Posts Tagged ‘AAA Fuel’

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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Jeanette CasselanoAt 56 percent of gas stations nationwide, consumers can find gas for less than $2.24, which is below today’s national average gasoline price of $2.29/gallon. Across the country, gas prices dropped in all but four states on the week. Prices in South Carolina have fallen below $2/gallon, while California is on the cusp of dropping below $3/gallon. The national average gas price has dropped for 17 consecutive days making today’s price five cents cheaper than both one week and one year ago, and six cents less than one month ago.

While gasoline demand saw new heights for Memorial Day, it has dropped for the first half of June. Meanwhile, high oil production rates in the U.S., coupled with news from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that Libya and Nigeria increased output last month, could lead to gas prices across the nation continuing to fall through the end of June.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest monthly declines: Ohio (-17 cents), Indiana (-16 cents), Oklahoma (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents), North Dakota (-8 cents), Pennsylvania (-8 cents), South Carolina (-7 cents), New Mexico (-7 cents) and Texas (-7 cents).

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the cheapest gas this week include South Carolina ($1.97), Oklahoma ($1.99), Alabama ($2.03), Mississippi ($2.04), Tennessee ($2.05), Arkansas ($2.06), Missouri ($2.07), Virginia ($2.07), Louisiana ($2.10) and Kansas ($2.11).

West Coast

Still the most expensive gas markets in the country, prices in this region dropped by an average of two cents in every state except Hawaii. That state saw a two cent increase and was one of only two states to see an increase on the week (the other being Utah). Today’s West Coast prices are: Hawaii ($3.06), California ($3.01), Alaska ($2.87), Washington ($2.84) Nevada ($2.70), Oregon ($2.68) and Arizona ($2.29).

Rebounding from the lowest mark of the year last week, gasoline inventories added a strong 1.5 million bbl according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gasoline imports were a major player in the inventory growth, picking up 11,000 b/d. If inventory continue to gain in the region without an increase in demand, prices could continue to drop.

Rockies

Idaho and Utah lead the region with the highest gas prices, ($2.61) and ($2.57) respectively, while also earning a spot on this week’s top 10 states with the most expensive gasoline. Gas prices are volatile the in region, increasing in Utah (+4 cents), staying flat in Idaho, and dropping in Colorado (-3 cents), Montana (-1 cent) and Wyoming (-1 cent) on the week. The fluctuation of gas prices in the region has been an ongoing trend since May.

Great Lakes and Central States

As gasoline inventory rises for a second straight week, the region is seeing gas prices continue to drop compared to one month and one year ago.  According to the EIA, inventory in the region sits just north of 55 million bbl, which is 4 million bbl more than this time last year.

The region continues to reap the benefit of seeing significantly cheaper gas in most states: Ohio (-38 cents), Indiana (-33 cents), Michigan (-28 cents), Illinois (-24 cents), Wisconsin (-18 cents) Kentucky (-16 cents) and Iowa (-9 cents). The remaining states in the region – Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska and South Dakota – are seeing a moderate drop in gas prices compared to last year, on average four cents year over year. Growing inventory and mediocre demand will allow consumer to continue to reap the benefit of cheap gas prices. 

South and Southeast

The region saw an unexpected 2.4 million bbl build in gasoline inventory, the largest jump on the week in the country by far. As stocks jump, the region’s gas prices drop by an average of four cents. South Carolina ($1.97) became the first state to see its average price at the pump move below $2/gallon. Other states saw similar decreases: Oklahoma ($1.99), Alabama ($2.03), Mississippi ($2.04), Tennessee ($2.05), Arkansas ($2.06) and Louisiana ($2.10).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Prices at the pump dropped in every state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, on average by 4 cents on the week; however, gas prices vary significantly, by a range of 43 cents, from state to state: Pennsylvania ($2.50), Washington, D.C. ($2.50),  New York ($2.46), Connecticut ($2.46), Vermont ($2.36), New Jersey ($2.33), Rhode Island ($2.32), West Virginia ($2.32), Massachusetts ($2.31), Maine ($2.28), Maryland ($2.27), New Hampshire ($2.24), Delaware ($2.22) North Carolina ($2.15) and Virginia ($2.07). A variety of factors contributes to the varying gasoline price difference, including demand and state gasoline taxes.

