Archive for the ‘Fuel’ Category

Tamra JohnsonThe national average price for gasoline remains relatively flat compared to one week ago, although pump prices have been pressured higher in some regions due to disruptions on the Colonial Pipeline. Today’s average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.22 per gallon, which is one cent more than one week ago, four cents less compared to one month ago and the same price year over year.

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While drivers in a number of states (30) are paying less at the pump week-over-week, some volatility remains in Southeastern portions of the United States where gasoline prices saw upward momentum as a result of the Colonial Pipeline disruption. Line 1 operations were restored on Sunday afternoon after more than a week of downtime following a deadly explosion on Line 1 last week. While delivery of fuel has resumed, it may take a week before affected states see any relief at the pumps.

 

Quick stats

  • Average gas prices are below $2 per gallon in four states today including Missouri ($1.93), Oklahoma ($1.94), Arkansas ($1.98) and Kansas ($1.99).
  • The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($2.92), California ($2.80), Washington ($2.72), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.53), Nevada ($2.53), Idaho ($2.46), District of Columbia ($2.44), Pennsylvania ($2.41), New York ($2.40).

 

West Coast

 Gas prices on the West Coast continue to be the highest in the country, with every state in the region landing on the top ten list of most expensive markets: Hawaii ($2.92), California ($2.80), Washington ($2.72), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.53), Nevada ($2.53). Prices have been relatively steady over the past week despite tightened supply in the California market and the wrap up of planned maintenance on the Olympic pipeline early last week in the Northwest. BP shut down operations on its Pacific Northwest pipeline system to conduct planned maintenance October 27 and reopened the line a few days later. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report recently revealed west coast gasoline supplies hitting record lows which can likely be tied to the fall maintenance schedule. Most west coast refineries are set to come back online this month.

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Rockies

Pump prices in the Rocky Mountains are dropping due to weakening crude oil prices and demand in the market. Crude prices were under $30 bbl in parts of Montana and North Dakota last week resulting in discounts for every state in the region, with North Dakota (-4 cent) and South Dakota (-4 cents) landing on the list of largest weekly decreases.

 

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices in the Great Lakes region continue to be the most volatile in the nation with three states landing on the list of largest weekly increases: Michigan (+5 cents), Ohio (+5 cents) and Indiana (+3 cents). A 5.0 magnitude earthquake in Cushing, Oklahoma last night may have future impact on prices in the Midwest. The Associated Press reports that the earthquake struck around 7:45 p.m. CST and resulted in minor injuries and power outages. Cushing is home to 13 pipelines that transport millions of barrels of oil a day as well as refined products to states in the Rockies and Midwest. Refined products are delivered from the Gulf Coast via the Explorer Pipeline to Chicago and Magellan Pipeline to Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri markets as well as other Midwest destinations.

Prices for drivers in the Central United States remain some of the cheapest in the country with three states posting prices under $2: Missouri ($1.93), Oklahoma ($1.94) and Kansas ($1.99).

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Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Prices across much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast remained relatively flat except for New Jersey ($2.04), where the national average jumped 25 cents this week because of the new state gas tax hike that took effect November 1. Barring any unexpected impact to production or distribution, prices in the region should drop this month due to dropping oil prices and demand.

 

South and Southeast

Markets in the South and Southeast continue to post some of the lowest prices for retail gasoline in the nation, with seven states landing on the list of cheapest markets: Arkansas ($1.98), Texas ($2.02), Mississippi ($2.03), South Carolina ($2.04), Alabama ($2.04), Louisiana ($2.05) and Tennessee ($2.06). Despite the low prices in some parts of the regions, drivers in Georgia saw prices jump eight cents on the week because of problems on the Colonial Pipeline.  Colonial resumed shipments on Line 1 early Sunday, ahead of their projected afternoon start time. Prior to Sunday’s restart, Line 1 had been shut down for six days due to a gasoline explosion last Monday in Shelby County, Alabama. While delivery of fuel has resumed, it may take close to a week before impacted states see any relief at the pumps.

Recent reports from OPIS show that the actual market impact from the shutdown is expected to be less than originally thought for the month of November. Prior to the gasoline explosion on October 31, Colonial had planned a 20 percent rate cut on Line 1 November 12-21. The rate cuts were needed to remove the 500-foot-long bypass that was installed after September’s gasoline leak, however the scheduled work was completed during last week’s shutdown, which means Colonial will be able to make up about two days’ of gasoline deliveries.

 

Oil Market Dynamics

Last week, following the explosion and shutdown of Colonial Pipeline Line 1 crude oil was trading higher, but the company quickly announced that Line 1 was scheduled to restart on Sunday November 7th. The restart announcement had a chilling effect on the market and crude oil prices dropped below $45 dollars a barrel. Colonial Pipeline could face congressional scrutiny after the deadly pipeline incident.  Several Members of Congress sent a letter to U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Fox requesting a comprehensive examination of Colonial Pipeline and the company’s management as it relates to the maintenance and integrity operations of the system. Also weighing on the market are the continued negotiations amongst OPEC and non-OPEC members. The Secretary-General of OPEC announced today that the group was still committed to developing an output deal to cut oil production, but no formal agreement has been reached. Traders will keep a close eye on the Colonial Line 1 restart and upcoming OPEC meetings. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 59 cents to settle at $44.07 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

Tamra JohnsonToday’s average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.21 per gallon, which is one cent cheaper than one week ago, the same price compared to one month ago and three cents more than the same date last year. National gas prices have now dropped for six consecutive days, but the usual seasonal decline has stalled as prices have remained roughly the same since early September.

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Drivers may continue to see prices wobble up and down as traders speculate on the possibility of OPEC countries developing an output agreement over the next month. Additionally, planned and unplanned refinery maintenance continues across the United States and may result in regional fluctuations in gas prices.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top five least expensive markets are: Missouri ($1.99), Oklahoma ($1.99), Arkansas ($2.01), South Carolina ($2.01), Kansas ($2.02).
  • The nation’s top five most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($2.91), California ($2.79), Washington ($2.73), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.55).

