Posts Tagged ‘AAA Gas Prices’

Julie HallThe great American road trip is back; Memorial Day travel volume will be second-highest on record

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 19, 2016) – AAA projects more than 38 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend. That is the second-highest Memorial Day travel volume on record and the most since 2005. Spurred by the lowest gas prices in more than a decade, about 700,000 more people will travel compared to last year. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30.

Additional Resources

“Americans are eagerly awaiting the start of summer and are ready to travel in numbers not seen in more than a decade,” said Marshall Doney, AAA President and CEO. “The great American road trip is officially back thanks to low gas prices, and millions of people from coast to coast are ready to kick off summer with a Memorial Day getaway.”

AAA estimates that Americans have saved more than $15 billion on gas so far this year compared to the same period in 2015, and prices are at the lowest levels in 11 years. The strong labor market and rising personal income are also motivating people to travel for Memorial Day this year.

Low gas prices driving increase in auto travel this Memorial Day

Nearly 34 million (89 percent) holiday travelers will drive to their Memorial Day destinations, an increase of 2.1 percent over last year as a result of lower gas prices. Air travel is expected to increase 1.6 percent over last year, with 2.6 million Americans taking to the skies this Memorial Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will fall 2.3 percent, to 1.6 million travelers.

Lowest Memorial Day gas prices in 11 years expected

The national average price for a gallon of gasoline today is $2.26, 45 cents less than last year. AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices since 2005. According to a recent AAA survey, 55 percent of Americans say they are more likely to take a road trip this year due to lower gas prices.

Airfares, hotel and car rental rates

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 26 percent cheaper this Memorial Day, with an average roundtrip ticket costing $165. Hotel costs are in line with last Memorial Day. AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels will average $183, while a AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel will average $151 nightly. Daily car rental rates will average $62, three percent less than last year.

AAA to rescue more than 350,000 motorists this Memorial Day

AAA expects to rescue more than 350,000 motorists during the Memorial Day holiday travel period, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires. AAA recommends motorists check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a road trip. Also, have vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the nearly 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.

Memorial Day travelers heading to warm weather destinations & cities

Many Memorial Day travelers will head to warm weather destinations and historic American cities to kick off their summer travels. The top destinations this Memorial Day weekend, based on AAA.com and AAA travel agency sales, are:

  1. Orlando
  2. Myrtle Beach
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. New York
  5. Miami
  6. San Francisco
  7. Boston
  8. Honolulu
  9. Los Angeles
  10. South Padre Island

Download the AAA Mobile app before a Memorial Day getaway

Before setting out for Memorial Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants via TripTik Travel Planner. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2016 Memorial Day holiday travel forecast can be found here.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 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.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, November 16, 2015) Pump prices have fallen for ten consecutive days, reaching today’s national average price of $2.16 per gallon. AAA believes that average U.S. prices should continue to decline and could drop below $2 per gallon by Christmas for the first time since 2009.

Drivers are benefitting from relative savings in the price of retail gasoline with today’s average six cents less per gallon than one week ago and 11 cents less than one month ago. The price of crude oil remains noticeably low compared to previous years, and as a result, retail averages are down 74 cents per gallon year-over-year.

2012-2015_Avg-Gas-Prices-11-16-15

Refinery production in the Midwest appears to be recovering, which should help improve prices in the region. For example, the ExxonMobil refinery in Joliet, Illinois, has reportedly concluded its scheduled maintenance and returned to production. This and other refinery restarts in the Midwest have led to large weekly and monthly price discounts in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

Historically, gasoline demand tends to decline during the month of November, and with the autumn refinery maintenance season nearing completion, pump prices are expected to move lower to close out the year, barring any unanticipated outages or supply disruptions. Eleven states are posting averages below $2 per gallon, with motorists in South Carolina ($1.91) and Alabama ($1.92) paying the nation’s lowest averages to refuel their vehicles. The nation’s most expensive markets are located in states west of the Rockies, led by Hawaii ($2.86), California ($2.80), Nevada ($2.67), Washington ($2.52) and Oregon ($2.41).