Oil Market Dynamics

Still rebounding from last week’s losses, the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude opened at just under $45 today. Last week, reports from IEA and OPEC revealed that global crude inventories are still growing. Adding to the oversupply, Libya and Nigeria, which are exempt from OPEC’s production cuts agreement, improved their output by 178,000 and 174,000 b/d, respectively, according to OPEC’s June report. Libyan production is now close to 800,000 b/d – the highest it has been since 2014 – while Nigeria could contribute an additional 200,000 b/d in the near future. Moreover, IEA’s monthly report stated that it expects non-OPEC production for 2017 to grow by 700,000 b/d, with the U.S. leading the way. All of this news left market watchers wondering what steps are needed to reduce supply in the market. Until global crude inventories decline, the price per barrel will likely remain below $50.

Last week, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the number of oil rigs has grown in the U.S. for another record-breaking week. After 22 weeks of continued growth, the U.S. now has 747 active oil rigs. Sustained growth in the production sector will lead to more oil in the pipeline for gasoline and other distillates production by refineries. Even as summer gasoline demand grew in previous weeks, it wasn’t a match for the rising tide of crude. It may be only a matter of time before market participants grow impatient with weak rebalancing efforts, leading them to undertake more drastic measures to bring the global supply of oil closer to the demand for refined products. Until then, drivers stand to benefit from the imbalance between oil production and gasoline refinery rates, which continues to push down the price of gas.

 

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.

Family-friendly places in Orlando top the experts’ lists

Julie HallORLANDO, Fla. (June 13, 2017) – A bustling summer travel season is in full swing and AAA’s team of anonymous inspectors have been busy conducting on-site evaluations of nearly 59,000 hotels and restaurants across North America. To give travelers a taste of the many great places to stay and dine this summer, they’ve selected a few of their favorites in the top 10 North American destinations, based on AAA Travel bookings for trips scheduled for June 1 through August 15, 2017.

Additional Resources

 
1. Orlando, Florida

Inspector 591’s Favorite Hotel: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside (Three Diamond)

Recreational activities include taking a stroll along the river or going on a surrey bike ride, a fishing excursion or horse-drawn carriage ride. Inspector 591 shares, “Opportunities for both relaxation and fun activities are plentiful.”

Inspector 591’s Favorite Restaurant: The BOATHOUSE Waterfront Dining (Three Diamond)
Beautifully restored boats from the 1940s to 1960s are creatively placed around the restaurant. The menu is just as interesting with options like Prince Edward Island steamed mussels and Atlantic swordfish.

 

2. Vancouver, Canada

Inspector 450’s Favorite Hotel: Blue Horizon Hotel (Three Diamond)
These spacious suites have a unique double bank of windows and balconies. Higher floors offer incredible views of the city, English Bay or nearby mountains, depending on room location.

Inspector 450’s Favorite Restaurant: Bistro Absinthe (Three Diamond)
This tiny spot has a bohemian feel with vintage chandeliers, absinthe posters and exposed ceilings. Recipes are classic with a simple clarity of flavor and appealing display. Inspector 450 says, “For what you get, the price is right: high quality, attractively presented, delicious food and the portion size is not too bad either!”

 

3. Cancun, Mexico

Inspector 601’s Favorite Hotel: Hyatt Ziva Cancun (Four Diamond)
Newly renovated, this hotel sits between two great swimming beaches and is walkable to local nightlife and shopping. Inspector 601 exclaims, “This is where I’m bringing my family! A spa for us old folks, a brewpub for Gen X and a sweet shop for the grandkids.”

Inspector 601’s Favorite Restaurant: La Habichuela Sunset (Three Diamond)
Sporting a dramatic Mayan-themed décor, this restaurant prepares the time-honored recipes of the owners and hosts, the Pezzotti family, including seafood ceviche, chilled avocado soup and chicken mole.

