Posts Tagged ‘AAA Expert’

Gas Prices Fluctuate Across the Country

August 21st, 2017 by AAA

Prices Decrease in Midwest, East Coast and South as West Coast and Rockies see Pump Prices Increase

At $2.33, the national gas price average is two cents cheaper than a week ago. Consumers in most Midwest, East Coast and Southern states are paying, on average, two cents less on the week, while most West Coast and Rockies states are seeing pump prices increase on average by three cents. Today’s national average is five cents more than a month ago and 17 cents more expensive than a year ago.

As gas prices continue to fluctuate across the country, growth in gasoline production combined with record-breaking high refinery runs continue to drive the country’s already relatively high gasoline inventories even higher. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that despite growing domestic and foreign demand, today’s national gasoline inventory levels sit at 231 million bbl and remain higher than the previous five-year average.

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s largest weekly changes are: Indiana (-10 cents), Oregon (+10 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Michigan (-8 cents), Idaho (+7 cents), Illinois (-5 cents), Utah (+5 cents), Washington (+5 cents), Kansas (-4 cents) and Nebraska (-4 cents).

 

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.06), Alabama ($2.09), Mississippi ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.10), Texas ($2.14), Tennessee ($2.14), Virginia ($2.14), Missouri ($2.14) and Louisiana ($2.15).

 

West Coast

With the exception of Hawaii, all states in the region are selling gas that is more expensive on the week: Oregon (+10 cents), Washington (+5 cents), Nevada (+2 cents), Alaska (+1 cent), California (+1 cent) and Arizona (+1 cent). Hawaii’s gas price dropped by one cent in the last week. The country’s first total solar eclipse, happening today, is the driver behind Oregon’s double-digit increase. The state is seeing an influx of visitors to witness the event.

Despite a small 100,000 bbl build on the week, West Coast gasoline inventories are 3.6 million bbl lower than this time last year. For the third consecutive week, the region’s total inventory registers under 27 million bbl, the second lowest inventory levels of all regions. However, the West Coast continues to lead the country with the most expensive gas prices.

Rockies

Gas prices continue to increase for the bulk of states in the Rockies as the region’s gasoline inventory levels hit a yearly low of 6.3 million bbl. Consumers in four states are paying more on the week: Idaho (+7 cents), Utah (+5 cents), Montana (+1 cent) and Wyoming (+1 cent), while Coloradoans are paying one cent less.

Compared to a month ago, gas prices in the region are on average 12 cents more: Idaho (+19 cents), Utah (+13 cents), Wyoming (+13 cents), Montana (+9 cents) and Colorado (+5 cents). Typically, the region sees higher gas prices in the summer due to seasonal tourism.

Great Lakes and Central States

Six Great Lakes and Central states saw the country’s largest decrease in gas prices on the week: Indiana (-10 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Michigan (-8 cents), Illinois (-5 cents), Kansas (-4 cents) and Nebraska (-4 cents). As prices at the pump drop, so does the region’s gasoline inventory. According to the latest EIA report, the region drew one million bbl of gasoline on the week, the largest of any region in the country. Typically, gas prices increase with growing demand; however, the region often sees high volatility, which impacts gas price trends week by week.

South and Southeast

On average, gas prices in the South and Southeast states are one cent cheaper on the week with every state seeing gas prices decline. With a two-cent decrease, Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia saw the largest declines.

Two refineries saw activity that halted production in the last week. ExxonMobil’s 584,000-b/d Baytown, Texas, refinery was forced to shut a hydrocracker unit a day after restarting, following the end of a two-month turnaround. The latest update on Friday was that the unit was still undergoing maintenance. Additionally, Shell’s 340,000-b/d Deer Park, Texas, refinery is expected to be shut down for at least a week following a fire. The issues had an immediate impact on market spot prices, but not prices at the pump.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are cheaper in all states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on the week with the exception of New York where gas prices remained stable. With a three-cent decrease, New Jersey is seeing the largest decline in the region followed by two-cent decreases in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina and West Virginia.

The price drop goes hand-in-hand with the region’s latest gasoline inventory trend. For a second consecutive week, the region saw the sizeable build (800,000 bbl) in gasoline inventory. Total inventories sit at 64.8 million bbl, about five million less than this time last year, according to EIA data.

Oil market dynamics

At the end of last week, the price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate stayed below $50 – settling at $48.51. On Monday morning, prices appeared to be falling due to a weak dollar and continued worries about high crude oil inventory levels.

According to the EIA report for the week ending on August 11, gasoline production moved higher to 10.2 million b/d. With greater demand for refined products like gasoline, crude inventories decreased by 8.9 million bbl – a much larger than expected drawdown. Additionally, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that active oil rigs in the U.S. fell by five last week, landing at 763. The movement of these key figures show that August is setting a strong scene for crude oil supplies to become tighter as demand continues full steam ahead with the summer driving season coming closer to its end.

On the flip side, U.S. crude output climbed 79,000 b/d to 9.502 million b/d – which is the highest level seen in two years. The greatest portion of the increase came from Alaska, but production in the continental U.S. (driven by shale activity) moved higher to 25,000 b/d. This continued growth in U.S. production continues to add to the global glut of crude, putting downward pressure on crude prices. As a result, market observers will look toward this week’s EIA report to see if the trend continues, noting that gasoline demand along the path of today’s solar eclipse may help boost numbers. Drivers in the viewing pathway may see prices spike due to high demand.

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.

On-Site Inspections Reveal the Best Of One, Two and Three Diamonds

ORLANDO, Fla. (August 15, 2017) – With 59,000 Diamond Rated establishments from which to choose, AAA has unveiled a new Best Of designation to give travelers another way to find great options for any trip or budget. Currently just seven percent of AAA Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants have earned the “Best Of” distinction. These establishments have overall ratings in the top 20 percent for their Diamond Rating level, no member complaints in the past 12 months and, for hotels only, A Rated cleanliness and condition.

Additional Resources

“When travelers are choosing a Diamond Rated hotel or restaurant, they should think of each additional Diamond as an indicator of more extensive services offered. AAA doesn’t approve substandard properties, which separates our ratings from the rest,” said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Inspections and Diamond Ratings. “Whether an establishment offers a simple environment or extensive luxury, it provides members with a good choice for the type of experience provided.”

The vast majority of AAA’s Diamond Rated establishments ‒ 90 percent of hotels and 97 percent of restaurants ‒ earn a rating of One, Two or Three Diamonds. Undergoing evaluation from one of AAA’s professional inspectors, these hotels and restaurants meet AAA’s rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and they offer travelers more casual and affordable options that are often just as charming and memorable as their higher rated counterparts.

“Every AAA Diamond Rated establishment must consistently meet and exceed the expectations of the most discriminating traveler — the AAA inspector,” continued Petrone. “It’s a great accomplishment for any property to be listed as AAA Inspected & Approved. Those at the One, Two and Three Diamond levels are the most common and frequently visited by AAA members. This new Best Of designation highlights those at the top of their rating level.”