Top10-Lowest-Average-Gas-Prices-11-16-15

Averages in the vast majority of states (46) are down week-over-week. Drivers in 18 states are saving a nickel or more per gallon at the pump, and prices have fallen by double-digit increments in nine states with Ohio (-18 cents), Indiana (-18 cents), Michigan (-18 cents) and Kentucky (-15 cents) posting the largest weekly discounts. Pump prices moved higher on the week in four states including Florida, Oregon, Washington and New Jersey. However, Florida (+4 cents) is the only state where prices increased by more than fractions of a penny week-over-week.

Top10-Largest-Weekly-Declines-11-16-15

Monthly price comparisons are following the overall trend of falling prices. Motorists in 47 states and Washington, D.C. are enjoying savings at the pump month-over-month, and averages in nearly half of the states (23) have dropped by more than a dime per gallon. The largest savings are again seen in the Midwestern states of Ohio (-33 cents), Illinois (-32 cents) and Indiana (-32 cents). On the other end of the spectrum, drivers in three states, Oregon (+5 cents), Washington (+2 cents) and New Jersey (+2 cents) have seen higher prices over the past month.

Year-over-year, consumers nationwide are paying less to refuel their vehicles. Retail averages are discounted 75 cents or more in 28 states and Washington D.C., and motorists in Alaska (-$1.22) and Hawaii (-$1.10) are benefitting from yearly savings of more than $1 per gallon. California (-36 cents) and Nevada (-39 cents) are the only two states posting yearly savings of less than 50 cents per gallon.

A bearish sentiment prevails with global petroleum prices, and traders are following the recent terrorist attacks in France to determine what effects it may have on the market. Global supply continues to outpace demand, while a strengthening U.S. dollar, which makes crude oil more expensive for buyers holding foreign currencies, is expected to keep a ceiling on prices into 2016.

U.S. crude oil inventories continue to build, and according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, are within reach of hitting record levels set this past April. For the first time in more than two months, the U.S. oil rig count increased on Friday. While this measure is not the best indicator of production, it reportedly reinforced the expectation that U.S. production rates will remain high and keep the market oversupplied in the near term.

WTI opened this week’s trading session posting gains, though prices have since declined. This comes following a week of testing the $40 per barrel threshold, and closing Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, down $1.01, settling at $40.74 per barrel, a closing price that represents a loss of nearly 10 percent on the week.

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.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, November 9, 2015) The national average price of gas has increased by two cents over the past week to $2.22 per gallon. Despite the slight increase in average pump prices, drivers continue to benefit from substantial discounts compared to recent years. Today’s average represents the lowest price for this same date since 2006. Consumers are saving 10 cents per gallon month-over-month and 72 cents per gallon year-over-year. The national average has moved lower for 24 of the past 30 days and is down 59 cents per gallon versus the 2015 peak price reached in June ($2.80).

2012-2015_Avg-Gas-Prices-11-09-15

This year’s autumn refinery maintenance season continues to make headlines for its impact on regional markets. Refinery utilization is reportedly beginning to return to normal rates; however, select regional markets are still under pressure as a result of the sheer volume of planned maintenance combined with unplanned outages. The Midwest is recovering from the fall turnaround season and despite reports of restarts, the latest data from the U.S. Department of Energy puts gasoline production and the overall utilization rate at virtually the same levels as prior weeks. Chevron’s Richmond, California refinery, which is reportedly undergoing the largest turnaround work in the refinery’s history, also reported a major unit shutdown. Prior to news of this unplanned outage, the refinery was in the midst of work estimated to last around 80 days, which included maintenance to the refinery’s fluid catalytic cracker. Although gasoline demand typically retreats during the month of November, which could offset any major spikes in price due to supply shortages, unplanned outages could create volatility and put pressure on the national average in the near term.