 

4.Seattle, Washington

Inspector 31’s Favorite Hotel: Fairmont Olympic Hotel (Four Diamond)
A historic icon, the Italian Renaissance-style hotel is in the heart of the city. It reflects the grandeur of the past, but with modern conveniences.

Inspector 31’s Favorite Restaurant: Altura (Four Diamond)
The prix fixe menu features only the freshest seasonal ingredients in unique preparations, including foie gras torchon with rhubarb and strawberries, squid ink tagliatelle and king salmon with fried ramps. Inspector 31 raves, “I love how the chef takes the freshest ingredients available and, by creatively combining flavors, fashions the most exotic dishes.”

 

5. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Inspector 450’s Favorite Hotel: Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol (Four Diamond)
This gorgeous, all-inclusive resort has a historical feel with breathtaking sea views. All units have full living room areas and beautiful bathrooms with separate showers and tubs. Inspector 450 declares, “If I had just one last place to go, this might be it. Fantastic food, beautiful rooms and wonderful service are just the tip of the iceberg.”

Inspector 450’s Favorite Restaurant: Api Beach Restaurant (Two Diamond)
Featuring views of a beautiful pool and a sandy beach, this restaurant features dishes with a Latin flair, including ceviche, arepa and empanadas.

 

6. Honolulu, Hawaii

Inspector 569’s Favorite Hotel: Hokulani Waikiki by Hilton Grand Vacations Club (Three Diamond)
In the heart of Waikiki, this property is surrounded by many restaurants and shops. The rooftop pool offers spectacular views of the city, the ocean and Diamond Head, as well as complimentary cabanas.

Inspector 569’s Favorite Restaurant: Chef Mavro (Five Diamond)
Elegant island décor immerses diners in a soft, mellow glow. Imaginative and creative dishes delight with flexible four- and six-course menus as well as the grand tasting menu, all with optional wine pairings. Inspector 569 shares, “Dining here is always a treat for me as this chef can make something as basic as creamed corn make your eyes roll to the back of your head!”

 

7. Anaheim, California

Inspector 603’s Favorite Hotel: Disneyland Hotel (Four Diamond)
A surprise awaits guests on arrival, as an intricately carved Disney castle comes to life with lights and music on guestroom headboards. Children’s wishes will come true when they run into the many Disney characters around the property.

Inspector 603’s Favorite Restaurant: Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen (Two Diamond)
New Orleans-style food, décor and entertainment are combined to provide a whimsical experience. This is almost as good as visiting the original “Big Easy!” Inspector 603 proclaims, “I cannot leave without having one of their delicious Beignets!”

 

8. Anchorage, Alaska 

Inspector 334’s Favorite Hotel: Crowne Plaza Anchorage Midtown (Three Diamond)
The spacious lobby at this hotel is beautiful. Guestroom and bathroom highlights include luxurious bedding, multiple outlets and USB ports and high-end bath products. Inspector 334 raves, “After a long day, I am overjoyed to find a sleep kit on my bed with pillow mist, resting cream and foot balm; the lighted makeup mirror is a bonus.”

Inspector 334’s Favorite Restaurant: Kincaid Grill (Three Diamond)
It’s no surprise that visitors flock to this small restaurant featuring inviting décor and an innovative menu that changes with the seasons. This is one of the finest dining experiences in the city.

 

9. Las Vegas, Nevada

Inspector 39’s Favorite Hotel: ARIA Sky Suites (Five Diamond)
The pampering begins with a complimentary limo ride from the airport to a private drive where guests are greeted by name. Suites on the 25th floor and up give each room panoramic views of the bustling city of lights.

Inspector 39’s Favorite Restaurant: Joel Robuchon (Five Diamond)
This fine-dining gem is one of the city’s most highly touted restaurants. Chef Joel Robuchon’s sumptuous menu caters to the sophisticated palate while flawless service prevails in the intimate and refined dining room. Inspector 39 proclaims, “This is the most spectacular dining experience I’ve ever had. Every course is a piece of art and tastes as amazing as it looks.”

 

10. Montego Bay, Jamaica

 Inspector 450’s Favorite Hotel: IBEROSTAR Rose Hall Suites (Four Diamond)
This upscale, all-inclusive resort has a large modern lobby and lounge. The grounds are lovely and feature a lazy river, kid-oriented water park and fountains.

