatively unaffected because there has not been an impact to supply or distribution.  Meanwhile, domestic refinery utilization reached its highest level of the year last week, which has helped to push gas prices lower.

Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.57 per gallon, which is the lowest price since April 4. Today’s price is four cents less than one week ago, 11 cents less than one month ago, and the national average has now declined for 24 straight days. In comparison to this same date last year, drivers are saving nearly a dime per gallon at the pump. Today marks the seventh consecutive day with gas prices cheaper than a year ago. This streak comes after prices remained higher than last year for 52 straight days.

Avg Gas Prices 2011-2014

Pacific states continue to lead the market with the highest prices per gallon, led by Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($4.14) and California ($4.04). Despite the high cost in many states, drivers across the country have seen gas prices finally move lower over the past several weeks. Prices have fallen over the past fourteen days in 47 states and Washington D.C., led by ten states – mainly in the Midwest – where prices are at least ten cents lower. None of the states where motorists are paying a two-week premium have seen an increase of more than two cents: Wyoming and Hawaii (up fractions of a cent) and Idaho (+2 cents).

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Year-over-year and month-over-month comparisons also show overall savings in the retail prices paid by many motorists. Compared to the same date last year, consumers in 40 states and Washington D.C. are paying less at the pump. In 25 states, drivers are saving a dime or more per gallon, with the biggest savings once again occurring in Midwestern states, led by six states where prices have tumbled 20 cents or more: Illinois (-32 cents), Kansas (-24 cents), Minnesota (-24 cents), Indiana (-23 cents), Missouri (-21 cents) and Michigan (-21 cents). Month-over-month comparisons show that drivers in 42 states and Washington D.C. are experiencing some relief at the pump.  Prices in eight states have increased during this span, led by Idaho (+8 cents), Utah (+6 cents) and Wyoming (+5 cents).

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Prior to the crash of flight MH17, the Obama Administration announced a new round of sanctions against Russia’s energy and financial sectors. Members of NATO and the European Union are also debating stronger sanctions against Russia, which could potentially impact global markets. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices have increased over the last several trading sessions after falling to a multi-month low below $100 last Tuesday. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled $1.46 higher at $104.59 per barrel.

Michael Green(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.

Avg Gas Prices 2011-2014

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).

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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).

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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.

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, July 7, 2014) The national average price of gas has fallen for ten straight days, but remains the highest price for this calendar date since 2008.  Yesterday, for the first time since June 11, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline reflected a month-over-month discount.  Today’s average is $3.65 per gallon. This price is two cents less than one week ago and fractions of a penny less than one month ago, but it remains 18 cents more than this date in 2013.

National Average Gas Price Comparison 2011-2014 July 7 2014

With Independence Day in the books, this year’s holiday registered the highest price since 2008 at $3.66.  This surpassed the price per gallon for the holiday from each of the previous five years: 2013 ($3.48); 2012 ($3.34); 2011 ($3.57); 2010 ($2.74); and 2009 ($2.62), but was still well below the all-time-high for the date of $4.10 in 2008.

The pump price in four states continues register above $4.00 per gallon: Hawaii ($4.33), Alaska ($4.22), California ($4.14) and Washington State ($4.01). While prices in all but three states (Idaho, Wyoming and Utah) are higher than the same date last year, prices in 38 states have dropped over the past week, led by a handful of Midwestern states: Michigan (-10 cents), Ohio (-7 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Illinois   (-5 cents) and Minnesota (-4 cents).  Prices over the past two weeks have been more evenly split.  Prices in 23 states and Washington, DC have increased – led by Alaska (+7 cents), Utah (+6 cents) and Idaho (+5 cents) – while prices in 27 states have fallen – led by Ohio (-17 cents), Indiana (-12 cents) and Illinois (-12 cents). With high wholesale gasoline prices beginning to subside in many parts of the country, AAA expects pump prices for many US motorists to continue to tick lower over the coming week.