Top10-Lowest-Average-Gas-Prices-11-09-15

Drivers in six states are paying an average below $2 per gallon, and consumers in South Carolina ($1.95) and Alabama ($1.96) continue to pay the lowest prices at the pump. Hawaii ($2.87) is the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline, and it is joined by regional neighbors California ($2.84), Nevada ($2.71), Washington ($2.51) and Oregon ($2.40) as the top five most expensive markets. For the sixth consecutive week, all statewide averages are below $3 per gallon and only four states are posting averages above $2.50 per gallon.

Top10-Largest-Monthly-Savings-11-09-15

Weekly price comparisons reflect volatility with prices moving by double-digit increments at both ends of the spectrum. Retail averages in the majority of states (31) have moved higher week-over-week, and prices in 16 states have increased by a nickel or more per gallon over this same period. The largest increases have been in Delaware (+14 cents), Kentucky (+11 cents) and Oregon (+10 cents). On the other end of the spectrum, pump prices are down in 19 states week-over-week. The Midwestern states of Ohio (-11 cents) and Indiana (-11 cents) are posting weekly discounts in the double digits and they headline the seven states where prices are more than a nickel per gallon less at the pump.

The vast majority of consumers continue to benefit from relative savings in the price of retail gasoline month-over-month. Pump prices are down in 47 states and Washington, D.C. over this same period, and averages in 23 states are discounted by more than a dime per gallon. Motorists in ten states are saving more than a quarter per gallon in the cost to refuel their vehicles with the largest savings in Alaska (-37 cents), Indiana (-31 cents) and Ohio (-30 cents). Drivers in three states are paying a bit more to refuel their vehicles in comparison to one month ago, though prices in these states have moved in a much less dramatic fashion. Averages are up in New Jersey, Oregon and Pennsylvania by fractions of a penny month-over-month.

Consumers nationwide continue experience yearly savings at the pump, but the magnitude of the discount is beginning to shrink. Prices are down by $1 or more in two states, Alaska (-$1.23) and Hawaii (-$1.12), and drivers in 20 states and Washington, D.C. are saving more than 75 cents per gallon year-over-year.

Both crude oil benchmarks, Brent and West Texas Intermediate, closed out this past week with three days of losses due to reports of a strengthening U.S. dollar, which further fueled expectations that the market’s current oversupply will continue in the near term. Market watchers are paying close attention to economic data from China and movements in the U.S. dollar, to get a sense of the overall market’s direction. OPEC’s Secretary recently issued comments touting the cartel’s success at sustaining its market share in light of a lower price environment and stated the expectation that the market will return to balance in the coming year. The cartel plans to convene on December 4 to discuss its strategy moving forward.

The domestic oil market is showing mixed signals for the near-term. Drilling activity reportedly reached its lowest point since June 2010, and the latest reports from the Bureau of Land Management show that oil and gas extraction shed 2,700 jobs during the month of October. Despite this decline in drilling, total crude inventories in the U.S. continue to build and are within 10 million barrels of the record amount reached last spring, which contributes to the downward pressure on prices.

WTI opened this week trading higher, following news that the U.S. oil rig count fell for the tenth consecutive week. This offsets some of the losses seen last week after WTI closed Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX down 91 cents at $44.29 per barrel.

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

Michael Green Contact Tile

(WASHINGTON, November 4, 2015)

Gas Prices Drop Below $2 per Gallon at Stations in 41 States

  • Drivers can find at least one station selling gas for less than $2 per gallon in 41 states, while eight states have average prices below $2 per gallon.
  • Today’s national average price of gas is $2.20 per gallon, which is the lowest average for this day since 2004. AAA estimates that drivers are spending about $275 million less per day on gasoline compared to a year ago.
  • “The fuel savings continue to add up with pump prices in many areas below $2 per gallon,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesperson. “It looks increasingly likely that drivers will find the cheapest gas prices for the upcoming holidays in at least seven years.”
  • About 3 in 10 U.S. stations are selling gas for less than $2 per gallon today, while the cheapest one percent of stations are selling gas for an average of $1.75 per gallon. In contrast, only one percent of U.S. stations are selling gas for more than $3 per gallon.
  • Today’s average price of gas is about 77 cents per gallon less than a year ago and nine cents less than a month ago.
  • Average U.S. gas prices have declined about 60 cents per gallon since hitting a 2015 peak price of $2.80 per gallon on June 15.
  • The states with the lowest average gas prices include South Carolina ($1.90), Alabama ($1.92), Mississippi ($1.93), Texas ($1.95) and Louisiana ($1.95).
  • The states with the highest average prices include: Hawaii ($2.88), California ($2.83), Nevada ($2.71), Washington ($2.45) and Alaska ($2.44).