Inspector 450’s Favorite Restaurant: MVP Smokehouse (One Diamond)
This rustic open-air eatery offers quite a bit more than your typical Jamaican restaurant. Renowned for its smoked jerk chicken and pork, the restaurant’s signature sauce is sold by the bottle. Inspector 450 shares, “Not only is this place loaded with finger-licking value, it’s smoking good too!”

For more information to plan your summer getaway, visit AAA.com/DiamondSummer.

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.

 

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Jeanette CasselanoAt $2.34, the national gas price is cheaper today than it was on this day one year ago. The same trend rings true at the pump in 27 states in the southeast and Midwest – many seeing double-digit price drops. More so, in 46 states consumers are paying, on average, three cents less at the pump than a week ago.

The national price drop is due to an unexpected buildup of crude oil last week combined with ongoing high gasoline production runs, an increase in gasoline stocks and a drop in gasoline demand. .  If refiners continue to produce record amounts of gasoline and oversupply the market, consumers will reap the benefit and see slight fluctuations in gasoline prices (+/- a few cents) in coming weeks. However, it is not likely that gas prices will drop much lower than this week’s prices.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest yearly declines Ohio (-46 cents), Indiana (-41 cents), Michigan (-35 cents), Illinois (-33 cents), Kentucky (-21 cents), Wisconsin (-19 cents), Oklahoma (-11 cents), Alabama (-10 cents), Tennessee (-10 cents) and West Virginia (-9 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the cheapest gas this week include South Carolina ($2.01), Oklahoma ($2.05), Alabama ($2.06), Mississippi ($2.07), Tennessee ($2.08), Arkansas ($2.09) Virginia ($2.12), Missouri ($2.13), Louisiana ($2.14) and Kansas ($2.15).

West Coast

Lately the most expensive gas markets in the country, prices in this region dropped  as much as four cents, with six states paying less for a gallon of gas on the week:  California (-4 cents), Nevada (-2 cents) Oregon (-2 cents), Washington (-2 cent), Hawaii (-1 cent) and Alaska (-1 cent). Gas prices in Arizona remained flat. The regional drop is likely due to easing supply concerns with the operational return of Valero’s Benicia, CA, refinery and the arrival of a U.K. gasoline cargo load in Los Angeles last Friday. However, with West Coast gasoline inventories registering at new low of 28 million barrels (bbl), this week’s supply and demand levels could be an indicator for what consumers will pay for a gallon of gasoline in the region this summer.

Next month, California drivers may see a minor increase at the pump as the state raises its excise tax rate for gasoline by 1.9 cents/gal to 29.7 cents/gal.  The price hike is scheduled for November 1, but retailers can pass on this extra cost to consumers as early as July 1, when the excise tax takes effect, according to the California State Board of Equalization (CSBE).

Rockies

Gas prices are slightly volatile in the region with prices dropping as much as two cents in Colorado and increasing by one cent in Idaho. Montana, Wyoming and Utah remained stable on the week. However, comparing today’s gas prices to one year ago, consumers in the Rockies are paying a lot more at the pump: Idaho (+13 cents), Utah (+12 cents), Montana (+7 cents), Wyoming (+7 cents) and Colorado (+6 cents). As reported last week, fluctuation is likely due to demand increasing in the region ahead of the summer travel season, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Great Lakes and Central States

Following four straight weeks of draws, gasoline inventory is on the rise in the Great Lakes and Central States. According to the EIA, inventory in the region had its biggest one-week increase since the end of January. Sitting at nearly 55 million bbl, inventory is almost 2 million bbl higher than this time last year.

The high inventory is leading to dropping gas prices both on the week and compared to one year ago today. This week, all states are seeing on average a four-cent decrease. Compared to one year ago, six states are seeing significantly cheaper gas: Ohio (-46 cents), Indiana (-41 cents), Michigan (-35 cents), Illinois (-33 cents), Kentucky (-21 cents) and Wisconsin (-19 cents). As inventory grows and demand remains inconsistent, the cheaper gas prices are likely to hold throughout summer in the region.

