Archive for the ‘Fuel’ Category

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).

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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).

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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.

Michael Green Contact Tile

 

 

 

 

 

(Washington, June 2, 2014)

Gas Prices Expected to Remain High for Summer Driving Season

  • AAA expects gas prices to remain relatively high during the summer driving season as millions of Americans take long road trips to destinations nationwide. AAA predicts the national average price of gas this summer likely will vary from $3.55-$3.70 per gallon. Major refinery disruptions, geopolitical concerns or a damaging hurricane season could send prices higher than forecast.
  • “While it is impossible to predict the exact price of gasoline, we can guarantee that millions of Americans will pay high prices as they hit the roads this summer,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “Expect a feeling of déjà vu with gasoline costing about the same as last summer.”
  • Gas prices have declined during the previous three years in June for an average of 21 cents per gallon. It is possible that many drivers could see prices fall about 10 cents per gallon this month if refinery production increases as anticipated. Gas prices averaged $3.60 in June 2013, $3.50 in June 2012 and $3.68 in June 2011.
  • Gas prices often tick higher from Independence Day through August during the height of the summer driving season as refineries work to keep pace with high demand. In addition, the threat of potential hurricanes and disruption along the U.S. Gulf Coast can result in higher prices, although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a less active than usual storm period in 2014.
  • Average national gas prices in the summer of 2013 reached a low of $3.47 on July 6 and a high of $3.67 on July 22. Gas prices nationally averaged $3.58 per gallon from Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2013. The most expensive summer driving period was in 2008 when prices averaged $3.95 per gallon.
  • Peak gasoline demand generally occurs during the summer, and AAA expects this trend to remain true this year. In 2013, average gasoline consumption from June-August was about five percent higher than during other months of the year. Americans drove an estimated 788 billion miles during this period last year, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Gas Prices Nationally Averaged $3.66 per Gallon in May

  • The national average price of gas was $3.66 per gallon in May, which was about two cents higher than April and about seven cents higher than May 2013. National gasoline consumption in May was the highest since 2011 for the month, according to the Energy Information Administration.
  • “After such a long, brutal winter, it seems that many drivers took advantage of the great weather in May,” continued Ash. “Significantly stronger than expected gasoline demand has kept prices high heading into the summer driving season.”
  • Gas prices remained relatively steady throughout the month with the national average declining about two cents per gallon from the beginning to the end of May. High demand kept prices from falling farther despite increased gasoline production.
  • The national average reached a high of $3.70 per gallon on April 28, which could be the peak for the year. Gas prices often peak in the spring as refineries conduct maintenance and produce less gasoline. Many refineries have completed seasonal maintenance, which has allowed gasoline production to increase in advance of the busy summer driving season. Nevertheless, national gasoline supplies remain tight due to higher than anticipated demand in May.
  • Gas prices averaged $3.59 per gallon in May 2013, $3.72 per gallon in May 2012 and $3.91 per gallon in May 2011.

Gas Prices Slightly Higher than a Year Ago in Majority of States

  • Today’s national average is $3.65 per gallon, which is about five cents higher than a year ago. Drivers in 29 states are paying an average that is higher than last year with the most expensive differences including: Pennsylvania (+26 cents), South Carolina (+23 cents) and Kentucky (+23 cents). The states experiencing the largest declines from a year ago include: North Dakota (-44 cents), Iowa (-36 cents) and Minnesota (-36 cents).
  • State average gas prices vary by nearly a dollar across the country. Seven percent of U.S. stations are selling gas for more than $4.00 per gallon today, while one-third of U.S. stations are selling gas for less than $3.50 per gallon. The five states with the highest average prices today include: Hawaii ($4.36), California ($4.13), Alaska ($4.01), Ohio ($3.92) and Connecticut ($3.92). The five states with the lowest average prices include: Arkansas ($3.40), Mississippi ($3.40), Louisiana ($3.41), Tennessee ($3.43) and Montana ($3.44).
  • Drivers in 34 states are paying cheaper prices than a month ago, and consumers in many parts of the Great Lakes region are paying about the highest prices of the year due to tight supplies and high demand. The states paying the most compared to a month ago include: Ohio (+25 cents), Indiana (+21 cents) and Michigan (+20 cents). The states with the largest price declines during the previous month include: California (-13 cents), Florida (-12 cents) and Alabama (-12 cents).