Gas Prices May Temporarily Rise on Higher Oil Costs and Refinery Maintenance

  • Many regions are likely to experience higher gas prices in the near term due to continued refinery maintenance and the recent rise in crude oil costs. Nevertheless, this increase may be temporary due to normal seasonal trends.
  • “Gas prices likely will increase during the first half of November, but that trend might not last long,” continued Ash. “With any luck, we could still see average gas prices drop below $2 per gallon in more areas in time for Christmas.”
  • The cost of domestic crude oil has increased in recent days, which can make it more expensive for refineries to produce gasoline. Many refineries also have been conducting seasonal maintenance, which has temporarily limited fuel production and led to a decline in gasoline supplies. Much of this maintenance is expected to end over the next few weeks.
  • People generally drive fewer miles and use less gasoline as the weather grows colder, and AAA would expect this trend to continue, which could lead to lower gas prices later this year after refineries complete maintenance.
  • The national average price of gas has fallen in November for four years in a row. Last year the national average dropped 23 cents per gallon during the month.
  • There remains significant uncertainty surrounding the oil market, which makes it difficult to predict future gas prices. If oil production declines or the global economy grows faster than expected, then oil prices could rise further. If oil production remains strong and the global economy continues to grow at a slower than expected rate, then oil prices may drop further.

Drivers in October Paid the Cheapest Average Gas Prices in Eight Months

  • The national average price of gas in October was $2.26 per gallon, which was the cheapest monthly average since February 2015 and the lowest October average since 2006. By comparison, the average price of gas in October 2014 was $3.16 per gallon.
  • The national average declined 23 out of 31 days in October for a total of 10 cents per gallon.
  • The national average price of gas has remained lower than $3 per gallon for more than a year going back to November 1, 2014.
  • Gas prices remain relatively inexpensive compared to recent years due to the low cost of crude oil. WTI oil prices closed yesterday at $47.90 per barrel. By comparison, the cost of oil a year ago was $77.19 per barrel.
  • Oil prices are much lower than a year ago due to an abundance of supplies and weakening global demand. Oil production remains strong in regions such the Middle East and in the United States, while worldwide demand has weakened due to slower than projected growth in the global economy, particularly in China.
  • Commercial stocks of domestic crude oil are 27 percent higher than a year ago, according to the EIA, while supplies of gasoline are nearly seven percent higher than a year ago.
  • Many refineries conduct maintenance in the autumn to maintain equipment following the busy summer driving season. This maintenance helps refineries run smoothly during the year, but it can lead to a temporary decline in fuel production. The Energy Information Administration estimated that Midwestern refineries conducted a record level of maintenance in October, which is the main reason why prices in that region were more volatile than in neighboring areas.
  • Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at com/mobile.

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082, mgreen@national.aaa.com.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, November 2, 2015) The national average price of gas has increased for two days in a row to $2.19 per gallon, which ended a 22-day streak of declining prices. Despite the end to the slide, the national average has fallen for 24 of the past 30 days and continues to sit at its lowest price for this date since 2004. Pump prices are down fractions of a penny week-over-week and have declined by 10 cents month-over-month. Motorists are also benefitting from significant yearly savings, with today’s price 80 cents per gallon less than a year ago.

2012-2015_Avg-Gas-Prices-11-02-15

The Midwest has experienced heavy refinery maintenance in recent weeks due to heavier than normal production during the summer months. Although some of the planned work is beginning to conclude, unplanned outages have further reduced supply and kept prices volatile in the region.  According to the U.S. EIA, refinery utilization in the Midwest hit a five-year low during the month of October, which has contributed to short-term supply challenges throughout the region. ExxonMobil’s Joliet, Illinois refinery is the latest to report unplanned issues, further challenging production from a plant that was already operating at reduced rates due to planned maintenance. Although refinery production rates are expected to return to normal in the next two months, unplanned outages could keep pump prices volatile in the region leading into the winter months, and possibly put a bit of upward pressure on the national average in the near term.