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Violence in Iraq continues to impact global oil prices, but as production in the south of the country remains unaffected, the fear of a disruption to supply has abated. Market watchers are keeping a close eye on the situation, but the risk premium that had pushed oil prices to 2014 highs has subsided in recent trading sessions. These elevated oil prices have meant stubbornly high pump prices for motorists, but as oil prices have eased retail gas prices have finally started to follow suit.

At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 53 cents lower at $103.53.

Michael Green

 

 

 

 

 

AAA Monthly Gas Price Report
(WASHINGTON, June 30, 2014)

Drivers Stuck Paying Highest Gas Prices in Six Years for Independence Day

  • U.S. drivers will pay the most expensive Independence Day gas prices since 2008, primarily because Iraqi violence has increased global petroleum costs. AAA predicts that 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more by car during the holiday weekend despite high gas prices.
  • “Most drivers are paying about 15-20 cents more per gallon than expected heading into the busy Independence Day weekend due to market fear about Iraq,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “It is frustrating that events overseas will make it more expensive to celebrate Fourth of July here at home.”
  • With Independence Day only a few days away, today’s national average price of gas is $3.68 per gallon. This average is considerably more expensive than recent years for the holiday. The national average on July 4 in previous years was: $3.48 (2013); $3.34 (2012); $3.57 (2011); $2.74 (2010); $2.62 (2009); and $4.10 (2008).
  • AAA does not believe that high gas prices will have a significant impact on the number of people traveling, but it could result in some consumers cutting back on dining, shopping or other trip activities. AAA’s full Independence Day forecast can be found here.
  • The monthly average price of gas in June was $3.67 per gallon, which was the most expensive for June since 2011, and it was the highest average for any month since March 2013. Last year gas prices averaged $3.60 per gallon in June.
  • Gas prices often decline in June as refineries complete maintenance and increase gasoline production in anticipation of the summer driving season. During the previous three years, the national average price of gas declined in June by an average of 21 cents per gallon. A month ago, AAA predicted the national average could decline 10-15 cents per gallon in June, but this did not happen due to the unexpected events in Iraq.
  • On June 10, insurgents known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), captured Mosul, which is Iraq’s second largest city. Following this attack, there were concerns in the market that the rebels would take Baghdad or disrupt the southern oil producing regions of the country. These concerns helped drive up global oil prices, which made it more expensive to produce gasoline. Iraq is the second largest oil producer in OPEC, and any decline in exports could impact global oil supplies.

Gas Prices to Remain Expensive During Summer Driving Season

  • Gas prices this July likely will remain expensive due to high crude oil costs and rising summertime demand. AAA expects the national average price of gas in July will range from $3.60-$3.70 per gallon, though prices could climb higher if there are new developments in Iraq or a major hurricane. Last year gas prices averaged $3.58 per gallon nationally in July.
  • “It is shaping up to be a hot and expensive summer for gas prices, and we have not even hit the busiest time of the year yet,” continued Ash. “It is clear that most drivers will pay high prices as they fill up for their summer road trips.”
  • AAA expects the national average price of gas likely will remain relatively flat in the near future and could even decline a few cents as the situation stabilizes in Iraq. Price increases from recent ISIL attacks in Iraq already are reflected in current prices, and it would take major new developments, such as ISIL moving into southern oil producing regions, for prices to rise significantly higher in the days ahead.
  • Gas prices have increased by an average of 16 cents per gallon in July during the previous three years as strong summer demand pushed up prices. July is typically the second busiest month of the year on the roads behind August. Last year Americans drove a total of 263.2 billion miles in July.
  • From Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2013, gas prices nationally averaged $3.58 per gallon. The most expensive summer driving period was in 2008 when prices averaged $3.95 per gallon. Gas prices have averaged $3.67 per gallon so far this summer.