Here is a sampling of the diverse One, Two and Three Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants across North America that have earned a Best Of designation. Travelers can find more selections at AAA.com/123Diamonds.

Best Of One, Two and Three Diamond Hotels

Mountain Waters Resort – Portland Creek, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada (AAA One Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes:
These cozy, well-kept cabins with decks are located in a quiet and picturesque wooded setting. Fishing is popular here as the renowned Salmon River and Portland Creek Pond border the property. Guests can immerse themselves in the outstanding natural surroundings thanks to the lack of internet and cell phone reception.

Cowboy Village Resort – Jackson, Wyoming (AAA Two Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes:
Located near dining and specialty retailers, the village offers a wonderful selection of studio and one-bedroom log cabins. All cabins have a picnic table, seating on a covered porch and a sofa bed as an added bonus. In the main building, the upscale lobby features an impressive floor-to-ceiling fireplace, the perfect spot to sit and relax.

Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort – Lake Buena Vista, Florida (AAA Two Diamond)

AAA Inspector Notes: Giant football helmets, hockey sticks and baseball bats decorate this sports-themed property. Abundant recreational amenities include dive-in movies and play areas with ping-pong, corn hole and foosball games. Guests can easily quell their hunger pangs at the food court and purchase souvenirs at the convenient on-site Disney store.

Inn at Cape Cod – Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts (AAA Three Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes:
Massive, iconic columns define the front porch of this Colonial-style mansion with grounds shaded by stately trees leading to a 100-acre nature reserve. Rooms are outfitted with rich furnishings, pillow top mattresses, soft triple sheeting and high-end bath amenities. A 24-hour coffee and tea station is available on each floor and complimentary homemade cookies are offered every afternoon.

Ocean Place Resort & Spa – Long Branch, New Jersey (AAA Three Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes:
A great option for a sunny escape, this hotel features sleek, modern rooms (some with ocean views); a luxury spa; beach club access; and a laid-back tiki bar. The hotel features dozens of mature palm trees brought in from the Gulf Coast to give the resort a distinctly Floridian feel.

Best Of One, Two and Three Diamond Restaurants

Rodeo Goat – Dallas, Texas (AAA One Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes:
This is the place for diners who have ever thought their burger needed grilled peaches, a fried egg or blackberry compote on top. Those and other creative ingredients are combined to make a distinctive burger menu. Get there early; the place fills up quickly, especially at lunchtime.

Tupelo Honey Café – Chattanooga, Tennessee (AAA Two Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes:
Traditional Low Country favorites such as fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits are served in heaping portions. The menu features twists on Southern staples, such as nutty fried chicken served with smashed sweet potatoes, asparagus and a side of goat cheese grits.

Sava’s – Ann Arbor, Michigan (AAA Two Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes:
Locals love the expansive Sunday brunch buffet offering everything from homemade pop tarts to egg dishes that change weekly. For lunch and dinner, the seasonal menu features fresh salads, small plates, steaks, juicy burgers and pasta. Friendly servers are always ready to make a recommendation, such as the lobster BLT topped with thick-cut bacon.

The Boiler Room – Omaha, Nebraska (AAA Three Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes:
The menu changes often and is focused on local, farm-to-table ingredients and pre-Prohibition era cocktails. The two-level space, a restored boiler room originally built in 1887, offers guests a bird’s-eye view of the expert chefs working diligently in the kitchen to prepare delicious meals.

Outpost – Goleta, California (AAA Three Diamond)
AAA Inspector Notes:
This restaurant offers retro California style with original artwork and a lively atmosphere. The covered patio area features views of the fire pit and pool at AAA Three Diamond Rated The Goodland hotel. For a tasty alternative, try the duck tacos paired with a local wine from the surrounding area.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.35 per gallon, which is flat on the week, nine cents more than one month ago, and 22 cents more than last year. Compared to seven days ago, gas prices are more expensive in 27 states, cheaper in 12 states and flat in 12 states. The West Coast, Rockies and Midwest regions are seeing the bulk of the increases at the pump.

“Prices at the pump continue a slow, upward climb as the summer season draws to a close,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “As we get closer to Labor Day and demand and production rates grow, drivers will likely see some of the highest prices at the pump this year.”

Quick Stats

  • Largest weekly increases: Idaho (+9 cents), Indiana (+7 cents), Utah (+7 cents), Michigan (+6 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Wyoming (+3 cents), Hawaii (+3 cents), Illinois (+3 cents), West Virginia (+3 cents) and Oregon (+2 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.08), Alabama ($2.10), Mississippi ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.11), Oklahoma ($2.12), Missouri ($2.14), Tennessee ($2.15), Virginia ($2.16), Texas ($2.16) and Louisiana ($2.16).

West Coast

On average, gas prices on the West Coast increased two cents on the week. Hawaii is selling the most expensive gas in the country at $3.09 as California ($2.98) inches closer to the $3/gallon mark.  

In the region, gasoline inventories dropped moderately on the week (200,000 bbl) as supplies tighten. Total inventory registers at 26.5 million bbl, which is the lowest levels seen on the West Coast in 2017 and two million bbl behind a year ago. Imports painted a bleak picture on the week; totaling 119,000 bbl compared the 375,000 bbl the week prior and below the year-ago level of 161,000 bbl.

As the country’s first total solar eclipse since 1979 approaches next week, August 21, Oregon ($2.70), which is in the path of totality, is likely to see gas prices increase. Oregon’s Department of Energy expects about one million visitors to the state, which will inevitably drive up demand for gasoline and gas prices.

Rockies

As gasoline inventories in the region hover near a low for the year, three states in the region land on this week’s list of states with the largest weekly increases: Idaho (+9 cents), Utah (+7 cents) and Wyoming (+3 cents). Drivers in parts of Idaho ($2.65) and Wyoming ($2.38) can expect gas prices to increase in the coming week as both states expect an influx of tourists for the August 21 solar eclipse.

Great Lakes and Central States

Despite a nearly 800,000 bbl build in gasoline, low inventory levels are driving gas prices up in the Great Lakes and Central States. Three states in the region land on this week’s top states with the biggest increases: Indiana (+7 cents), Michigan (+6 cents) and Ohio (+6 cents). As we’ve seen for most of the year, the region remains volatile. Just last week these same three states saw comparable declines at the pump:  Indiana (-8 cents), Michigan (-7 cents) and Ohio (-7 cents).

In the region on the week, gas prices increased in a total of seven states, decreased in three states and remained flat in three states. All states in the region with increases include: Indiana (+7 cents), Michigan (+6 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Illinois (+2 cents), Kansas (+1 cent), North Dakota (+1 cent) and Wisconsin (+1 cent). States with decreases: Kentucky (-4 cents), Missouri (-3 cents) and Minnesota (-1 cent).

South and Southeast

The South and Southeast states are seeing gas prices fluctuate throughout the region. Three states are paying more than a week ago, albeit just one cent: Mississippi, New Mexico and Alabama, while four states are paying less: Florida (-2 cents), Texas (-2 cents), Oklahoma (-1 cent) and South Carolina (-1 cent). Prices remain flat on the week in Arkansas, Louisiana and Georgia.