South and Southeast

The country’s cheapest gas prices continue to be in the south and southeast: South Carolina ($2.01), Oklahoma ($2.05), Alabama ($2.06), Mississippi ($2.07), Tennessee ($2.08), Arkansas ($2.09) and Louisiana ($2.14). In the region, all states saw prices decline at the pump with Florida and Texas dropping the most by four cents. According to the EIA, gasoline inventory increased to nearly 81 million bbl.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast – NJ up 22

Prices at the pump dropped in every state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast except Washington, D.C. where prices were flat. The states seeing the biggest weekly declines include Delaware (-6 cents), Maryland (-5 cents) and Pennsylvania (-4 cents). The EIA reports an 800,000-gasoline inventory build last week, bringing the total to nearly 70 million bbl. The build puts the region’s gasoline inventory above year-ago levels. And overall, compared to a year ago, gas prices are mostly reminiscent of last summer except in New Jersey, where prices are 22 cents more, and in West Virginia and Virginia where prices have fallen nine and eight cents respectively. With comparable gas prices to last summer, consumers may feel encouraged to drive more ultimately leading to an increase in demand, which could help dip into the supply levels.

Oil Market Dynamics

The oil market appears to be off to a good start this week, with the price per barrel above $46. The increase comes after last week’s report from the EIA showed surprising numbers in gasoline demand and crude inventories. After setting a record for use during the run-up to Memorial Day weekend, demand tumbled down by approximately 505,000 barrels per day. Market watchers expected to see a post-Memorial Day slump; however, the market was surprised by a strong build in crude inventories – a large increase of 3.3 million barrels. This figure re-emphasized that the market continues to see a substantial glut in crude inventories, resulting in high production rates putting downward pressure on prices per barrel.

At the end of last week, Baker Hughes, Inc. released its latest rig count report, revealing eight oil rigs had been added for the week. The U.S. now has 741 active oil rigs, an impressive number considering global concerns about the oversupply of crude in the market causing prices to trend downward. As expected, the continued growth puts more oil in the pipeline for gasoline production. With refineries still processing a lot of gasoline – measured in EIA’s recent report at over 17.5 million barrels per day – and a drop in demand, gasoline stocks around the country are continuing to grow. Price drops at the pump reflect this trend, and as the summer driving season zooms ahead, U.S. drivers may see drops continue into July and August.

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.

AAA Spills the Truth on Oil Changes

June 6th, 2017 by AAA

ErinStepp

Synthetic oil performs nearly 50 percent better than conventional oil in AAA’s tests

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 6, 2017) – Making an informed choice about oil changes just got easier, thanks to new research on the quality of engine oil. AAA found that synthetic oil outperformed conventional oil by an average of nearly 50 percent in its independent evaluation, offering vehicles significantly better engine protection for only $5 more per month when following a factory-recommended oil change schedule. To protect vehicle engines, particularly those that operate in extreme conditions, AAA urges drivers to consider a switch to synthetic oil at their next oil change service.

Additional Resources

 “Oil protects critical engine components from damage and AAA found that synthetic engine oils performed an average of 47 percent better than conventional oils in a variety of industry-standard tests,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “With its superior resistance to deterioration, AAA’s findings indicate that synthetic oil is particularly beneficial to newer vehicles with turbo-charged engines and for vehicles that frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic, tow heavy loads or operate in extreme hot or cold conditions.”

While only a limited number of vehicles specifically require synthetic oil, all vehicles can benefit from using synthetic oil. At an oil change service, many drivers are offered a choice between conventional or synthetic oil. However, in a companion AAA nationwide survey of U.S. drivers, 44 percent are either unsure (27 percent) or do not believe (17 percent) that the more expensive synthetic oil is better for a vehicle’s engine. Reasons cited for regularly choosing the cheaper, conventional oil include feeling that synthetic oil is too expensive, offers no benefit, that the upgrade to synthetic oil is an unnecessary up-sell by a repair facility, or they are simply not offered the choice.