West Coast

The region continues to be the priciest in the nation, with the seven most expensive state averages: Hawaii ($2.91), California ($2.79), Washington ($2.73), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.55), Nevada ($2.52) and Idaho ($2.46). Prices in the Northwest will likely move higher due to the shutdown of BP’s Olympic Pipeline last week. BP originally planned to conduct scheduled maintenance earlier in the month but was delayed by Typhoon Songda. Pipeline maintenance is expected to conclude this week and will start again in early December. Despite maintenance in the north, drivers in California should begin seeing some relief as winter-blend gasoline appears at pumps around the state.

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Rockies

Gas prices in the Rocky Mountain region should continue to move downward heading into election week. Prices in the region have been among the most stable in the nation, due to their insulated status in the center of the country and few disruptions to regional production throughout the year.

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices in much of the Midwest have steadied since last week but are beginning to show signs of volatility which is common for the region. Prices moved slightly up or down across much of the Great Lakes states: Indiana (-4 cents), Wisconsin (-3 cents), Illinois (-2 cents), Ohio (+1 cent). Planned maintenance will continue this week at BP’s massive 430,000-b/d Whiting refinery in Indiana. The refiner helps supply much of the Midwest and any drops in supply resulting from the planned maintenance will likely be balanced by a seasonal drop in demand.

Prices in the Central United States continue to be among the cheapest pump prices in the country, including two of the states where prices are below $2.00 per gallon: Missouri ($1.99) and Oklahoma ($1.99).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Refinery issues continue to impact prices in the regions with some sates landing on the top-15 list of most expensive markets in the country: Pennsylvania ($2.40), New York ($2.38), Connecticut ($2.33), Vermont ($2.30) and Maine ($2.28). Drivers should begin to see some relief in the coming weeks as refinery maintenance wraps up. Delta’s Monroe Energy is expected to restart its 53,000-b/d fluid catalytic cracking unit at its Trainer, Pennsylvania refinery this week and PBF’s Paulsboro refinery in New Jersey is also expected to return to normal operations soon. OPIS reports that Irving Oil is expected to restart some units at its 320,000-b/d Canadian refinery in the coming weeks. The maintenance work which started back in September has resulted in price increases for drivers in much of the Northeast.

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South and Southeast

Prices in much of the South and Southeast are expected to move lower in the coming weeks as refiners recover from fall maintenance and price spikes resulting from problems on the Colonial Pipeline in September and Hurricane Matthew.

Oil Market Dynamics

Late last week, OPEC officials met in Vienna to hash out the details of a potential production freeze agreement, but several hours of discussions bore no resolution. Iraq and Iran have continued to voice concerns over participating in a production cut, and as a result, negotiations have stalled. Traders will continue to closely monitor OPEC negotiations for any indication of an agreement in the days leading up to the next official meeting scheduled for November 30.  At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down $1.02 to settle at $48.70 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

 

National Average Shows Steady Decline on the Week

October 24th, 2016 by Jessica Souto

The average price at the pump has fallen for 15 of the last 16 days, for a total savings of 4 cents per gallon. The national average currently sits at $2.22 per gallon, which is two cents less than one week ago, one cent more than one month ago and 1 cent more year-over-year. The National average is down 17 cents per gallon versus the 2016 peak price reached in June ($2.39).

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This year’s seasonal refinery maintenance continues across the United States and select regional markets are still under pressure as a result of planned and unplanned maintenance. The West Coast is enduring the fall turnaround season but is still feeling the impacts of shutdowns at the PBF’s Torrance, California refinery. Similar pressure is still being felt on the East Coast with rumors of refinery outages in the Philadelphia area. Although gasoline demand typically retreats during the fall due to lower driving demand and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline, continued unplanned outages could create volatility and put pressure on the national average in the near term.

Quick Stats

  • The biggest weekly price decreases are reflected in Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Wisconsin (-5 cents), Kentucky (-5 cents), Georgia (-4 cents), South Carolina (-4 cents), Tennessee (-4 cents), Oklahoma (-3 cents) and Kansas (-3 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($2.89), California ($2.78), Washington ($2.73), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.55), Nevada ($2.51), Idaho ($2.46), District of Columbia ($2.45), Pennsylvania ($2.40) and Montana ($2.37).

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast remain the highest in the country with states in the region topping the list of most expensive U.S. markets: Hawaii ($2.89), California ($2.78), Washington ($2.73), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.55), Nevada ($2.51). Prices in the region have crept higher due to seasonal maintenance this month as refiners switch to winter-blend gasoline. Ongoing planned maintenance is taking place at Phillips 66’s 147,000-b/d Los Angeles refinery, Tesoro’s 107,000- b/d Wilmington refinery and Chevron’s 275,200-b/d Richmond refinery. The region is also still recovering from a power outage at PBF’s 157,800-b/d Torrance refinery that stopped operations for several days. The switch to winter-blend gasoline should have some price benefits for drivers after seasonal maintenance wraps up next month.

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Rockies

Gas prices in the Rockies region have remained relatively stable over the past week with averages moving up by only two cents per gallon or less. Fall maintenance at Western Refining’s St. Paul Park refinery in Minnesota is expected to wrap up this week which should provide additional relief to drivers at the pump.

Great Lakes and Central States

Drivers in the Great Lakes region are enjoying significant discounts at the pump as prices are dropping on abundant supplies and limited disruptions to refinery production. The region includes the four states registering the largest declines in the nation over the past week: Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), and Wisconsin (-5 cents). Ohio ($2.04) is also on the list of cheapest markets in the country. The significant price declines can be attributed to elevated inventories and a lack of major refinery outages in the region.

Drivers in the Central region continue to pay among the cheapest pump prices in the country, including three states where prices are moving closer to the $2.00 per gallon mark: Oklahoma ($2.01), Missouri ($2.03), Tennessee ($2.07).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have seen slight increases over the past week. There has been a lot of refinery maintenance in the region. OPIS reports that there is ongoing maintenance in Newfoundland and New Brunswick, as well as at Delta’s Trainer, Pa. refinery. The refinery plans to keep its fluid catalytic cracking unit down at least another month for maintenance. Another factor impacting supply in the region is two critical Canadian refineries that send gasoline to the Eastern Seaboard have not been contributing much gasoline to the area due to maintenance. Pennsylvania ($2.40) and Washington D.C. ($2.45) are both on the top-10 list of the country’s most expensive markets.