According to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, the region saw a 1.4 million bbl increase in inventories on the week bringing totals close to 82 million bbl, marking the largest inventory of any region in the country. Overall, the South and Southeast inventory is 4 million bbl more than this time last year. However, as demand continues to remain strong into the end of summer, inventories are likely to fall in coming weeks.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

On average, consumers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are paying $2.36 a gallon – which is flat compared to last week. Only three states in the region saw gas prices increase: North Carolina (+2 cents), West Virginia (+2 cents) and Virginia (+1 cent). Notably, six states saw decrease: Delaware (-5 cents), Maryland (-2 cents), New Jersey (-2 cents), New Hampshire (-1 cent), Pennsylvania (-1 cent) and Rhode Island (-1 cent).

Similar to its neighboring gulf coast region, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw a 1.4 million bbl build in gasoline inventory. This is attributed to a doubling of imports (from 500,000 b/d to 910,000 bbl) and refinery rates at a notable nearly seven percent increase.

Oil market dynamics

After closing on the NYMEX at $48.82 per barrel on Friday, WTI started moving downward Monday morning amid concerns from investors that U.S. production will continue to add to the global crude glut. According to Baker Hughes, Inc. three oil rigs were added to the U.S. count last week, totaling 768, which is 372 rigs more than last year’s count at this time. Growth in active rigs has moved in the opposite direction of crude inventories, which have declined by over 33 million bbl for seven consecutive weeks. The current crude oil storage level of 475.4 million bbl is the lowest since early October, and total inventories, when compared to the five-year average, have moved lower to just over 66 million bbl. The reduction in inventories has given the market greater confidence, but the growing rig count remains a concern as it indicates that oil companies are still investing heavily in U.S. production.

Additionally, last week, the EIA published a report that pointed to a revised record gasoline demand at 9.842 million b/d for the week ended on July 28. The demand figure for the week ending on August 4 noted a small pullback, but overall the last four weeks of gasoline demand have been on par with that of a year ago. The recent good news for gasoline demand does not end there, as final monthly renderings for April and May pointed to record highs. If the trend holds, final readings for June and July are likely to follow suit, confirming that gasoline production by U.S. refiners and blenders has been running near record levels over the first seven months of 2017.  

With strong gasoline production levels and seasonal demand staying on track, drivers will likely see prices continue to climb across the country. In fact, as OPEC seeks to re-double its efforts to rebalance the global oil market, any additional steps from it to curb growth in production may lead to higher oil prices. At a meeting in Abu Dhabi last week with OPEC and non-OPEC producers – all members of a pact that has agreed to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until March 2018 – the group decided to take action, including curtailing exports, to comply more fully with the agreement. If those measures meet full success, it will likely lead to higher prices at the pump.

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.

 

Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.35 per gallon, which is three cents more than last week, nine cents more than one month ago, and 23 cents more than at the same time last year. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows gasoline demand reached a new weekly record of 9.842 million b/d. The 2017 demand average over the past four-weeks is about one percent ahead of the same four-week period last year. With summer demand running full steam ahead, drivers can expect prices to continue rising.

 

Quick Stats

The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.09), Mississippi ($2.09), Alabama ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.11), Oklahoma ($2.13), Tennessee ($2.14), Virginia ($2.15), Louisiana ($2.16), Missouri ($2.17) and Texas ($2.17).

The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly change include: Missouri $2.17 (+9 cents), Iowa $2.31 (+8 cents), Indiana $2.30 (-8 cents), Nebraska $2.32 (+7 cents), North Dakota $2.31 (+7 cents), Texas $2.17 (+7 cents), South Carolina $2.09 (+7 cents), Alabama $2.10 (+7 cents), Michigan $2.41 (-7 cents) and Ohio $2.25 (-7 cents).

West Coast

Hawaii ($3.06) remains the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline and drivers in the state are paying 10 cents more per gallon than second-place California ($2.96). Regional neighbors, Washington ($2.82), Alaska ($2.80), Oregon ($2.68) and Nevada ($2.63) join in the rankings as the top six most expensive markets. The latest weekly EIA report shows West Coast gasoline inventories dropped 400,000 bbl to 26.7 million bbl, which is below the 28 million bbl mark that most market watchers consider a comfort zone.

California’s boutique reformulated gasoline (RFG) inventories increased 2.6 percent to 4.914 million bbl last week, according to the California Energy Commission (CEC). However, supply levels are still 7 percent lower than this same period last year when the state was experiencing high imports and impressive refinery production. OPIS reports that Oregon refiners are ramping up production in anticipation of an expected tourist spike related to the total solar eclipse later this month. This will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. since 1979, and the Oregon Department of Energy anticipates it will draw about 1 million visitors to the state.

Rockies

Increased driving demand pushed prices higher across most of the region, with Wyoming (+ 6 cents) landing on the nation’s list of top 15 weekly price increases. Idaho (+5 cents), Colorado (+5 cents), Montana (+4 cents) and Utah (+4 cents) also saw sizable gains on the week.

Great Lakes and Central States

Drivers in the Great Lakes region were some of the only people in the nation to see drops at the pump this week: Indiana (-8 cents), Michigan (-7 cents) and Ohio (-7 cents). The latest EIA report shows Midwest gasoline inventories dropped 1.2 million bbl to 51.6 million bbl last week. The current inventory levels are in pace with this same period last year and are about 2 million bbl above the five-year average.

South and Southeast

The region remains home to the nation’s least expensive markets for retail gasoline: South Carolina ($2.09), Mississippi ($2.09), Alabama ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.11), Oklahoma ($2.13), Tennessee ($2.14), Louisiana ($2.16) and Texas ($2.17). Last week’s EIA report showed that gasoline inventories for states in this region dropped by more than 1 million bbl, resting at 80.4 million bbl. The report also shows regional refineries running at 97 percent, which means their capacity to produce refined products like gasoline, is at a very high level. The strong output capacity is contributing to inventories in the region being around 5.25 million bbl ahead of the 5-year average, as noted from data in EIA’s weekly report.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions moved higher on the week, with Washington D.C. ($2.55), Pennsylvania ($2.52), Connecticut ($2.46), New York ($2.45) and New Jersey ($2.37) all landing on the top 15 list of most expensive markets, while Virginia ($2.15) and North Carolina ($2.16) landed on the list of top 15 least expensive markets. With most of the country seeing declines in gasoline inventories, this region saw gasoline inventories increase by approximately 400,000 bbl, according to EIA’s latest reports. With the continued record high output rates for refined products, refiners are able to cheaply produce large amounts of gasoline and store it in the regions. However, as gas prices increase and demand stays strong, storage levels are likely to fall.

Oil market dynamics

After briefly pushing above the $50 benchmark last week and then dropping down, the price per barrel for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) once again appears poised to push above $50 after increasing 55 cents to settle at $49.58 on Friday. With market observers watching crude storage levels to see if they decline, this week’s EIA report was welcomed news since it showed that they had reached their lowest point this year at 481.9 million bbl. However, last week’s excitement was tempered by total crude storage remaining at approximately 70 million bbl ahead of the five-year average. 