Switching from a conventional oil to a synthetic oil will cost the average driver $64 more per year, or an extra $5.33 per month. A survey of AAA’s Approved Auto Repair facilities reveals that the average cost of a conventional oil change is $38, while a synthetic oil change is $70. For those that change their vehicle’s oil themselves, the average cost of 5 quarts of conventional oil is approximately $28, while synthetic oil is $45. AAA’s survey also shows that vast majority (83 percent) of service professionals select synthetic oil for their personal vehicles.

“It’s understandable that drivers may be skeptical of any service that is nearly twice the cost of the alternative,” continued Nielsen. “While a manufacturer-approved conventional oil will not harm a vehicle’s engine, the extra $30 per oil change could actually save money in the long run by protecting critical engine components over time.”

The hesitation to select a synthetic oil may stem from American distrust in repair facilities. Another recent AAA survey found that two-thirds of U.S. drivers do not trust repair facilities, with most citing concern over the recommendation of unnecessary services. Those looking for a trusted repair facility are urged to consider one that meets AAA’s high standards, including, technician certifications, ongoing training, financial stability, facility cleanliness, insurance requirements, rigorous inspections and customer satisfaction through the AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) program. To locate a shop in your area, visit AAA.com/AutoRepair.

AAA’s engine oil research focused on eight industry-standard ASTM International (a global standards organization) tests to evaluate the quality of both synthetic and conventional engine oils in terms of shear stability, deposit formation, volatility, cold-temperature pumpability, oxidation resistance and oxidation-induced rheological changes. At the time of testing, all tested oils were licensed by the American Petroleum Institute and advertised to meet the International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee’s GF-5 specifications. When selecting an oil, it is critical to reference the vehicle’s owner’s manual to ensure that the oil meets the exact specifications for that particular engine.

AAA’s full research report, fact sheet and additional supporting materials can be found at NewsRoom.AAA.com.

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, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Jeanette CasselanoNationally, the price of a gallon of gasoline increased one cent to $2.38 from last week; however, the price at the pump in 30 states has fallen as much as four cents. The moderate decline in gasoline prices is typical following a long holiday weekend. Historically, the first three weeks of June generally can indicate whether consumers will sustain gasoline demand into summer months. Today’s national average is two cents more than both a month and year ago.

 

Quick Stats

  • American drivers used a record 413 million gallons/day of gas during the week ending on May 26.
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the biggest changes in the last week include Indiana (+7 cents), Michigan (+7 cents), Florida (+6 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Utah (+4 cents), Illinois (-4 cents), Delaware (-3 cents), Missouri (-3 cents), Oklahoma (-3 cents) and Maryland (-3 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the cheapest gas this week include South Carolina ($2.03), Alabama ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.09), Mississippi ($2.09), Tennessee ($2.11), Arkansas ($2.12), Missouri ($2.12), Virginia ($2.15), Louisiana ($2.16) and Kansas ($2.19).

West Coast

Drivers on the West Coast saw moderate declines on the week, except in Arizona where prices increased a penny. Six states in the region earned a spot on the top 10 weekly list of the most expensive markets: California ($3.09), Hawaii ($3.05), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.87), Nevada ($2.74) and Oregon ($2.72).

Low combinations of gasoline storage and production levels are generating concern in the region. At 28.2 million bbl, gasoline storage levels are their lowest for the year and reflect a deficit of 1.3 million compared to 2016. In Northern California, planned and unplanned refinery maintenance has negatively affected gasoline production. In May, imports helped the West Coast meet supply demands, but prices could continue to increase in the region until refiners resume normal operations.     

Rockies

Trending higher, gas prices increased in Utah (+4 cents), Idaho (+2 cents) and Wyoming (+2 cents). Holding steady on the top 10 list of most expensive gas markets, Idaho’s average gas price is $2.61. With a four cent gasoline price increase, Utah earned a spot again on the top 10 list of largest weekly increases. Prices increased in Colorado (+1 cent) and remained flat in Montana. Fluctuation is likely due to demand increasing in the region ahead of the summer travel season, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Great Lakes and Central States

Gasoline supply and demand in the Great Lakes and Central States were volatile in May, sending gasoline prices on a roller coaster ride throughout the month. The trend continues into June. While the region saw a moderate level of gasoline inventory draws last week, it appears demand is not consistent and this is causing fluctuation across the region.