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.

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.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, May 19, 2014) As we approach the official start of the summer driving season, drivers across the nation continue to see prices moving a little bit lower at the pump. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.65 per gallon, and has remained relatively unchanged over the past seven days. The average price at the pump is one cent less than one week ago, two cents less than the same time last month and fractions of a penny cheaper than the same date one year ago.  The year-over-year savings mark the first time prices were cheaper than a year ago since April 8.

In comparison to the Monday before Memorial Day in recent years, today’s price is one cent less than 2013 ($3.65), five cents less than 2012 ($3.69) and 21 cents less than 2011 ($3.84).

Avg-Gas-Prices-2011-20142

The national average ended a 16-day streak of daily declines last week, but has still dropped on 18 of the last 21 days.  Reported increases in retail demand due to warmer temperatures are adding some upward pressure on wholesale prices, and the rise in demand is beginning to outpace the increases in supplies. Even with these minor fluctuations in price, the national average is expected to remain well below last year’s peak price of $3.79 per gallon (February 27).

10-Most-Expensive-Avg-Gas-Prices-5-19

Over the past seven days drivers in 35 states have seen a modest discount at the pump, led by: Iowa (- 6 cents), California (- 4 cents), and Nebraska, Florida, Alabama and Maine (-3 cents). The price at the pump in the majority (30) of states now reflects a month-over-month discount.  Three states have bucked the trend and have posted double-digit premiums over this same period: Alaska (+ 14 cents), Idaho (+22 cents) and Utah (+26 cents), although prices in each state – like the national average – are comparable to the same date last year and the price in Alaska is in fact a dime less.

Top10-Yearly-Decreases_5-19

While drivers in 30 states and the District of Columbia are paying a year-over-year premium, consumers in a handful of markets are experiencing dramatic savings at the pump versus a year ago: Minnesota (-78 cents), North Dakota (-64 cents), Nebraska and Iowa (-55 cents), and Oklahoma (-50 cents).  These lofty discounts are due to Midwestern refinery issues last year, which saw regional prices spike. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the price at the pump in 21 states and the District of Columbia reflects a double-digit yearly increase, with the largest premiums being paid in Pennsylvania (+29 cents), South Carolina and Alabama (+22 cents), and North Carolina (+20 cents).

Political tensions between Russia and the Ukraine continue to keep global markets on edge and are being closely monitored by market watchers for any signs of escalation.  Last Friday, President Putin sent a letter to European Union governments indicating that a disruption in supply may be on the horizon.  Although analysts report the probability of a long-term disruption is relatively low, a cutoff of supply by Russia could have ripple effects that would be felt in Europe and the United States.  At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 59 cents higher at $102.61 per barrel.

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, May 12, 2014) Just in time for next week’s start to the busy holiday travel season, motorists across the country are finally feeling some relief at the pump.  Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.65 per gallon. This is two cents less expensive than one week ago but it remains more than one month ago (two cents) and the same date last year (eight cents). Prices remain higher than last year; however the year-over-year gap has closed to its narrowest margin in more than a month and the national average remains below the price for the same date in 2011 ($3.98) and 2012 ($3.73).

Avg-Gas-Prices-2011-20141

Gasoline prices have been declining since the beginning of the month, which is typical for this time of year, following the conclusion of refinery maintenance leading up to the May 1 deadline to begin producing summer-blend fuel.  With this transition now complete, falling averages are increasingly likely to reflect that gas prices have reached their peak for the spring in many parts of the country.