EIA’s report also showed an increase in domestic crude oil output to 9.43 million b/d last week, making it clear that the glut of crude will not disappear easily. On the other side, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the U.S. lost one oil rig last week, bringing down the total number of active rigs to 765. The modest decline may be an indicator of investment in offshore drilling leveling out for the year. 

As OPEC and non-OPEC countries convene today and tomorrow in Abu Dhabi to discuss compliance with the production reduction agreement in place through the end of March 2018, more time or dramatic actions from major producers may be needed to hasten efforts to rebalance the global oil market. In the meantime, gains in the market are likely to be moderate as drivers see prices continue to increase at the pump.  

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 Hit Six Week High

July 31st, 2017 by Jessica

Today’s national average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.32. The national average is at its highest price since June 15 and has now increased for 12 of the last 15 days. Pump prices in 47 states and Washington D.C. moved higher on the week, resulting from strong demand, rising exports and declining U.S. crude oil inventory levels.

“As summer moves forward, the days of dropping summer gas prices appear to be behind us for now,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA Spokesperson. “U.S. crude inventories are moving in the opposite direction of demand – a perfect storm for continued price increases heading into August.”

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.02), Alabama ($2.03), Mississippi ($2.03), Arkansas ($2.06), Missouri ($2.08), Tennessee ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.09), Louisiana ($2.09), Virginia ($2.09) and Texas ($2.10). 
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest monthly increases include: Indiana (+26 cents), Ohio (+20 cents), Michigan (+17 cents), Kentucky (+15 cents), Florida (+13 cents), Oklahoma (+13 cents), South Carolina (+11 cents), Kansas (+11 cents), Washington, D.C (+10 cents) and Delaware (+10 cents).

 West Coast

West Coast gas prices continue to be the highest in the country, with six states in the region topping the list of most expensive U.S. markets: Hawaii ($3.05), California ($2.94), Washington ($2.81), Alaska ($2.78), Oregon ($2.66) and Nevada ($2.62).

Regional prices remained stable on the week, with the exception of California. Drivers saw prices move 2 cents higher mostly due to an equipment breakdown at Phillips 66’s Wilmington, CA, refinery and ongoing planned maintenance at Tesoro’s Golden Eagle Refinery in Martinez, CA. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows West Coast gasoline inventories jumped 200,000 bbl, to 27.1 million bbl. This is an impressive recovery after regional stocks saw the largest one-week drop in nearly 3 years the previous week.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rockies are among the most stable in the nation, with prices fluctuating by only a few cents on the week. Drivers in Utah (-10 cents) and Idaho (-7 cents) are enjoying the largest monthly declines at the pump. The declines are likely the result of steady inventory and demand.

Great Lakes and Central States

Prices across these regions have seen significant movement over the past month. States in the region top the list of largest monthly increases: Indiana (+26 cents), Ohio (+20 cents), Michigan (+17 cents) and Kentucky (+15 cents).

The EIA’s latest report shows Midwest gasoline inventories dropped by 300,000 bbl, to 32 million bbl last week. Ohio (+10 cents), Michigan (+9 cents), Indiana (+9 cents), Illinois (+6 cents) and Kansas (+6 cents) all topped the list of largest weekly increases. Low inventory and high demand will likely result in continued increases over the coming weeks.

South and Southeast

Even as prices rise across the nation, these regions are still home to some of the lowest prices in the country. Notable states on the list of cheapest markets include: Alabama ($2.03), Mississippi ($2.03) and Texas ($2.10).

According to the EIA’s latest weekly report, 4.5 million bbl of the nationwide drawdown of crude oil came from the South and Southeast region. That weekly drop pulled regional crude inventories below the 250-million-bbl mark, after reaching 260 million bbl in June.

Regional gasoline production moved above the 3 million b/d mark last week, which is well ahead of the five-year average. The increase comes despite ongoing planned and unplanned refinery maintenance across the region, including facilities in Lake Charles, LA, as well as Texas City and Galveston, TX. Refinery maintenance, dropping inventory and booming demand will likely continue to push gas prices higher over the next few weeks.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices across the region continue to join the pack of most expensive states in the country, with Washington, D.C. ($2.55) and Pennsylvania ($2.52) leading the way.

Gasoline stocks in the region decreased by 2.1 million bbl last week, according to the latest EIA report. That decline puts total supplies on hand at 62.2 million bbl, which is more than 10 million bbl lower than levels this time last year. Tighter supplies and growing demand have put pressure on gas prices, leading to increases throughout the region. 

Oil Market Dynamics

The price per barrel of crude continues to push higher, with West Texas Intermediate approaching the $50 line on Monday after increasing 67 cents to hit $49.71 on Friday. The rally comes amid news that OPEC and non-OPEC nations will meet in Abu Dhabi on August 7 & 8. Their discussion will focus on why some countries participating in the production cut agreement, which is in place until the end of March 2018, are failing to meet their agreed targets. Compliance has become a major issue for the agreement, as rising production from OPEC and non-OPEC member countries has prevented the agreement from having a larger impact on rebalancing the global market. Moreover, at a meeting last Monday, Saudi Arabia stated its plans to limit crude exports to 6.6 million barrels per day in August, about 1 million bpd below the level last year. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates also agreed to cut exports, addressing rising fears in the market that growth in production and exports from member countries may be undercutting the cartel’s efforts to restrict supplies and raise prices in the global market.

EIA reported a 7.2 million barrel drop in U.S. crude inventories for the week ending on July 21 – a much higher number than expected. However, according to Baker Hughes, Inc.’s latest rig count, the U.S. added 2 oil rigs, bringing the record-high total to 766. All of the news has given investors mixed signals on where the market is heading, putting greater pressure on OPEC to enhance compliance and reduce exports. The needle may move in favor of higher crude prices this week, which will contribute to rising gas prices. If crude prices continue to push upward, drivers are likely to see it reflected at the pump.

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.

Across the country, 39 states saw prices increase on average by three cents – a major swing from last week when only nine states posted more expensive gas prices on the week. At $2.28, the national gas price is three cents more than a week ago, which is the largest seven-day increase since before Memorial Day.

“Demand has remained strong as gasoline stocks dip for a fifth consecutive week, driving up prices at the pump,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “For much of the summer, gas prices have been fairly cheap. Those days are in the rearview mirror.”

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gasoline stocks took their largest dip – 4.4 million bbl – for the first time in five weeks, bringing levels down to 231 million bbl. That is a 10 million bbl deficit year-on-year and a factor in prices at the pump increasing.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly increases are: Indiana (+8 cents), Florida (+7 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Michigan (+6 cents), Delaware (+6 cents), New Jersey (+6 cents), Texas (+5 cents), Pennsylvania (+5 cents), Virginia (+5 cents) and Kentucky (+4 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the cheapest gas are: South Carolina ($1.99), Alabama ($2.00), Mississippi ($2.01), Oklahoma ($2.04), Arkansas ($2.04), Tennessee ($2.05), Virginia ($2.07), Missouri ($2.07), Louisiana ($2.08) and Texas ($2.09).

