Archive for the ‘Fuel’ Category

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).

10 Most Expensive Avg Gas Prices-7-14

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).

Top10 Weekly Decreases-7-14

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).

10 Most Expensive Avg Gas Prices-7-14

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).

Top10 Weekly Decreases-7-14

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).

10 Most Expensive Avg Gas Prices-6-30

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).

Top10 Monthly Increases-6-30

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.

Average Gas Prices Approach 2014 High

June 23rd, 2014 by admin

Michael Green( June 23, 2014) As we approach the end of the first full month of the 2014 summer driving season, the national price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.68 per gallon, which is the highest price for early summer in six years. The average price at the pump has increased for 12 consecutive days for a total of four cents per gallon, narrowing the gap between the current retail price and the 2014 peak of $3.70 per gallon reached on April 28. Today’s average is two cents more than one week ago, three cents more than one month ago, and motorists are paying 11 cents more per gallon than a year ago.

Violence keyed by the militant group known as ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) has continued to expand toward southern Iraq, where the majority of the country’s oil production is located. These concerns have helped to increase global oil prices, which makes it more expensive to produce gasoline. AAA had previously predicted that the national average price of gas would fall 10-15 cents per gallon in June, but that now appears unlikely due to higher oil costs. This means that even though the national average has only increased a few cents per gallon since the Iraq violence intensified, drivers are likely to pay substantially higher gas prices than they would have otherwise.

National Averages

For more than a month, drivers in three states have paid more than $4.00 dollars per gallon at the pump: Hawaii (currently $4.34), California (currently $4.15) and Alaska (currently $4.10).  Prices in 43 states and the District of Columbia have increased during the previous week and prices in 18 states are up by a nickel or more. Motorists in only five states have seen pump prices fall by a penny or more: Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-13 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Illinois (-4 cents) and Kentucky (-3 cents).

Top ten expensive

In 41 states and Washington, D.C., drivers are paying more at the pump in comparison to this date last year, and 33 states and Washington, D.C. are paying a dime or more per gallon. Of the eight states with lower prices at the pump, only the drivers in North Dakota (-13 cents) and Utah (-12 cents) are experiencing savings in the double-digits.

top ten yearly increases

After a run-up to a new nine-month high to end last week, and with no major market-moving news over the weekend, crude oil prices moved slightly lower today. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 66 cents lower at $106.17.

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, June 16, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.66 per gallon.  Today’s average is fractions of a penny more than a week ago, a little over a cent more than a month ago, and a nickel per gallon more than the same date last year.  After falling for nine straight days, the national average has increased for five consecutive days for a total of about two cents per gallon as violence in Iraq has intensified.

AAA has predicted that drivers will pay relatively high prices this summer, ranging from $3.55 – $3.70 cent per gallon, however this range may be higher if unrest in Iraq escalates or disrupts oil production in the region. Given the increase in crude oil prices to nearly a nine-month high, retail gas prices are likely to rise to or near the current 2014 high ($3.70 on April 28) in the coming days.

Gas prices often decline in June with the national average falling the previous three years at an average of about 20 cents per gallon. The recent turmoil in Iraq is likely to prevent that trend from repeating this year. A year ago the national average was turning lower as domestic production and distribution issues eased, although market watchers were keeping a close eye on geopolitical tensions in Syria. While Syria is not a major oil producing nation, there was concern that fighting might spread to other countries in the region, which kept some upward pressure on crude oil prices.

Avg-Gas-Prices-2011-20142

Drivers in Hawaii ($4.35), California ($4.09) and Alaska ($4.06) continue to pay more than $4 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, a trend that has lasted for 23 days. Prices have remained relatively stable (+/- 2 cents) in 34 states and the District of Columbia over the past week, however consumers in five states have seen prices climb a nickel or more: Montana and Ohio (+6 cents) and Illinois, Arkansas, and Missouri (+5 cents).

10-Most-Expensive-Avg-Gas-Prices-6-16

The overall picture for the states is reflecting a bit of regional variation, especially when looking at the month-over-month and year-over-year averages. The biggest fluctuations in price are evident when comparing year-over-year averages, where prices in 29 states and the District of Columbia have swung by 10 cents or more. The biggest price drops have been in the Midcontinent and Mountain States: North Dakota (-26 cents), Colorado (-22 cents) South Dakota (-19 cents) and Utah (-18 cents).  The biggest price increase is Pennsylvania (+23 cents).

The month-over-month picture reflects a similar picture of price volatility. Consumers in Michigan (+20 cents), Illinois (+16 cents), Montana (+14 cents) and Wisconsin (+14 cents) are paying the largest premiums per gallon.  Meanwhile, drivers in parts of the South have watched pump prices fall: Alabama (-11 cents), Georgia (-8 cents), South Carolina (-7 cents) and Florida (-7 cents).