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The national average has now fallen for 14 straight days, which is the longest streak since prices dropped 36 days in a row from September 1-October 7 of last year.  The country’s record high stockpile of gasoline has the potential to keep downward pressure on prices entering this summer. Due to the increased supplies and relative absence of disruptions to production or distribution, drivers in many states are likely to see prices continue to fall as we approach the Memorial Day holiday.  In comparison, over the same seven day period (May 5-12) last year, the national average increased six cents and continued to rise until following Memorial Day.

Drivers in 43 states and the District of Columbia saw the price at the pump drop over the past week, including five states where prices fell by at least a nickel: Kansas, Illinois and Nebraska (-5 cents), California (-6 cents) and Delaware (-7 cents).  Among those seven states where prices increased only drivers in Ohio and Indiana are paying a nickel more and these two states have also posted two-week declines of 5 and 7-cent respectively.  This is consistent with the trend in recent years where pump prices in the Midwest have often been among the most volatile in the country due to refinery issues, supply bottlenecks and logistical issues.

While prices in many states have fallen over the past week, the majority still reflect a month-over-month premium. Pump prices in 29 states and DC are higher than a month ago and 13 states post an average that has surged by double-digits, led by:  Utah (+26 cents), Idaho (+21 cents), and Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania and Connecticut (+14 cents).

Top-10-Monthly-Increases-5-12

Political tensions between in Russia and the Ukraine have kept oil prices elevated, and following a recent vote in eastern Ukraine that yielded reported support for the separatist movement, market analysts suggest it is unlikely that the tensions will ease in the near future.  At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI closed 60 cents higher at $100.59 per barrel.  Today marks WTI’s first settlement above $100 after back-to-back settlements below this threshold.  Including today’s settlement WTI has now registered 45 settlements above $100 in 2014 and 45 settlements below.

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, May 5, 2014) Today’s national average price at the pump is $3.67 per gallon. This is two cents less expensive than one week ago, but it is 10 cents more than one month ago and 15 cents more than the same date last year.  Gasoline prices may have reached a springtime peak of $3.70 per gallon last week, though it is too early to know for certain.

After widening to a 20-cent premium last Monday — the largest difference since July 22, 2013 — the gap has closed each day for the past week and will likely continue to narrow in coming days. While prices this year are falling, prices at the same time in 2013 were increasing from a spring low. Today’s price remains lower than the same date in both 2011 and 2012. In 2011, on this same calendar date, the national average peaked at $3.98 per gallon.  In 2012 the peak was $3.94 per gallon on April 5 and 6.

Avg-Gas-Prices-2011-2014

After increasing for 77 of 80 days, the national average has now fallen for seven straight days, which is the longest stretch since January. Domestic crude inventories are beginning to build, and data from the US Energy Information Association (EIA) is showing stockpiles at an all-time high.  Some of the biggest builds are occurring in the Gulf Coast region, and gasoline from this region remains some of the cheapest in the nation. This increase in supply is partly due to refineries coming back online, following the completion of maintenance projects scheduled in anticipation of the May 1 deadline for refineries to produce summer-blend gasoline, and is also attributed to output outpacing demand.

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Drivers in 32 states saw the price at the pump decline over the past 7 days, with the largest decreases in:  Indiana (-13 cents), Michigan and Ohio (-11 cents), and Illinois (-7 cents). Pump prices in the Midwest have often been the most volatile in the country as refinery issues, supply bottlenecks and logistical issues have caused sometimes dramatic fluctuations.   

While prices in many states are beginning to fall, virtually every state still registers a month-over-month premium and many still reflect sizable increases. Prices in 24 states and Washington D.C. increased by double digit increments during this span, headlined by California and Utah (+22 cents), and Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Idaho (+19 cents).

Top10-Monthly-Increases-5-5

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain front of mind, and the latest round of sanctions is sustaining the geopolitical “risk premium” that is factored into the market. Additionally, disappointing economic data from China and the expectation that delays in oil supplies from Libyan ports will persist, continue to influence the global market. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI closed 28 cents lower at $99.48 per barrel.  After 17 consecutive settlements above $100 per barrel, WTI has now finished below that threshold on four straight days.  

 

 

 

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