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South and Southeast

Drivers across much of the South and Southeast continue to enjoy relatively cheap pump prices, and a reported five percent increase in regional gasoline stocks has caused wholesale prices to drop in some areas. Gulf Coast refiners are slowly recovering from planned and unplanned maintenance, but the region is also tasked with sending large supplies of gasoline to Mexico, where refiners are running at half capacity. Reports from OPIS show that Gulf Coast refiners historically overproduce in November and December which could result in cheaper prices for drivers, but for now, the market is balanced. Drivers in Arkansas ($2.03), Texas ($2.05), South Carolina ($2.05) and Mississippi ($2.06) are enjoying pump prices among the top ten lowest in the nation.

Parts of the Southeast are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew which significantly dropped demand in the region. The Hurricane, mixed with exports and refinery issues in the Gulf Coast have moved prices significantly over the past month in some southern states with three making the list of top-five largest monthly increases: Texas (+10 cents), Florida (+10 cents) and Louisiana (+9 cents).

Oil Market Dynamics

The market reacted early Monday morning to claims from Iraq that they would not participate in a potential OPEC production cut agreement. The Iraqi State Oil Monitor suggested that Iraq could not afford to lose any further market share than it already has and would not benefit from taking part in a production freeze. This development follows last week’s news that Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is planning several meetings with OPEC countries to discuss proposals to freeze oil output amid weak prices in the market. OPEC countries are scheduled to formally meet again on November 30. Traders will continue to monitor the announcement of manufacturing agreement details, but there remains continued uncertainty as to whether OPEC can meet the production targets and rebalance the market. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 22 cents to settle at $50.58 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

Pump Prices Drop Nine Consecutive Days

October 17th, 2016 by Jessica Souto

Tamra JohnsonThe national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has dropped for nine consecutive days, reaching today’s price of $2.24 per gallon. Today’s average price represents a decrease of two cents per gallon compared to one week ago, but remains five cents more than last month. However, drivers across the country continue to see savings at the pump and are paying an average of three cents less per gallon year-over-year.

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Prices continue to wobble as areas of the country impacted by Hurricane Matthew work to replenish supply and several refineries across the country address planned and unplanned facility maintenance.

Quick Stats

  • Volatility in the Midwest has placed four states in the region at the top of the list for biggest weekly declines: Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-10 cents) and Illinois (-8 cents).
  • The West Coast remains the most expensive market for gasoline, including the only six states where drivers are paying more than $2.50 on average: Hawaii ($2.87), California ($2.78), Washington ($2.71), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.52), and Nevada ($2.51).

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West Coast

Despite storms hitting the northwest this week, retail averages on the West Coast have remained relatively steady over the past week. Hawaii ($2.87) is the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline. Regional neighbors in California ($2.78), Washington ($2.71), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.52) and Nevada ($2.51) also ranked in the nation’s top six most expensive markets and the West Coast is the only region in the country with prices above $2.50. Supply issues in the Northwest resulting from the storm may have a slight impact on retail prices over the next week. Remnants of Typhoon Songda which caused significant damage in the Western Pacific days before hitting Oregon and Washington with strong winds and heavy rains Friday and Saturday. This has interfered with petroleum barge imports and has driven Northwest gasoline spot market prices to the highest in the nation.

Conditions at the PBF Torrance, CA refinery are reportedly improving after an unexpected power blip last Tuesday morning. PBF reported to OPIS on Friday morning that all process units taken offline were expected to be up by the end of the day.

Rockies

Prices for motorists in the Rocky Mountain region remain among the most stable although market averages are following the national trend downward. The drop in price is most likely due to seasonal drops in demand. Over the past month the region has experienced little change with prices generally moving only a few cents per gallon.

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Great Lakes and Central States

States in the Great Lakes region have seen the biggest decreases over the past week: Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), and Illinois (-8 cents). The Great Lakes is often the most volatile area in the country and it is not uncommon for prices to move significantly from week to week. At the moment, prices are heading downwards which can likely be attributed to BP’s Whiting, Indiana refinery completing unplanned maintenance on its largest crude distillation unit which has helped to ease supply constraints in the region. Planned work at the refinery has also wrapped up for the season. ExxonMobil is also completing scheduled maintenance at its Joliet refinery in Illinois. Refineries should finish all seasonal planned maintenance by the end of October.

Drivers in the Central region continue to enjoy some of the cheapest gas prices in the country with Oklahoma ($2.06) and Missouri ($2.06) both landing on the top 10 list of least expensive markets.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices across much of the region remain relatively steady with most states seeing slight weekly increases or decreases of two cents or less. This week New Jersey ($2.02) tops the list of least expensive markets in the country with Virginia also landing in the top 15. Washington, D.C. ($2.45), Pennsylvania ($2.40) and New York ($2.36) are posting some of the most expensive averages in the region this week.

South and Southeast

Many parts in the Southeast are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew. As massive power outages and flooding continue to be resolved, they seem to be having minimal impact on pump prices. Drivers in the South are also enjoying relatively low pump prices with many states in the region making the list of cheapest markets in the country: Texas ($2.03), Arkansas ($2.05), Oklahoma ($2.06), Mississippi ($2.07), Louisiana ($2.09), South Carolina ($2.09) and Alabama ($2.11).

Prices in the Gulf Coast are still recovering from a week long shutdown at Pasadena Refining System’s 115,700-b/d Pasadena, Texas refinery. The fluid catalytic cracking unit was restarted at the refinery last Monday after it was taken out of service for unplanned repair on a leaking valve. The Gulf Coast is home to the bulk of U.S. refining capacity, which should keep prices relatively low for drivers, barring a hurricane or another unexpected event.

Oil Market Dynamics

Crude oil contracts continued to react to last month’s announcement that OPEC was working on a plan to cut production. While the market increased briefly by the end of last week, crude oil prices had dipped back to less than $51 per barrel as a result of continued skepticism about both the plausibility of a plan being agreed to and the implementation of a production freeze. Traders will continue to watch discussions surrounding the upcoming November meeting. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 9 cents to settle at $50.35 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Tamra JohnsonThe national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has increased for 12 of the past 14 days, reaching today’s price of $2.26 per gallon. Today’s average price is 3 cents more than one week ago, 8 cents more than one month ago and 6 cents less than one year ago.