West Coast

Gas prices in five West Coast states dropped on the week: Arizona (-2 cents), Hawaii (-1 cent), Nevada (-1 cent), Alaska (-1 cent) and Washington (-1 cent), while prices in both Oregon and California saw no change. The region continues to lead the country with the most expensive gas prices with a regional average price of $2.72.
After notching the biggest one-week draw in nearly two and a half years, West Coast gasoline stocks are at their lowest level in seven months. Stocks tumbled 1.7 million bbl, bringing the region’s supply level to nearly 27 million bbl, according to the EIA.

The tumble in stocks paired with potentially lower West Coast refinery runs, due to ongoing maintenance this week, means the regional decline in gas prices could be short lived and gas prices have the potenital to increase in the coming days.

Rockies

In the Rockies, gas prices were volatile on the week with three states seeing increases: Colorado (+3 cents), Wyoming (+1 cent) and Montana (+1 cent), and two states seeing decreases: Utah (-2 cents) and Idaho (-1 cent). Utah and Idaho were two of only eight states in the country to see gas prices decline on the week and both continue to hold their rank on the top ten most expensive gas list.

After four weeks of stock draws, the Rockies added 100,000 bbl to regional levels. The increase, albeit it small, was likely a factor in the region’s gas price volatility.

Great Lakes and Central States

Gas prices are more expensive on the week in all Great Lakes and Central States, except for Kansas where prices remained flat. Four states land on the weekly biggest increase list: Indiana (+8 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Michigan (+6 cents) and Kentucky (+4 cents).

Gasoline stocks in the region increased by 1.3 million bbl, bringing regional levels to nearly 55 million bbl. While levels are above the year-ago figure by a more than 1 million bbl, they are down considerably from the 2017 high of 60 million bbl reported in February, according to the EIA.

South and Southeast

The South and Southeast saw gas prices increase on the week with Florida (+7 cents) and Texas (+5 cent) seeing the biggest jumps across the region. Even with prices going up, the region carries the country’s cheapest gas prices: South Carolina ($1.99), Alabama ($2.00), Mississippi ($2.01), Oklahoma ($2.04), Arkansas ($2.04), Tennessee ($2.05), Louisiana ($2.08) and Texas ($2.09).

Despite a 2 million bbl draw in stocks on the week, the South and Southeast house the largest gasoline stockpile of any region in the country with nearly 79 million bbl.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

All states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region saw prices increase on the week, but seven states saw significant jumps: Delaware (+6 cents), New Jersey (+6 cents), Pennsylvania (+5 cents), Virginia (+5 cents), Maine (+4 cents), North Carolina (+4 cents) and New Hampshire (+4 cents). On average, gas prices increased by three cents in the region on the week.

The increase in price is in-line with the nearly 2 million bbl draw in gasoline stock in the region on the week. Stockpiles dropped to 62 million, which is an eight million bbl deficit year-on-year, according to the EIA.

Oil Market Dynamics

The price per barrel of crude oil kicked off the week climbing above $46 for West Texas Intermediate. The positive climb, compared to Friday’s close of $45.77, follows the OPEC announcement this morning that Nigeria will join its production reduction agreement to cut oil output by a combined 1.8 million b/d from January 2017 until the end of March 2018. With today’s announcement at the 4th OPEC & Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee in St. Petersburg, Russia about Nigeria – along with other countries in the agreement pledging stricter adherence to the cuts – OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market may have found a new foothold. However, outliers, including rising exports from OPEC and Libya’s growth in production, could stall OPEC’s efforts. In fact, at today’s meeting Saudi Arabia agreed to cut its exports by 600,000 b/d, suggesting that OPEC has its eyes on the role of exports in thwarting its efforts to increase the global price per barrel of oil.

Growth in U.S. oil production still plays a critical role in suppressing the price of crude per barrel. For example, the latest EIA report for the week ending on July 14 showed that although crude oil inventories declined by 4.4 million bbl, when being compared with the five-year average, the surplus still stands at well over 75 million bbl. The total number of U.S. oil rigs stands at 764, which is one less than last week according to Baker Hughes, Inc., and is up 393 from last year.

On both the inventory and rig count fronts, the weekly decreases only show incremental downward movement, while the overall numbers still remain very high when compared to historical data. Unless these numbers take a more pronounced nosedive, they will still depress crude prices. In the meantime, as the numbers get closer to this season’s steady, strong demand for refined products, such as gasoline, drivers are likely to see prices continue to move up.

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.

At $2.25, the national gas price average is just one cent cheaper than a week ago, five cents less than a month ago and four cents more than a year ago. Nationwide, last week did not see record demand, but was close to all-time high levels and continues to keep pace with summer 2016 levels.  According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gasoline stocks dropped 1.6 million bbl on the week. That figure brings national levels to 235.7 million bbl, which is approximately 4 million bbl below this time last year.

 “As we hit the middle of the summer season, consumers can still fill up for $2.25/gallon or less at 62% of gas stations in the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “If, however, demand keeps pace and stocks continue to draw down at sizable levels, gas prices are likely to increase this month into next. So now is a good time to take a road trip.”

On the week, only nine states saw gas prices increase: Missouri (+5 cents), Georgia (+4 cents), South Carolina (+2 cents), Tennessee (+2 cent), Louisiana (+1 cent), Maine (+1 cent), Washington, D.C. (+1 cent), Alabama (+1 cent) and Mississippi (+1 cent).

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly changes are: Indiana (-10 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Michigan (-8 cents), Missouri (+5 cents), Kentucky (-5 cents), Georgia (+4 cents), Illinois (-3 cents), Utah (-3 cents), Wyoming (-2 cents) and Delaware (-2 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest monthly changes are: Florida (-15 cents), Wyoming (-12 cents), California (-10 cents), Utah (-10 cents), Alaska (-10 cents), South Dakota (-10 cents), Colorado (-9 cents), Indiana (+9 cents), Idaho (-8 cents) and Texas (-8 cents).

West Coast

Only three states in the region saw prices change on the week: California (-2 cents), Arizona (-1 cent) and Nevada (-1 cent). All states in the region, with the exception of Arizona ($2.25), continue to lead the country with the most expensive gas prices: Hawaii ($3.05), California ($2.91), Washington ($2.81), Alaska ($2.78), Oregon ($2.67) and Nevada ($2.63). However, prices in the region are, on average, five cents cheaper than one month ago.

For the first time in four weeks, the West Coast posted a build in gasoline stocks. The 300,000 bbl brings levels to 28.2 million bbl and in line with year ago levels. The build comes despite the fact that the region’s refineries are running below typical summer levels. Refinery run levels could be back to summer time normal with PBF Energy’s Torrance, CA, and Valero’s Benicia, CA, refineries wrapping up planned maintenance this week.