In the region, three states are seeing gas prices increase as much as seven cents on the week: Indiana (+7 cents), Michigan (+7 cents) and Ohio (+6 cents). A week ago, these three states were seeing prices drop seven to six cents. However, compared to one month ago, the trio of states are paying 11 to 13 cents more. Meanwhile, gas prices in eight states decreased as much as four cents, including Illinois (-4 cents), Missouri (-3 cents), Nebraska (-2 cents), Minnesota (-2 cents), and Kansas (-2 cents).

South and Southeast

In the South and Southeast, gasoline prices are trending lower for the majority of the region with decreases of one to three cents on the week. Prices only increased in Florida (+6 cents), Louisiana (+2 cents) and Texas (+1 cent). This was the only region to see an increase in gasoline storage levels, though moderately, and decrease in crude oil inventory in the country.  

Drivers in Nashville and central Tennessee are likely to see gas prices drop this summer, potentially by as much as six cents a gallon. The drop is due to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) giving the green light for gasoline retailers to switch over to a cheaper-to-produce, higher RVP gasoline for summer months.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Across the region, every state is seeing prices at the pump drop as much as three cents, except in Maine, Vermont, New York and Connecticut where prices remained flat. Pennsylvania ($2.57) and Washington, D.C. ($2.53) earned a spot on the top 10 weekly list of the most expensive markets, while Virginia ($2.15) joins the top 10 weekly least expensive markets this week.

Oil Market Dynamics

For the second week in a row, the price per barrel of crude opened at less than $50. The opening price shows that the market is expressing serious skepticism about OPEC’s ability to rebalance global supply through its production cuts, which will now last through March 2018. Market watchers are also looking at long-awaited gasoline demand in the US to see if it will grow enough to eat away at ballooning inventories.

The EIA report for the week ending on May 26th showed some encouraging trends related to gasoline demand. It came in at a record of 9.822 million barrels per day (b/d) – 7,000 b/d ahead of the previous record from last June. However, the report also showed that week’s gasoline output from refineries topped 10 million b/d, for the fourth week in a row, and the level was the highest since early November of last year. Strong refinery output rates show that instead of diminishing existing stocks of gasoline to meet demand, refineries are continuing to replenish the gasoline they have in storage with newly produced gasoline. The result is that storage levels still remain high, so refineries can pull stocks from storage to meet higher driver demand without needing more oil to produce higher levels of gasoline.

Moreover, oil production continues to grow in the US. Baker Hughes, Inc. reported in its report last week that oil rigs grew by 11, landing at 733. This record-breaking oil exploration in the US will continue to increase crude inventories. Only time will tell if growing demand for refined products, like gasoline, will begin to chip away at global crude inventories, increasing prices per barrel – which could lead drivers to pay more 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 CasselanoToday’s national average is $2.37 – one cent more than a week ago, two cents more than a month ago and five cents more than a year ago. Rising gasoline demand has resulted in dropping gasoline inventories across the country, according to the latest Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report. Last week, U.S. demand for gasoline jumped 252,000 b/d to 9.7 million b/d, the highest level this year, while gasoline inventories dropped by 800,000 barrels (bbl). If the trend continues, consumers can expect to see summer gasoline prices potentially return to the high prices seen in April, when the national average for a gallon of gasoline was $2.42.

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the biggest changes in the last week include: Ohio (-7 cents), Utah (+6 cents), Indiana (-6 cents), Delaware (+6 cents), Michigan (-6 cents), Missouri (+5 cents), Kansas (+4 cents), Iowa (+4 cents), Maryland (+4 cents) and Colorado (+4 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the most expensive gas include: California ($3.10), Hawaii ($3.07), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.87), Nevada ($2.74), Oregon ($2.73), Idaho ($2.59), Pennsylvania ($2.58), Washington, D.C. ($2.55) and Connecticut ($2.51).
  • Gasoline prices vary significantly within the country due to, among other factors, regional supply and demand, gasoline specification requirements and taxes.