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Over the weekend, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina saw the arrival of Hurricane Matthew and residents in those areas expressed significant concerns about the availability of gasoline leading up to and following the storm. Ports and fuel terminals in all three states were closed ahead of the storm. Fortunately, there were no refineries threatened by the path of the storm and by Friday afternoon many ports in southern Florida were already cleared by the Coast Guard and open to receive vessels.

Many coastal ports are expected to reopen on Monday, allowing waterborne deliveries of gasoline to continue. Barring any delays due to flooding and power outages, tanker trucks should be able to access terminals and quickly resupply stations across the impacted areas.

Quick Stats

  • The West Coast continues to be the most expensive market for gasoline, including the only six states where drivers are paying $2.50 or more on average: Hawaii ($2.84), California ($2.79) Washington ($2.72), Alaska ($2.64), Oregon ($2.52) and Nevada ($2.50).
  • The states with the largest increases this week are Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+10 cents), Missouri (+8 cents), West Virginia (+8 cents), Ohio (+8 cents), Illinois (+6 cents) and Florida (+6 cents).

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West Coast

The West Coast features the highest prices in the nation as has consistently been the case over the past decade. However, drivers in these same states are also among the only motorists who have seen prices remain steady over the past week. Alaska ($2.63), Washington ($2.71), California ($2.79), Nevada ($2.50) and Oregon ($2.52) all land on the list of smallest weekly changes. The West Coast transition to winter specification gasoline will take place in about two weeks. Supply in the region is already being impacted as many refiners begin maintenance for the switch, including some very large-scale turnaround work at Chevron’s Richmond, Calif., refinery.

Rockies

Prices in the Rocky Mountains remain relatively stable compared to other markets. This is primarily due to limited disruptions to regional production in the past months and their geographic location in the center of the country, which helps to insulate the region from coastal price swings. Barring any unforeseen production issues, drivers should see prices continue to move lower as we move into the winter driving season.

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices in the Great Lakes region saw significant increases over the past week. Regional prices remain impacted by two factors – seasonal refinery work at key plants like BP’s 430,000-b/d Whiting refinery and replenishment of inventory lost last month, when product had to be moved from Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to assist states in the Southeast impacted by problems on the Colonial Pipeline. While prices in recent weeks have been a mixed bag of increases and decreases, regional prices over the past week have moved universally higher, with five Midwestern states making the list of top increases: Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+10 cents), Missouri (+8 cents), Ohio (+8 cents), Illinois (+6 cents).

The Central United States has some of the cheapest prices in the country, although prices have followed the national average higher over the past week. Four states in the region feature in the top-15 lowest: Arkansas ($2.05), Missouri ($2.07), Oklahoma ($2.07) and Tennessee ($2.14).

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Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

While still largely cheaper than one month ago, prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have moved higher over the past week which can likely be attributed to Hurricane Matthew’s impact on the Southeast region. Increases have been most evident in the Mid-Atlantic, where two states and D.C. made the list of top-15 largest weekly increases: District of Columbia (+5 cents), New Jersey (+4 cents), and Pennsylvania (+4 cents).

South and Southeast

Hurricane Matthew caused prices to jump in some parts of the region, with Florida (+6 cents) and North Carolina (+4 cents) both landing on the list of top-15 weekly increases. The Hurricane caused supply issues at many gas stations last week as evacuation notices resulted in closed ports and terminals. Without access to local terminals, many gas stations could not handle the high demand of drivers preparing for the hurricane. Despite the issues, gasoline supplies in the Southeast region remain plentiful. Hurricane Matthew was expected to have much more impact on demand and less on supply. On Friday afternoon, ports in Miami, Key West and Port Canaveral were already reopened to vessel traffic. Barring any delays due to flooding and power outages, tanker trucks should be able to access terminals and resupply stations across the impacted areas.

Refiners in the Gulf Coast are preparing to meet fall demand but reports from OPIS indicate that refineries in Big Spring and Pasadena, Texas had maintenance issues last week which impacted supplies and caused increases in some states.

Oil Market Dynamics

Attention is now focused on whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will alter production in order to influence prices higher. OPEC members are scheduled to have a number of meetings before the end of November in order to identify the details of an output agreement, which has supported the bearish sentiment for crude oil over the past week. Traders will keep a close eye on OPEC negotiations moving forward and will be on the lookout for an oil production framework. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 63 cents to settle at $49.81 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Tamra JohnsonPump prices have climbed higher as compared to the previous week, even though many states have switched over to winter blend gasoline and there remain abundant crude oil supplies. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline moved higher each of the past seven days reaching today’s average of $2.22 per gallon. Today’s average price is two cents more than one week ago and 1 cent more than one month ago. Despite the slight rise in pump prices, drivers continue to experience year-over-year savings with today’s average price about 7 cents per gallon less than the same date last year.

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The national average has been relatively flat since September 3, and drivers in 21 states are paying less at the pump week-over-week. While national prices have been steady, pump prices in some regions have moved dramatically over this same period, largely due to disruptions on the Colonial Pipeline and refinery maintenance. As recently as last week, gas prices jumped in the Midwest as a result of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance at BP’s Whiting refinery impacting supply in the region. Drivers may continue to see pump prices wobble higher or lower in the next few weeks as the market reacts to the OPEC production agreement, continued refinery maintenance and a possible hurricane along the East Coast.

Quick stats

  • Average gas prices are below $2 per gallon in three states today including: New Jersey ($1.98), Texas ($1.98) and Missouri ($1.99).
  • The biggest weekly price increases are reflected in Ohio (+14), Kentucky (+10), Indiana (+9), Louisiana (+5), Michigan (+5), Texas (+4), Illinois (+4), Iowa (+4), Arkansas (+4) Mississippi (+3).