Rockies

Utah and Idaho landed on this week’s leading  lists with the most expensive gas and the biggest changes. The average gas price in Idaho is $2.53, which is two cents less than last week.  At $2.47, Utah’s gas price is three cents cheaper than last week. Gas prices also fell on the week in Wyoming (-2 cents) and Colorado (-1 cent) while Montana remained flat.

The region has seen four straight weeks of gasoline stock levels decline, most recently by 400,000 bbl according to the EIA. Traditionally with stocks declining, prices increase. However, that is not the case for gas prices in the region compared to one month ago: Wyoming (-12 cents), Utah (-10 cents), Colorado (-9 cents), Idaho (-8 cents) and Montana (-6 cents).

Great Lakes and Central States

After seeing gas price increases by double-digits last week, these four states saw prices drop on the week: Indiana (-10 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Michigan (-8 cents) and Kentucky (-5 cents). Missouri was the only state in the region to see prices increase (+5 cents). However, compared to one month ago, only Indiana (+8 cents) and Ohio (+1 cent) are paying more at the pump. On average, the region’s gas price is three cents less than one month ago.

At 53 million bbl, stockpiles remained unchanged for the week and are close to a million bbl higher than a year ago.

South and Southeast

The South and Southeast saw gas prices both slide and increase on the week. Gas prices are more expensive in half a dozen states: Georgia (+4 cents), South Carolina (+2 cents), Alabama (+1 cent), Arkansas (+1 cent), Louisiana (+1 cent) and Mississippi (+1 cent), while prices dropped in Florida (-1 cent), New Mexico (-1 cent) and Texas (-1 cent).

The South and Southeast saw the bulk of the country’s gasoline stock draw, bringing total levels to 81 million bbl – the largest gasoline stockpile of any region in the country.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

States in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast saw moderate changes in gas prices on the week. Only Washington, D.C. and Maine saw prices increase, albeit by one cent, while six states saw prices drop: Delaware (-2 cents), West Virginia (-2 cents), Connecticut (-1 cent), Massachusetts (-1 cent), Maryland (-1 cent) and Rhode Island (-1 cent). The week’s modest price changes are in line with the region’s modest gasoline stock build of 100,000 bbl. Stockpiles in the region measure at 66.2 million, which is nearly 6 million bbl less than this time last year, according to the EIA.

Every state in the region is paying, on average, four cents less at the pump than one month ago. New York has the biggest price difference at six cents less.

Oil Market Dynamics

After last week’s strong finish, West Texas Intermediate appears poised to continue making gains – opening near $47 per barrel today. The market has been trending upward slightly after EIA’s most recent weekly report showed that for the week ending on July 7, crude oil inventories dropped below 500 million bbl for the first time since late January. Moreover, total inventories of crude are just 4.4 million bbl more than last year, showing that the surplus is draining – albeit rather slowly. This news seems to have given the market some hope for the continuing decline of the glut of crude that has been suppressing prices this summer. Market observers will look at this week’s EIA report to see if the trend continues.

At the end of last week, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. added 2 oil rigs, bringing the total number of active rigs to 765. This news appears to have not rattled markets this morning even though an increase shows oil companies are still investing in crude exploration and production, which will continue to add to the glut of crude. With U.S. production still growing and rising output from OPEC countries that are exempt from its production reduction agreement that ends in March 2018, OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the global oil market could be thwarted. An OPEC and non-OPEC committee meets in St. Petersburg, Russia on July 24 to discuss the status of the agreement and potential next steps to deepen its impact. As the rebalance waiting game continues, drivers are likely to continue benefitting at the pump with cheaper summer gas prices.

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.

July 10, 2017- For the first time in five weeks, the national average gas price is increasing. At $2.26, today’s price has been moving higher since July 6 and is three cents more than last week. The moderate price surge follows a week of solid demand growth and a third straight week of gasoline inventory drawdowns across the country.

“Gas prices are still at some of the cheapest prices we’ve seen this year, but consumers should take advantage of them while they can,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “This week, drivers in 31 states are paying more than last week for a gallon of gas. And we expect to see slight price increases throughout July, so now’s the time to hit the road.”

Of the states seeing jumps in gas prices, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky top the charts with double-digit increases. Thirteen states, mostly on the West Coast and in the Rockies, saw prices decrease by pennies. Across the country, consumers can find gas for $2.25 or less at 58 percent of gas stations.

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with biggest weekly increases are: Indiana (+15 cents), Ohio (+15 cents), Michigan (+13 cents), Kentucky (+11 cents), West Virginia (+7 cents), Delaware (+6 cents), Kansas (+5 cents), Oklahoma (+5 cents), Nebraska (+4 cents) and South Carolina (+4 cents).

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($1.94), Alabama ($1.96), Mississippi ($1.98), Arkansas ($2.00), Tennessee ($2.01), Oklahoma ($2.01), Missouri ($2.02), Virginia ($2.03), Louisiana ($2.05) and Texas ($2.05).

West Coast

Gas prices decreased in four states on the West Coast on the week: Alaska saw the biggest drop of five cents, with gas prices in Arizona, California and Nevada only trickling down one penny. Oregon increased one penny at the pump, while Hawaii and Washington saw no change. The West Coast continues to carry the most expensive gas prices in the country: Hawaii ($3.05), California ($2.93), Washington ($2.81), Alaska ($2.78), Oregon ($2.67), Nevada ($2.64) and Arizona ($2.25).

West Coast gasoline production reached 1.7 million b/d – the highest mark since August 2016 – for the week ending June 30, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Meanwhile, stockpiles dropped for the fourth consecutive week, drawing 700,000 bbl. The drawdown brings the region’s supply levels to 28.3 million bbl, up nearly 400,000 bbl compared to last year.

Rockies

All states in the Rockies region, with the exception of Colorado, saw prices decrease on the week: Idaho (-2 cents), Montana (-2 cents), Idaho (-2 cents) and Wyoming (-1 cent). Colorado’s gas price remained flat at $2.25. The downward price trend kicks in as stock levels fall across the region for four consecutive weeks. Today’s stockpiles are 776,000 bbl lower than last year, according to the EIA.

Great Lakes and Central States

All states in the Great Lakes and Central states saw gasoline prices increase on the week, on average by six cents. Five states saw some of the country’s largest price increases this week: Indiana (+15 cents), Ohio (+15 cents), Michigan (+13 cents), Kentucky (+11 cents) and Kansas (+5 cents). As gas prices increase, stockpiles fell in the region by 1.2 million bbl, indicating an increase in regional demand.

Indiana is one of six states in the country enacting a gas tax rate increase that went into effect on July 1, according to the Tax Foundation, which is also contributing to the jump in the state’s gas price.

South and Southeast

Florida was the only state in the South and Southeast to see gas prices increase on the week, albeit by only a penny. Alabama and Arkansas saw no change, while gas prices in all other states decreased by two cents on average across the region – South Carolina and Georgia had the largest drop (-4 cents). The region continues to carry the country’s cheapest gasoline prices: South Carolina ($1.94), Alabama ($1.96), Mississippi ($1.98), Arkansas ($2.00), Tennessee ($2.01), Oklahoma ($2.01), Missouri ($2.02), Louisiana ($2.05) and Texas ($2.05).