West Coast

Drivers in California are seeing the largest weekly increases (+ 4 cents). Regionally, prices fluctuated between +2 cents and –1 cent on the week. Every state earned a spot on the top 10 weekly list of the most expensive markets: California ($3.10), Hawaii ($3.07), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.87), Nevada ($2.74) and Oregon ($2.73).

Trickling into June is the region’s supply concerns sparked by May’s unplanned and planned refinery maintenance in the region. Gasoline inventories remain relatively unchanged (from the week prior) and at a two-month low while total West Coast gasoline production fell to a three-week low.

Rockies

Idaho leads the region for the highest gas prices, increasing + 4 cents to $2.59, and also lands on this week’s top 10 list of most expensive markets. With a +6 cents increase, Utah earned a spot on the top 10 list of largest weekly increases. Meanwhile, other states in the region saw penny increases at the pump: Colorado (+4 cents), Wyoming (+1 cent) and Montana (+1 cent).

Great Lakes and Central States

The region continues to see the most volatility of any market in the country. Prices dropped by as much as seven cents in some states while increasing by four cents in others. Despite seeing increases ahead of Memorial Day weekend, Ohio (-7 cents), Indiana (-6 cents), Michigan (-6 cents) and Kentucky (-3 cents) are all posting cheaper gas prices than a week ago, while Missouri (+5 cents), Kansas (+4 cents), Iowa (+4 cents), Wisconsin (+4 cents), Minnesota (+3 cents) and Nebraska (+2 cents) all saw prices increase on the week.  

While the state of Ohio mostly saw gasoline price increases in May, Southwest Ohio drivers can expect to see lower summer gasoline prices thanks to a switch to higher RVP (volatility) gasoline, according to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). In April, the EPA approved the removal of Ohio’s low RVP fuel requirements previously required for summertime (June 1 to Sept. 15) in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas – allowing these markets to use higher RVP gasoline in summer months. The low RVP fuel requirements are no longer the cost-effective approach for reducing ozone as when the program was initiated, according to Ohio EPA.

South and Southeast

In the South and Southeast, gasoline prices are up to 33 cents below the national average. South Carolina ($2.04) tops the weekly list of cheapest markets and even saw a decrease (-6 cents) on the week. With the exception of South Carolina, prices in the region are trending slightly higher on the week: Georgia (+3 cents), Arkansas (+2 cents), Tennessee (+2 cents), Mississippi (+1 cent) and Louisiana (+1 cent).


 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Growing demand for gasoline pressured pump prices higher across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Delaware (+6 cents) and Maryland (+4 cents) saw the biggest price increases while Pennsylvania ($2.58), Washington, D.C. ($2.55), Connecticut ($2.51) and New York ($2.51) all made the top 10 list of largest weekly increases.

OPIS reports that next year, Pittsburgh drivers could see a drop in summer gasoline prices as the state considers switching to a cheaper-to-produce, higher RVP gasoline for summer months. The switch could occur as early as summer 2018 and is similar to the decision made by Ohio’s EPA.

 

Oil Market Dynamics

The price per barrel of crude oil opened at less than $50 on Tuesday morning. The market remains lukewarm after last Thursday’s meeting with OPEC and non-OPEC producers regarding an extension of production cuts failed to generate more pronounced actions from the cartel. Although the group agreed to extend the cuts through March 2018, market watchers were not surprised by the move and hoped that OPEC would take more drastic measures, like deepening the cuts beyond 1.8 million barrels per day. In advance of the heavily traveled Memorial Day weekend, the market made some gains on Friday that helped to narrow the market’s losses after OPEC’s meeting.

OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market continue to be thwarted by rising oil production in the US. According to Baker Hughes, Inc., drillers in the US added two rigs last week, marking 19 weeks of continued growth and landing at an eye-popping 722 rigs. The number is the highest since April 2015. The bright spot in the market is the advent of summer, which typically sees more drivers on the road and usually leads to greater demand reducing gasoline inventories in the US. Elevated demand would require refineries to deplete ever-increasing stocks in storage to make more gasoline and other refined products. After last week’s EIA data showed that gasoline demand in the US is increasing, market watchers will look at this week’s report to see if the trend continues.

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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