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West Coast

The West Coast continues to lead the nation, with the top six most expensive states located in the region: Hawaii ($2.81), California ($2.79), Washington ($2.71), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.52) and Nevada ($2.50). Recent reports from OPIS show gasoline supplies are slightly down from last week and production could continue to fall over the next few weeks as refineries move into their planned fall maintenance season.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rocky Mountain states are relatively steady, moving by only +/- 3 cents on the week. Wyoming (-6 cents) is the only state posting a savings of a nickel or more on the month. Gas prices in the region are below the $2.50 per gallon benchmark, and some states are also seeing significant year-over-year savings with two making the list of top ten biggest yearly discounts: Utah (-38 cents), Wyoming (-35 cents).

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices in the Great Lakes region continue to be the most volatile in the nation. Drivers saw significant increases over the past week with four states in the region landing on the top ten list of biggest weekly increases: Ohio (+14 cents), Indiana (+9 cents), Michigan (+7 cents) and Illinois (+4 cents). The jump in price can likely be attributed to issues at BP’s Whiting refinery located in northwest Indiana. According to recent reports from OPIS, the refinery is still undergoing planned turnaround and unplanned maintenance related to problems with its largest crude distillation unit. The refinery is capable of producing 430,000 barrels of refined product per day, and the maintenance problems have created a noticeable impact on supply in the region.

Prices in the Central United States remain some of the cheapest in the country with three states in the region featured in the top 10 lowest: Missouri ($1.99), Oklahoma ($2.05) and Kansas ($2.06).

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South and Southeast

Drivers are getting some relief from last month’s price spikes that resulted from problems on the Colonial Pipeline. Georgia (-4 cents) tops the list of largest weekly decreases with North Carolina (-3 cents), Tennessee (-3 cents) and South Carolina (-3 cents) also making the top 10. According to recent reports from OPIS, Colonial Pipeline has identified the location of the gasoline leak on Line 1 and is in the process of removing the impacted segment of the line. Once removed, the segment will be sent to an independent laboratory for analysis.

On September 21, Colonial Pipeline restarted full operations on Line 1 with the help of a 500-foot bypass. Gasoline deliveries are slowly reaching Southeast terminals and OPIS reports that it may take between one to two weeks for supply in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to return to normal. 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Northeast prices have remained steady with most states in the region landing on the list of top 15 smallest monthly changes. Price averages in the region have moved a penny or less over the past month.

Pump prices in most Mid-Atlantic states are starting to recover from unseasonal increases resulting from problems on the Colonial Pipeline last month with Delaware (-4 cents) and Maryland (-2 cents) both being featured on the top 10 list of biggest weekly discounts.

Oil Market Dynamics

Crude oil futures traded higher Monday morning following OPEC’s announcement that it had agreed to limit its oil production. OPEC has provided few details of the agreement or how it will implement the production freeze, but members will be meeting again on November 30. Traders will continue to watch for additional announcements from OPEC and will keep an eye on discussions surrounding the upcoming meeting. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 41 cents to settle at $48.24 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

 

 

Tamra JohnsonThe national average price of regular unleaded gasoline remained relatively stable over the past week, settling at today’s price of $2.21 per gallon. Drivers are paying the same price per gallon month-over-month, and 8 cents less per gallon year-over-year. Although today’s average remains flat compared to one week ago, pump prices have been pressured higher in some regions due to disruptions on the Colonial Pipeline.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_9-26-16-01

Drivers in a number of states (25) are paying less at the pump week-over-week, although some volatility remains in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions where gasoline prices continued to see upward momentum as a result of the Colonial Pipeline disruption. Line 1 operations were restored on Wednesday of last week after more than a week of downtime following the discovery of a leak. While delivery of fuel resumed, it may take a week before affected states see any relief at the pumps.

Quick stats

  • Average gas prices are below $2 per gallon in five states today including Texas ($1.95), Arkansas ($1.97), Mississippi ($1.99), Louisiana ($1.99), and New Jersey ($1.99).
  • The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($2.81), California ($2.76), Washington ($2.62), Alaska ($2.62), Oregon ($2.53), Nevada ($2.50), Idaho ($2.43), D.C. ($2.38), Montana ($2.37) and Georgia ($2.35).

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-9-26-16-01

Rockies

Pump prices in the Rocky Mountains have remained relatively stable compared to other markets. There has been limited disruption to production in recent months and geographic location helps to insulate the region from coastal price swings. Drivers in four states are enjoying small weekly discounts: Wyoming (-3 cents), Idaho (-2 cents), Utah (-2 cents), North Dakota (-1 cent). Some parts of the region are also seeing significant year-over-year savings with three states making the list of top ten biggest yearly discounts: Utah (-41 cents), Wyoming (-38 cents), Idaho (-26 cents).

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices in the Great Lakes region continue to be the most volatile in the nation. The fluctuating prices can likely be attributed to the transport of gasoline to the southeast due to issues on the Colonial Pipeline. OPIS reports that during the pipeline disruption, large quantities of Midwest product was transported to Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina in order to mitigate supply outages. As Line 1 begins pushing supply to impacted areas, many states that saw increases early in the month are beginning to see significant weekly discounts: Ohio (-10 cents), Indiana (-8 cents) and Michigan (-7 cents).

Prices for drivers in the Central United States remain some of the cheapest in the country, although prices have followed the national average higher over the past week. Two states in the region feature in the top-15 lowest: Missouri ($2.01) and Oklahoma ($2.03).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices in most of the Northeast have remained relatively steady over the past week, a large contrast to the spikes seen in much of the Mid-Atlantic region as a result of problems on the Colonial Pipeline: Virginia (+9 cents), Maryland (+6 cents), Delaware (+4 cents). States in the region suffering from tighter supplies and rising prices should begin to see some relief in the coming weeks. The completion of a bypass on Line 1 of the pipeline last Wednesday has allowed product to begin moving to impacted states, although OPIS reports that many marketers are warning that supply will still be touch-and-go through the remainder of the month.