Consumers in South Carolina ($1.87) and Alabama ($1.90) are paying the nation’s lowest averages at the pump, and a total of nine states are posting averages below $2 per gallon. For the fifth consecutive week, drivers in every state are paying retail averages below $3 per gallon with states west of the Rockies leading the market: Hawaii ($2.88), California ($2.83), Nevada ($2.71), Alaska ($2.46) and Washington ($2.43).

On the whole, pump prices have been relatively steady week-over-week, moving by +/- 3 cents in 32 states. Drivers in the majority of states (46) are experiencing weekly savings in the price of retail gasoline, with the largest savings at the pump experienced by motorists in Colorado (-8 cents), Alaska (-7 cents) and Utah (-7 cents). Four states in the Midwest bucked the trend of weekly savings at the pump, largely attributed to unplanned refinery maintenance, which has further reduced supply in the region. Pump prices have moved markedly higher in Indiana (+18 cents) and Ohio (+17 cents) week-over-week, and retail averages could remain volatile leading into the winter months as the fall turnaround season concludes.

Top10-Lowest-Average-Gas-Prices-111-02-15

Retail averages in the vast majority of states (49) are down month-over-month, with consumers in 43 states and Washington, D.C., saving at least a nickel or more per gallon. Motorists in nearly half (24) of the states are benefitting from double-digit savings over this same period, with Alaska (-48 cents), Utah (-27 cents), Colorado (-27 cents) and Idaho (-27 cents) all posting discounts of more than a quarter per gallon in the price at the pump. The only state outside of this trend of savings is Iowa, where prices have inched higher by fractions of a penny month-over-month.

Top10-Largest-Yearly-Savings-11-02-15

Yearly price comparisons continue to reveal significant savings in the price of retail gasoline nationwide, led by Alaska (-$1.26) and Hawaii (-$1.16). Averages in 41 states and Washington, D.C. are down by more than 75 cents per gallon year-over-year, and motorists in five states are saving more than $1 per gallon at the pump over this same period.  Nevada (-44 cents) and California (-48 cents) are the only two states where drivers are not experiencing yearly savings of more than 50 cents per gallon.

Despite both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices closing out the last week higher, new data showing abundant supplies, combined with reports of a slowing Chinese economy, has put downward pressure on both benchmarks to open this week’s trading. Global oversupply remains front of mind for market analysts, and despite the lower-prices, Iranian oil is expected to return to market and apply additional downward pressure to global prices.

Despite the U.S. oil rig count falling for the ninth consecutive week, U.S. production recently increased and crude oil inventories remain elevated compated to previous years.  The recent gains in WTI are seen as a short-term shift, rather than a change in market fundamentals, and a sluggish week may be on the horizon for the domestic benchmark.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 53 cents settling at $46.59 per barrel.

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

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, October 26 ,2015) Falling crude oil prices supported by builds in domestic inventory have contributed to the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline moving lower over the past several weeks. The average price at the pump has fallen for 17 consecutive days, for a total savings of 12 cents per gallon. The national average currently sits at $2.20 per gallon, the lowest price since February. Motorists are enjoying lower prices at the pump, with today’s average reflecting a discount of six cents per gallon week-over-week and nine cents per gallon month-over-month. Pump prices remain significantly lower than this same date last year and the national average is down 85 cents per gallon.

2012-2015_Avg-Gas-Prices-10-26-15

This year’s autumn refinery maintenance season has been heavier than usual due to a busy summer driving season, which caused refineries to operate at higher rates for longer periods of time. Although the planned maintenance season is well underway, regional pump prices could remain volatile due to fluctuations in supply and demand. However, ample domestic supply is expected to keep the broader national average relatively steady as the refinery maintenance season concludes. Market fundamentals continue to suggest that the national average could fall below the $2 per gallon benchmark before the end of the year for the first time since 2009, barring any unanticipated disruptions in supply or unforeseen jumps in the price of crude oil.