Regional refineries continue to run at high utilization rates. In fact, the region was the only in the country to see gasoline inventories build (300,000 bbl) on the week.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Drivers in West Virginia and Delaware are paying considerably more for a gallon of gasoline on the week, seven and six cents more, respectively. Prices also increased in Maryland (+ 3 cents), Pennsylvania (+3 cents), Virginia (+2 cents), North Carolina (+2 cents) New Hampshire (+1 cent) and Maine (+1 cent). Only New York and Vermont saw prices drop by one penny. On the week, gas stockpiles decreased by 2 million bbl and currently sit 5.6 million bbl below levels this time last year, according to the EIA.

In West Virginia and New Jersey, part of the increase stems from new gas taxes that went into effect on July 1. Also, New Jersey implemented the second part of a diesel tax increase passed in 2016.

Oil Market Dynamics

Last week’s market losses continued into Monday morning, with West Texas Intermediate opening just below $44 per barrel. Last week’s EIA report showed encouraging trends for the market, revealing increased gasoline demand and a decrease in crude storage levels. For gasoline, the week ending on June 30 saw demand at 9.705 million b/d – representing a 167,000-b/d increase from the previous week. Crude oil storage levels were down by 6.3 million bbl. Typically, these figures would lead the market to believe that increasing gasoline demand is beginning to drain the glut of crude that has kept prices low for most of the year.

However, two new pieces of information have led the market to believe that the glut of crude oil may be replenishing at a faster rate than expected:

  • Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. added 7 oil rigs last week. The total number of rigs stands at 763, diminishing belief that last week’s decrease in the number of rigs could have signaled a new trend of slowing production levels in the U.S.
  • Over the past two weeks crude oil output from Libya, a member of OPEC but exempt from OPEC’s agreed production cuts through March 2018, has increased to more than 1 million b/d for the first time since 2013. Coupled with Nigeria’s increased output and exemption from the agreed OPEC cuts of 1.8 million b/d, rising production from both countries could thwart OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market. Over the weekend, OPEC officials stated that there will be conversations held with both countries over the next few weeks to discuss their respective production levels. These conversations will be held in advance of OPEC’s July 24 Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, where Libya and Nigeria may be invited to discuss collective efforts to reduce global supply. One possible outcome of that meeting could be a recommendation for Nigeria and Libya to join OPEC’s reduction agreement with non-OPEC countries.

“In the meantime, drivers are beginning to see increased prices at the pump mainly due to increased demand as a result of cheaper prices than usual for the summer driving season,” added Casselano. “Just how far those price increases will extend may depend on the outcome of OPEC’s efforts to further constrain the global supply of crude oil.”

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 Gasoline Price Drops to New Low for 2017

July 3rd, 2017 by Jessica Souto

Jeanette CasselanoAt $2.23, today’s average national gas price is the cheapest the country has seen all year. On the week, gas prices fell in 46 states. Only Illinois, Oklahoma and Washington, D.C. saw prices increase, albeit by one cent each, while Hawaii and Maine remained flat. South Carolina continues to carry the cheapest gas in the country at $1.90. Today, consumers can find gas for $2.00 or less at one out of every four gas stations in the country.

“The combination of tepid demand and increased gasoline and crude output continues to put downward pressure on gas prices,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA Spokesperson. “While holiday gasoline demand is likely to reach new highs, it will probably not be enough to cause a significant increase on the price of gasoline in the coming week.”

The last time gas prices were this cheap for the Independence Day holiday was 2005. That year, the price on July 4 was $2.23, which was the first time gas prices ever rose above the $2.00 mark for the holiday. Today’s price is three cents less than a week ago, 15 cents less than a month ago and four cents less than this day a year ago.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($1.90), Alabama ($1.96), Oklahoma ($1.97), Mississippi ($1.97), Tennessee ($2.00), Arkansas ($2.00), Missouri ($2.00), Virginia ($2.01), Texas ($2.02) and Louisiana ($2.04).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with largest monthly changes are: Ohio (-28 cents), Florida (-23 cents), Michigan (-23 cents), Indiana (-19 cents), Delaware (-19 cents), Kentucky (-18 cents), Texas (-18 cents), Maryland (-16 cents), Iowa (-16 cents) and California (-16 cents).

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast decreased one cent on average on the week yet continue to be the most expensive in the country: Hawaii ($3.05), California ($2.94), Alaska ($2.83), Washington ($2.81), Oregon ($2.66), Nevada ($2.66) and Arizona ($2.26).

For a second week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a decline of 200,000 bbl in gasoline stockpiles in the region. The decline could be the start of a trend over the next month as the region increases exports due to increased demand from Mexico. This follows Mexico’s Salina Cruz refinery shutdown last week on the heels of damage from Tropical Storm Calvin. While the stock drop was sizable, the West Coast is generally an export market. As for imports in the region, those dropped to their lowest mark since early April.

Rockies

While all states in the Rockies region saw prices drop on the week, two states landed on the top 10 states with the largest weekly change list: Wyoming (-4 cents) and Colorado (-3 cents). On average, the price for gasoline in the region is $2.39. Idaho ($2.57) and Utah ($2.53) lead the five-state region with the most expensive gasoline price.

Great Lakes and Central States
All states in the Great Lakes and Central states, except Illinois, saw gasoline prices drop on average by three cents on the week. Three states saw of some of the country’s largest price declines this week: Ohio (-8 cents), Michigan (-7 cents) and Kentucky (-4 cents). Meanwhile, at $2.29/gallon, Illinois (+3 cents) was one of only three states nationally to see prices increase.

Gasoline production in the region rose for a third consecutive week to the highest in a year, according to the EIA. At the same time, stockpiles declined by 600,000 bbl to register at slightly north of 54 million bbl, which is 1.5 million higher than levels a year ago.

South and Southeast

The South and Southeast carry the country’s cheapest gasoline prices. The average price is $2.03 in the region. On the week, two states landed on the top 10 list for largest prices drops in the country: Florida (-5 cents) and Texas (-4 cents), while the region saw gasoline prices drop by three cents on average. According to the EIA, gasoline stocks drew down by 500,000 bbl.
Regional refineries continue to run at high utilization rates, raising the need to push barrels to all markets, including outside of the U.S.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

For a consecutive week, gasoline prices declined in 14 Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states on average by two cents on the week. Washington, D.C. was the outlier, seeing a one-cent gas price increase on the week. However, compared to one month ago, gas prices are on average 12 cents cheaper in the region. Consumers are seeing the greatest benefits month-over-month in Delaware (-19 cents), Maryland (-16 cents), Pennsylvania (-15 cents), Virginia (-14 cents) and North Carolina (-13 cents).
Gasoline stockpiles were on an upward swing on the week, rising by 600,000 bbl and this was the only region in the country to see stocks increase. The stock increase, paired with lackluster demand, contributed to the gasoline prices drop.