South and Southeast

Issues on the Colonial Pipeline pressured prices higher in much of the Southeast with the most impacted states topping the nation’s list of largest weekly increases: Alabama (+8 cents), South Carolina (+7 cents), North Carolina (+5 cents), Georgia (+3 cents). The pipeline issues have also caused Georgia to make an unusual showing on the list of most expensive markets in the country, with an average price of $2.35. Recent reports from OPIS state that the worst is over for parts of the southeast impacted by the initial shutdown of Colonial Pipeline on September 9, and supply distribution should move to normal levels throughout the week.

Despite issues with the Colonial Pipeline in the Southeast, drivers in much of the Gulf Coast continue to enjoy some of the lowest prices at the pump: Texas ($1.95), Arkansas ($1.97), Mississippi ($1.99), Louisiana ($1.99), Alabama ($2.09).

Top10 Highest Average Gas Price Template_9-26-16-01

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast continue to be the highest in the country, with every state in the region landing on the top ten list of most expensive markets: Hawaii ($2.81), California ($2.76), Washington ($2.72), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.54), Nevada ($2.50). Although high, prices at the pump have remained consistent over the past week despite a power outage at the PBF refinery in Torrance, California which interrupted regular operations. Reports from OPIS on Friday afternoon say that PBF spent the week heating up and restarting process units at the refinery, and it is projected all units would be up at the start of this week.

Oil Market Dynamics

Crude oil prices rallied Monday morning due to speculation about output reduction talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Attention is now focused on members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) next meeting, scheduled for September 26-28, where the cartel may agree to a production freeze or continue its current course of action and refrain from cutting production to maintain market share. These countries will meet informally while also attending the International Energy Forum in Algeria. The upcoming talks are the organization’s second attempt to negotiate a production freeze, after a failed meeting in April. OPEC last agreed to reduce supply in 2008 and traders will continue to watch how discussions progress this week. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI closed down $1.84 to settle at $44.48 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

Tamra JohnsonToday’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.21 per gallon, which is 3 cents more than last week and 8 cents more expensive than last month.  Today’s price represents a year over year discount of 9 cents from 2015.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_9-19-16

Regional pump prices fluctuated dramatically this week due to pipeline repairs and localized supply disruptions.  In early September, a leak on Line 1 of the Colonial Pipeline occurred in Alabama and pressured prices in Southeast states sharply higher, including week-over-week increases of 7 cents or more in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Line 1 of the pipeline runs from Houston, Texas to Greensboro, North Carolina and can carry 1.2 million barrels of gasoline per day. As a result of the leak and downtime for the repair, Colonial Pipeline announced over the weekend that it would construct a temporary pipeline to bypass the section of the line that is damaged. According to Colonial, the bypass would allow the pipeline to resume gasoline deliveries to impacted areas by the end of the week.

Until the pipeline bypass is completed, distribution issues will continue to put additional upward pressure on prices in the Southeast and possibly the Mid-Atlantic region. States that may continue to see tighter supply and higher gas prices include Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The Colonial Pipeline has said it anticipates reopening the line later this week with the bypass in use, but it remains unclear how quickly they will be able to repair Line 1.

Quick stats

  • Average gas prices are below $2 per gallon in six states today including: Mississippi ($1.96), Texas (1.96), Missouri ($1.97), New Jersey ($1.98), Arkansas ($1.99) and Louisiana ($1.99).
  • The biggest weekly price increases are reflected in Georgia (+21 cents), South Carolina (+13 cents), Tennessee (+13 cents), North Carolina (+11 Cents), Ohio (+11 Cents), Indiana (+10 cents), Alabama (+7 cents), Delaware (+7 cents), Kentucky (+7 cents) and Hawaii (+6 cents).

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-9-19-16

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast remain the highest in the country, including the top six most expensive state averages: Hawaii ($2.82), California ($2.76), Washington ($2.72), Alaska ($2.62), Oregon ($2.53), Nevada ($2.50). Despite having some of the most expensive prices, some drivers in the region are also enjoying some yearly savings with three states in the region making the list of top ten biggest yearly decreases: Alaska (-55 cents), Nevada (-52 cents), California (-33 cents). The West Coast region had not been impacted by problems on the Colonial Pipeline and the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) predicts that prices in the Pacific Northwest and California may see some decreases over the next few weeks.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rocky Mountain region are among the most stable prices in the nation. The states continue to be insulated from any refinery and pipeline issues and over the past month average prices have moved by a penny or less in three states: Idaho, New Mexico and Idaho. Drivers in the region are also enjoying large yearly discounts with Utah (-43 cents), Wyoming (-40 cents), Colorado (-39 cents), New Mexico (-29 cents), Idaho (-29 cents) and Arizona (-29 cents) all in the top ten largest discounts in the country.

Great Lakes and Central States

Drivers in these regions are enjoying some weekly price discounts due to sufficient supplies and limited disruption to production. These regions include five states registering some of the largest declines in the nation over the past week: Missouri (-6 cents), Illinois (-4 cents), Minnesota (-3 cents), Kansas (-2 cents) and Iowa (-2 cents). Midwestern declines are also featured in the top month-over-month comparisons, with four out of the five states posting a decline in this region: Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio. On top of these weekly and monthly savings, drivers in two Central states continue to pay some of the cheapest gas prices in the country with Missouri ($1.97) and Oklahoma ($2.03) both featured in the top 10 cheapest state averages.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices across most of the region have remained relatively stable with seven states featured on the list for smallest weekly changes: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York. The most expensive averages in the region are Washington, D.C. ($2.36), Pennsylvania ($2.33), New York ($2.32) and Connecticut ($2.29). Some states in this region will be impacted by the problems on the Colonial Pipeline. OPIS reports that there will be less gasoline and diesel moving to Maryland, Washington, D.C., Delaware and New Jersey as a result of the leak. Colonial Pipeline has executed its alternative plan to construct a bypass line around the leak site to allow Line 1 gasoline distribution to return to service as rapidly and safely as possible. Colonial stated on Sunday that it is aiming to complete its bypass construction for Line 1 this week and restart full operation using the bypass for gasoline delivery from Houston to Greensboro, but there is a possibility construction may take longer than projected.