Largest-Yearly-Fluctations-6-16

Much of the attention of global market watchers has shifted from Ukraine and Russia, to widespread violence in Iraq.  According to the EIA, Iraq has the fifth largest proven oil reserve in the world and is the second largest producer of crude oil in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Markets will continue to monitor the conflict closely due to the potential for violence to spread to neighboring oil producing nations, and the overarching regional foreign policy implications associated with an Iraqi civil war.

After a run-up late last week, and with no major market-moving news over the weekend, crude oil prices were relatively steady today. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $106.90, just a penny shy of Friday’s settlement, which was the highest since September 18.

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014) A day before the 50th anniversary of the modern self-serve fueling station, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.65 per gallon.  Today’s average is two cents less than a week ago and fractions of a penny less than a month ago. This time last year consumers were paying two cents less at the pump ($3.63), and the national average was beginning to trend downward toward the summer low of $3.47 (July 7, 2013).

For the past three years, the national average has steadily declined to start the summer driving season. Although early data for summer 2014 is moving in this direction, it is too soon to say to what extent this pattern will persist for a fourth year.

Avg-Gas-Prices-2011-20141

For the past 16 days consumers in Hawaii, California and Alaska have all paid an average pump price of more than $4 per gallon – Hawaii is the only state within 25 cents of the state’s record price per gallon ($4.61 on April 11, 2012). The price at the pump in 35 states has remained relatively stable (+/- 2 cents) over the past seven days, and only two states are posting fluctuations of more than a nickel, both to the downside: Kentucky (-6 cents), and Ohio (-12 cents).

10-Most-Expensive-Avg-Gas-Prices-6-9

Consumers in 29 states and the District of Columbia are paying  a bit less at the pump  than a month ago, with the largest occurring savings in  Alabama (-11 cents), Florida (-10 cents) and Georgia (-10 cents). For this same period, three states – Michigan (+22 cents), Indiana (+15 cents) and Wisconsin (+11 cents) – are posting double-digit increases. Motorists in 31 states are paying a year-over-year premium, and of this total more than half are paying an additional 10 cents or more per gallon, led by Pennsylvania (+25 cents), Nevada (+22 cents), South Carolina (+20 cents).


On the other side of the year-over-year spectrum, the price per gallon has dropped by a dime or more in 17 states. This time last year, the Great Lake States (Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana) were experiencing near record high prices due to supply and transportation challenges caused by unscheduled maintenance at local refineries.  As a result, the largest year-over-year savings at the pump are posted by Midcontinent states, with drivers in North Dakota leading the way at 35 cents per gallon less than this date last year.

Market watchers continue to monitor the ongoing unrest in Libya and Ukraine, and its impact on global crude prices. Additionally, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has a meeting scheduled for this week and the proceedings will be closely monitored to see if there are any indications that production levels will be adjusted in the near future.

At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled $1.75 higher at $104.41 per barrel, which is the highest settlement since March 3.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, June 2, 2014) One week into the summer driving season, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.67 per gallon. This is one cent less than last month but it is a penny more than last week and a nickel more than on the same date last year.

Entering the summer months, AAA expects that drivers will experience little relief at the pump and prices are likely to remain near a range of $3.55-$3.70 per gallon, which is similar to last summer’s range of $3.47-$3.67. Continuing geopolitical concerns, major refinery disruptions or a severe hurricane season (June 1- November 30) could send the national average higher than anticipated, while the absence of such catalysts could allow prices to fall below this range.

Avg-Gas-Prices-2011-2014

After 11 straight weeks, New York and the District of Columbia have fallen out of the top ten most expensive markets, and for the ninth consecutive day consumers in Hawaii, California and Alaska are all paying more than $4 per gallon at the pump.

Although the price at the pump in the majority of states (38) and the District of Columbia has remained relatively stable (+/- 2 cents) over the past seven days, consumers in Ohio (+10 cents), Indiana (+8 cents) and Michigan (+8 cents) are experiencing a bit of sticker-shock at the pump due to week-over-week price increases that are the highest in the nation.  Over the last several years Midwestern gas prices have regularly been the most volatile in the country as refinery issues, supply bottlenecks and logistical issues have caused sometimes dramatic fluctuations.

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In comparison to this same date last year, drivers in 22 states and the District of Columbia are paying premiums at the pump in the double-digits, led by: Pennsylvania (+26 cents), South Carolina (+23 cents) and Kentucky (+23). Conversely, consumers seven states are paying at least a quarter less per gallon: North Dakota (- 44 cents), Iowa (-36 cents), Minnesota (-36), Colorado (-32 cents), South Dakota (-32 cents), Nebraska (-28 cents) and Kansas (-26 cents).

Top10-Yearly-Decreases-6-2

The situation in Russia and Ukraine remains unresolved, and pro-Russian separatists continue to clash with Ukrainian military forces throughout the region. However analysts still report that the likelihood of a disruption in supply remains low, which was supported by today’s announcement that Russia plans to delay the introduction of a prepayment system for natural gas supplies to Ukraine. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 24 cents lower at $102.47 per barrel. This marks the WTI’s 15th consecutive settlement above the $100 per barrel threshold.

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