Oil Market Dynamics

After making gains toward the end of the week, West Texas Intermediate continues to float above $46 per barrel on Monday morning. The market has been steadily climbing after EIA data showed that domestic oil production lowered by about 100,000 b/d for the week ending on June 23. Moreover, last week Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that for the first time in 24 weeks, the U.S. lost two oil rigs – bringing the total rig count to 756. While the decline might signal that U.S. production may be headed for a new trend, which could lead to tightening between supply of oil and demand for refined products, the U.S. oil rig count is still up by 415 when compared to the count last year at this time. This significant number of rigs means that the market still has a long way to go before decreased production in the U.S. has a major impact on the price per barrel of crude. In the meantime, drivers will continue to benefit from high crude production rates that have contributed to record refinery output rates this year.

Additionally, in EIA’s report for the week ending June 23, it noted that gasoline demand dropped by 278,000 b/d and refinery output grew by 200,000 b/d. The drop in demand is unlikely to hold for the next reporting period given the Independence Day holiday weekend. In fact, in light of the record-breaking Memorial Day weekend demand for gasoline, demand is likely to surge to new heights in the next EIA report as AAA forecasted drivers are expected to hit the road in record numbers for the holiday.
Most market watchers will await EIA’s report this week to see if output rates begin to reverse course, which could increase prices later on during the summer. For now, refinery rates continue to exceed demand for gasoline, which is helping drivers save at the pump.
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.

Jeanette CasselanoDespite a surge in gasoline demand on the week, the national average price for gasoline is nearing an all-time low for the year at $2.26/gallon. February of this year was the last time the price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was this low nationally.

On the week, gas prices fell in all but three states (Indiana, Ohio and Michigan) while all regions, except the Southeast, saw gasoline inventories drop. This is good news for people planning to travel for the Independence Day holiday. AAA forecasts 37.5 million American will drive to their holiday destination, which potentially can mean a small increase in holiday weekend gas prices. Today, consumers can find gas for $2.24 or less at 60 percent of gas stations in the country.

The price of gas has fallen for 24 consecutive days. Today’s national average is three cents cheaper than a week ago and eleven cents cheaper than a month ago. Heading into Independence Day weekend, gasoline is four cents less than a year ago. Record refinery rates, high gasoline and crude inventory, and less-than-favorable demand this year are among the contributing factors causing the downward price trend.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest yearly changes: Hawaii (+26 cents), Illinois (-22 cents), New Jersey (+19 cents), Ohio (-18 cents), Utah (+18 cents), Alaska (+17 cents), Wisconsin (-16 cents), Washington (+16 cents), Oklahoma (-15 cents) and Oregon (+14 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the cheapest gas this week include: South Carolina ($1.93), Oklahoma ($1.95), Alabama ($1.99), Mississippi ($2.00), Missouri ($2.01), Tennessee ($2.02), Arkansas ($2.02), Virginia ($2.03), Texas ($2.06) and Kansas ($2.07).

West Coast

With steady and strong gasoline demand, gas prices on the West Coast continue to be the most expensive in the country: Hawaii ($3.05), California ($2.96), Alaska ($2.84), Washington ($2.81), Nevada ($2.68), Oregon ($2.67) and Arizona ($2.28).

Even with a surge in gasoline imports on the week, gasoline stocks did not build in the region and all states saw a decrease in gasoline prices. Overall, supplies remain strong for the summer driving season in the region with stockpile levels up by half a million bbl compared to the same week last year. However, there is concern that maintenance at PBF Energy’s Torrance Refinery and Tesoro’s Golden Eagle refinery in Martinez, Calif., could crimp supply levels in the near future.

Rockies

Idaho ($2.60) and Utah ($2.55) hold their spots as states with the most expensive gasoline price. Despite the region running on a gasoline supply deficit (compared to this week last year), all states saw prices decrease, which is in-line with the national trend, on the week: Wyoming (-4 cents), Colorado (-4 cents), Montana (-2 cents), Idaho (-1 cent) and Utah (-1 cent).

Great Lakes and Central States

One of the most volatile regions as of late, the Great Lakes and Central States saw some stability on the week. Ten (10) states saw prices decrease on average by 2 cents. Indiana (-8 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Missouri (-6 cents) and South Dakota (-5 cents) all earned spots on the states with the biggest decrease list on the week. Meanwhile, three states saw the only increases in the country: Indiana (+7 cents), Ohio (+4 cents) and Michigan (+4 cents).

For the first time in three weeks, gasoline inventory declined. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), inventory sits at nearly 55 million bbl, similar to this time last year inventory levels.

South and Southeast

With a modest build of 1.5 million bbl in gasoline inventory, the South and Southeast region was the only to see a jump in the country on the week. As stocks continue to increase in the region, gas prices continue to fall. Three states carry gas prices under $2/gallon: South Carolina ($1.93), Oklahoma ($1.95) and Alabama ($1.99). Florida, saw the biggest decrease in gas prices in the region with a seven cent drop and earned a spot on the states with the biggest decrease list this week along with Texas (-5 cents) and Georgia (-4 cents).

Gasoline stocks in the region are healthy, sitting at 3.3 million bbl ahead of this time last year. The surplus is typical for the region this year.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices have declined in every Mid-Atlantic and Northeast state, on average by three cents on the week, and in-line with the national trend. However, the price drop is an outlier given the region made the country’s largest gasoline inventory draw on the week (1.4 million bbl). With the draw, the region is sitting with gasoline inventories below a year ago levels. The draw indicates a surge in demand, which if continues could shoot gas prices on an upward trend in the week. Washington, D.C. ($2.46) and Pennsylvania ($2.45) lead the region with the most expensive gas. 

Oil Market Dynamics

On Monday morning, the price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil opened at just above $43. The opening price follows a turbulent week for the market, where prices moved to their lowest level in 10 months. Last week’s report from the EIA showed that demand for crude oil remains robust as gross inputs at U.S. refineries have topped 17 million b/d in each of the past nine weeks. However, crude oil inventories remain high, with current storage levels near 500 million bbl, which is approximately 9 million bbl ahead of last year. Moreover, when looking at 5-year crude oil storage trends, the surplus is even more eye-opening: roughly 82 million more barrels are in storage now than five years ago. Last week, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. oil rig count grew by 11 last week, landing at 758 rigs – a three year high. The data points toward the rising tide of crude oil, which has contributed to prices dropping at the pump for drivers, and has helped to push the price per barrel down. The cheaper price per barrel has contributed to refineries producing record amounts of gasoline for most of the year.

Last week, the EIA noted that U.S. refinery capacity has increased by 659,000 barrels per day since mid-August 2015, which is the equivalent of building a new refinery in the U.S.  Additionally, EIA highlighted that recorded weekly refinery gasoline output rates have hit their 24 highest points since the summer of 2015. This growing trend means that refineries are producing a record amount of gasoline that has easily met increasing demand from drivers and has left gasoline stockpiles at high levels. Meaning, the national gas price average will likely continue to drop until demand can surge to chip away at the surplus. However, Independence Day Weekend has the possibility to be an outlier.

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.

 

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