Top10 Largest Weekly Increases 9-19-16

South and Southeast

Gas prices in the South and Southeast continue to top the list for lowest prices, with six out of ten of the nation’s cheapest retail markets located in this region: Texas ($1.96), Mississippi ($1.96), Arkansas ($2.01), Louisiana ($1.99), Alabama ($2.01), South Carolina ($2.04). Some states in these regions have also seen significant weekly price increases due to a problem with the Colonial Pipeline, the major artery that brings gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from Texas and Louisiana refineries to a number of Gulf Coast and southeastern states. Reports from OPIS say the repair of a spill on the pipeline will limit the movement of gasoline from Texas and Louisiana refineries to multiple states in the South and Southeast regions including Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  Some of these states have already seen significant price movement over the past week with Georgia (+21 cents), Tennessee (+13 cents), South Carolina (+13 cents) and North Carolina (+11 cents) topping the national list of largest weekly increases.

Global Market Dynamics

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil closed last week trading lower following the release of the International Energy Agency’s crude oil report which forecast abundant supplies with diminishing demand. Meanwhile, the Colonial Pipeline announced Sunday evening that it was currently working to repair the leak on Line 1 and construct a bypass pipeline to reduce disruption of gasoline deliveries. Colonial said they are aiming to have the Line 1 bypass up and running this week, but many of those watching the market are skeptical of their ability to restart the line that quickly. Traders will continue to keep an eye on the Colonial Pipeline repairs, discussions surrounding the possibility of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike and the OPEC member meeting later this month. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down .88 cents to settle at $43.03 per barrel, the lowest settlement since Aug. 11.

Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Tamra JohnsonGas prices have fallen for eleven of the past 12 days, reaching today’s average of $2.18 per gallon. Drivers are saving two cents per gallon compared to one week ago, but are paying five cents per gallon more on the month. Overall gas prices remain lower than last year due to the relatively low price of crude oil with drivers saving an average of 18 cents per gallon compared to a year ago.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_9-12-16-01

The national average price for unleaded gasoline is expected to keep moving lower as we head into fall barring any unexpected disruptions in supply or spikes in the price of crude oil. Pump prices typically decline during this time of year due to lower driving demand after the busy summer driving season has concluded and the changeover from summer-blend to a cheaper-to-produce winter-blend gasoline, which takes place in many parts of the country starting on September 15.

The difference between summer- and winter-blend gasoline involves the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) of the fuel. RVP is a measure of how easily the fuel evaporates at a given temperature. The more volatile a gasoline (higher RVP), the easier it evaporates.

Winter-blend fuel has a higher RVP because the fuel must be able to evaporate at low temperatures for the engine to operate properly, especially when the engine is cold. If the RVP is too low on a frigid day, the vehicle will be hard to start and once started, will run rough.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), drivers will continue to benefit from an oversupplied market and AAA predicts that consumers could experience national average prices below $2.00 at the pump if the price of crude oil remains relatively low and refineries are able to conduct planned seasonal maintenance without issue.

Quick stats

  • Gas prices in seven states are below $2.00 per gallon: South Carolina ($1.91), Alabama ($1.94), Mississippi ($1.97), New Jersey ($1.98), Texas ($1.98), Tennessee ($1.99) and Virginia (1.99).
  • The biggest weekly decreases in price are seen in Indiana (-11 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents), Nebraska (-6 cents), Maryland (-5 cents), Minnesota (-4 cents).

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-9-12-16-01

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast remain some of the highest in the nation, with six out of ten of the nation’s most expensive retail markets located in this region: Hawaii ($2.75), California ($2.73), Washington ($2.67), Alaska ($2.58), Oregon ($2.50) and Nevada ($2.48).

Strong demand in the region is currently pressing on limited supplies. The drop in supplies can likely be attributed to issues at two California refineries earlier this month. The region also currently has the highest wholesale price for gasoline, which translates to higher prices for drivers. While prices remain on the high-end, some drivers in the region are still benefitting from significant year-over-year discounts. Only two states nationwide are posting yearly discounts of more than 50 cents per gallon and both are located within this region: Alaska (-73 cents) and Nevada (-60 cents).

Rockies

Drivers in the Rockies are also enjoying large yearly discounts with Colorado (-46 cents), Utah (-45 cents), Wyoming (-43 cents), New Mexico (-37 cents), Arizona (-36 cents) and Idaho (-35 cents) all in the top ten largest discounts in the country. Prices in the region have generally been the most stable across the nation since it is geographically insulated from pump price movement tied to global crude oil prices. Regional prices may see a slight drop this week as seasonal effects like decreased demand and the switchover to cheaper-to-produce winter-blend gasoline take effect.

Great Lakes and Central States

Prices are starting to move lower following the close to the summer driving season, with six states in these regions making the top 10 list for biggest weekly discounts: Indiana (-11 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents), Nebraska (-6 cents) and Minnesota (-4 cents). The decrease is a relief for drivers in the regions who have dealt with significant volatility throughout the summer.

Crude oil supply appears to be building in the region which has helped to stabilize the price at the pump. Barring any unexpected disruptions in supply, drivers should see prices continue to drop with the switchover to winter-blend gasoline.

Top10 Most Dramatic Weekly Changes_9-12-16-01

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Prices across much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have remained relatively flat, however the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline late Friday evening may impact prices moving into this week. The pipeline is a major artery in the movement of gasoline from Pasadena, Texas all the way up the Eastern Seaboard and disruptions can have a significant impact on supply. Two of the lines on the pipeline were shut down Friday following reports of potential system integrity issues. According to the Oil Price Information Service, Colonial Pipeline restarted delivery on Line 2 from Houston to Greensboro on Saturday, but gasoline delivery on Line 1 is not expected to restart until later this week due to a potential gas leak. This will impact northern states over the next 48 hours. There is, however, ample supply in the region and the higher-than-usual inventories should provide a buffer to the temporary gasoline delivery stoppage. Despite the down lines, two states in the region are among the six cheapest in the country: New Jersey ($1.98) and Virginia ($1.99).