National Average Price of Gas Has Remained Flat This Week

  • Today’s national average price of gas is $3.68 per gallon, which is the same as a week ago. Gas prices nationally have stopped increasing and have remained relatively flat in recent days as the situation stabilizes in Iraq. The conflict in Iraq is unlikely to send gas prices significantly higher unless there are major developments in Baghdad or in the southern oil producing regions.
  • The five states with the highest average prices today include: Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($4.22), California ($4.13), Washington ($4.00) and Oregon ($3.98). The five states with the lowest average prices include: South Carolina ($3.39), Alabama ($3.42), Mississippi ($3.45), Tennessee ($3.46) and Arkansas ($3.48).
  • Despite high gas prices in most parts of the country, drivers in four states are paying less than a year ago. These four states include Utah (-8 cents), Idaho (-6 cents), Montana (-1 cent) and Colorado (-0.1 cents). The states with the largest price increases compared to a year ago include Michigan (42 cents), Kentucky (37 cents) and Ohio (32 cents).
  • The most expensive metro area in the continental United States is San Luis Obispo-Atascadero-Paso Robles, Calif. at $4.24 per gallon. The least expensive metro area in the United States is Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, S.C. at $3.33 per gallon.

Michael Green( WASHINGTON, June 30, 2014) The national average price of gas has stopped increasing as we approach the Independence Day holiday, though prices remains at a six-year high for this time of year. Today’s national average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.68 per gallon. The price has remained relatively stable over the past seven days, and the current price is just a penny more than one month ago.

Consumers have seen little fluctuation in the national average for the month of June; however the current price at the pump is 19 cents more than at this time last year ($3.49). In comparison to previous Independence Day holidays, motorists will face prices that are the highest since 2008, with today’s average ($3.68) surpassing the holiday’s price per gallon from: 2013 ($3.48); 2012 ($3.34); 2011 ($3.57); 2010 ($2.74); and 2009 ($2.62).

The situation in Iraq continues to put pressure on global oil prices, as markets weigh the potential for supply disruptions from OPEC’s second largest producer. These elevated oil prices have ultimately meant stubbornly high retail gasoline prices for motorists.

Avg Gas Prices 2011-2014

This past Friday (June 27), the price at the pump reached the $4.00 mark in the state of Washington ($4.00 today) for the first time since 2013 (May 24). The Evergreen State joins Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($4.21) and California ($4.13) with prices at or above $4.00 per gallon. Prices have remained relatively stable (+/- 2 cents) over the last week in 43 states and Washington, D.C.,  and consumers in just four states have seen prices either rise or fall more than a nickel over this same period: Alaska (+7 cents), Illinois (- 6 cents), Ohio (-10 cents) and Indiana (-11 cents). Prices over the last 30 days have been more universally volatile with consumers in 31 states and Washington, D.C. posting averages that have moved either up or down over a nickel, led by Alaska (+21 cents), Ohio (-23 cents) and Indiana (-25 cents).

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Regardless of geographic location, motorists in nearly every state are paying more at the pump than one year ago. Motorists in 40 states and Washington, D.C., are experiencing a bit of sticker shock, with prices up a dime or more compared to this time last year. This largest increases are in Michigan (+42 cents), Kentucky (+37 cents) and Ohio (+30 cents). However, four states are outside of this trend and have posted year-over-year declines: Colorado (-0.1 cent), Montana (-1 cent), Idaho (-6 cents) and Utah (-8 cents).

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Energy market analysts continue to monitor the situation in Iraq and the movements of the group ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).  After capturing Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, it was rumored that ISIL would enter Baghdad or the country’s southern oil producing. These concerns caused global prices to rise, but, many analysts now see this action as unlikely in the near term barring a major offensive move by ISIL.

The conversation regarding domestic production was revived this week when two Texas energy companies received permission to export ultra-light oil to foreign buyers. The decision relates to a decades long ban on crude exports, enacted in response to the 1973 OPEC oil embargo and the historic gasoline shortages of the 1970s.  The move falls short of relaxing the ban on oil exports, which oil producers have called for, and will remain a topic of discussion in the coming months.

At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 37 cents lower at $105.37.

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