South and Southeast

Markets in the South and Southeast continue to post some of the lowest prices for retail gasoline in the nation, with seven out of ten least expensive retail markets: South Carolina ($1.91), Alabama ($1.94), Mississippi ($1.97), Texas ($1.98), Tennessee ($1.99), Arkansas ($2.01) and Louisiana ($2.01). Ample supply is a contributing factor to the comparatively lower prices in the region. Reports from OPIS say that the Southeast region has also been impacted by the Colonial Pipeline shut down. Southern deliveries are down, which will likely cause some sporadic supply outages, especially in areas supplied by its stub lines in the Southeast. Like the Northeast, the higher-than-usual inventories in the area should provide a buffer to the temporary gasoline delivery stoppage for the next few days, and as a result southern states should not be greatly impacted by the pipeline issues. Approximately 50 percent of the total U.S. refining capacity is located along the Gulf Coast, which generally helps to balance supply and keep prices in the region relatively low.

Oil Market Dynamics

Oil prices briefly spiked last week due to the release of an EIA report that stated U.S. crude inventories fell 14.5 million barrels, but quickly retreated when inventory numbers were attributed to import disruption due to tropical storm Hermine. WTI opened this week trading lower, following news that the U.S. oil rig count increased for the tenth consecutive week and the sustained strength of the U.S. dollar. Traders will continue to keep an eye on discussions surrounding the upcoming OPEC meetings and the possibility of member and non-member countries agreeing to a production freeze. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up $1.74 to settle at $45.88 per barrel.

Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

Gas Prices Drop to Close Out Labor Day Weekend

September 6th, 2016 by Jessica Souto

Tamra JohnsonThe national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has dropped six consecutive days after rising for 16 straight days to close out August. Today’s national average is $2.20 per gallon. Gas prices started turning lower heading into the Labor Day weekend, which marks the unofficial end to the summer driving season. Today’s national average is two cents less than a week ago and 18 cents less than a year ago but 8 cents more than one month ago. The year-on-year discount persists but has closed more than 30 cents in just 20 days.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_9-6-16-01

Prices rose in the second half of August due to increasing crude oil prices and uncertainty regarding Hurricane Hermine’s impact on Gulf Coast refineries. When it became clear that the storm would not impact production, prices dropped quickly during the second half of last week and through the weekend. While the possibility of future storms over the remaining months of hurricane season could send prices temporarily higher, the seasonal effects of lower demand – with the busy summer driving season in the rear view – combined with the changeover to cheaper-to-produce winter blend gasoline likely mean prices will move lower over the next several months.

Quick stats:

  • Gas prices in four states are below $2.00 per gallon: South Carolina ($1.94), Alabama ($1.97), Mississippi ($1.98) and New Jersey ($1.99).
  • The biggest weekly price decreases are reflected in Michigan (-11 cents), Missouri (-7 cents), Oklahoma (-7 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Minnesota (-4 cents), Ohio (-4 cents), Alaska (-3 cents), Iowa (-3 cents), Kentucky (-3 cents) and South Dakota (-3 cents).

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-9-6-16-01

West Coast

The region continues to be the priciest in the nation, with the seven most expensive state averages: Hawaii ($2.75), California ($2.67), Washington ($2.64), Alaska ($2.53), Oregon ($2.46), Idaho ($2.46) and Nevada ($2.45). The region currently has the highest wholesale price for gasoline, which translates to higher prices for drivers. While prices remain on the high-end, they are relatively steady and have so far not reacted to refinery issues that arose late last week at Chevron’s Richmond, California refinery and Tesero’s Martinez, California location. Both refineries are reporting unscheduled maintenance that could impact supply in the region and send prices higher until the issues are resolved.

Rockies

Drivers across the Mountain time zone are enjoying hefty yearly discounts with seven states in the top ten in the nation: Utah (-53 cents), Colorado (-50 cents), Wyoming (-47 cents), Arizona (-41 cents), Idaho (-39 cents), New Mexico (-39 cents), and Montana (-35 cents). Refiners in the region have access to some of the cheapest crude oil on the market and as a result prices in the region are often geographically insulated from pump price movement tied to global crude oil prices. Given the price insulation and already lofty discounts, prices in this area may have less room to fall than coastal and Great Lakes areas as the busy summer driving season comes to a close.

Great Lakes and Central States

Price swings have been common in and around the Great Lakes states this week with six of the top ten weekly price movers landing in the area. The top national decreases in the country are: Michigan (-11 cents), Missouri (-7 cents), Oklahoma (-7 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Minnesota (-4 cents) and Ohio (-4 cents). Prices rose last month following issues at the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana, but with production reported to have returned to normal, prices in the region have moved lower. Despite the fluctuating prices across the region, two Central region states still rank among the lowest in the nation: Missouri ($2.02) and Tennessee ($2.02).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Prices across much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast remain relatively flat even as prices nationally have started to fall. Despite the minimal movement, two states in the region are among the six cheapest in the country: New Jersey ($1.99) and Virginia ($2.01). Barring any unexpected impact to production or distribution, prices in the region should continue to drop this month due to a decrease in demand and the switch over to cheaper winter-blend fuel on September 15.

South and Southeast

Early projections about the impact Hurricane Hermine might have on production and distribution over the busy holiday travel weekend triggered price movement in the Gulf Coast and Southeastern regions last week. Hermine eventually passed with minimal impact on the area and prices have dropped as a result. These regions continue to post some of the lowest pump prices in the nation, including all three of the cheapest states and six of the top ten. Only four states in the country are paying below $2 per gallon and three are located in this region: South Carolina ($1.94), Alabama ($1.97) and Mississippi ($1.98).

Top 10 Most Dramatic Weekly Price Decreases_9-6-16-01

Oil Market Dynamics

After jumping more than 20 percent during the first half of August, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil has dropped 10 percent over the past several weeks. The forces driving the market continue to be the strength of the U.S. dollar relative to other global currencies and the potential for OPEC and non-OPEC members to agree to a freeze in oil production when countries meet in Algiers later this month. Monday evening brought reports that Saudi Arabia and Russia met during the G20 summit and signed an oil cooperation agreement signaling an effort to work together in the world oil market. The possibility of an agreement briefly caused oil prices to rally, but when it was clear that the two countries did not make a firm commitment to halt production, prices again started to slide. Traders will continue to monitor these factors in the coming weeks for guidance on what direction oil markets will move this fall. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up $1.28 to settle at $44.44 per barrel.

Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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