A total of eight states are posting averages below the $2 per gallon threshold, with consumers in South Carolina ($1.89), Alabama ($1.92) and Mississippi ($1.92) paying the lowest averages at the pump. Drivers in Hawaii ($2.89) are paying the nation’s highest average price to refuel their vehicles, and states located west of the Rockies continue to post the highest averages for retail gasoline. California ($2.85), Nevada ($2.76), Alaska ($2.53) and Washington ($2.45) round out the top five most expensive markets for retail gasoline. For the fourth consecutive week drivers in every state are paying averages below $3 per gallon.

Top10-Lowest-Average-Gas-Prices-10-26-15

With the exception of Michigan (+2 cents), drivers nationwide are enjoying weekly savings at the pump. Motorists in more than half (27) of the states are saving a nickel or more per gallon week-over-week and three Midwestern states are posting double-digit savings over this same period: Indiana (-17 cents), Ohio (-16 cents) and Illinois (-11 cents). October has been reported to be a historic month for planned refinery maintenance for the Midwest and price volatility could continue to characterize the regional market leading into the winter months.

Top10-Largest-Monthly-Savings-10-26-15

The vast majority of drivers (45 states and Washington, D.C.) are experiencing monthly savings in the price of retail gasoline. Pump prices are down a nickel or more per gallon in 32 states and Washington, D.C., and consumers in 17 states have seen prices decline by double-digit increments month-over-month. Alaska (-52 cents), Indiana (-28 cents), Idaho (-28 cents), Colorado (-26 cents) and Utah (-26 cents) are posting the largest savings in price over this same period. Prices have moved higher in five states, although in a much less dramatic fashion. Iowa (+7 cents) is the only state where drivers are paying a monthly premium of more than nickel per gallon.

Significant yearly discounts in the price of retail gasoline persist, and drivers 45 states and Washington, D.C. are saving at least 75 cents per gallon when they refuel their vehicles. A total of six states are posting year-over-year savings of $1 or more per gallon, with the largest savings at the pump seen in Alaska (-$1.24), Hawaii (-$1.17) and Connecticut (-$1.09). Nevada (-46 cents) remains the only state where drivers are not experiencing yearly saving of at least 50 cents per gallon.

A bearish sentiment continues to prevail in the global oil market and reports are beginning to surface that current low prices for crude oil are impacting outlooks for oil companies, evidenced by announcements in cutbacks and delays in new project investments. Technical experts from both OPEC and non-OPEC countries convened last week, and many hoped action to address the market’s oversupply was on the horizon, but cuts to production were not discussed.

Market watchers to start the week are reportedly focused on a key decision on interest rates by the U.S. Federal Reserve and economic data from the U.S. The Fed has kept interest rates relatively unchanged since 2008 in effort to stimulate economic growth. An increase in the Fed interest rate typically leads to a strengthening U.S. dollar, which makes oil relatively more expensive for those holding foreign currencies. This move could further exacerbate the market’s current state and keep a ceiling on global oil prices in the near term.

Oil rigs in the U.S. fell for the eighth consecutive week, however the latest data from the U.S. Department of Energy points to an increase in domestic crude oil stocks. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell below the $45 per barrel benchmark last week for the first time since early October, and closed out Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX down 78 cents with a settlement at $44.60 per barrel.

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

Pump Prices Continue to Fall

October 19th, 2015 by AAA

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, October 19, 2015) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 10 consecutive days, reaching today’s price of $2.26 per gallon. Today’s average is a low unseen since February 2015, and represents a savings of 55 cents per gallon compared to the 2015 peak price of $2.80 (June 15).  Drivers are saving six cents per gallon week-over-week and four cents per gallon month-over-month. Significant yearly savings persist, and the national average is discounted by 86 cents per gallon from this same date last year.

2012-2015_Avg-Gas-Prices-10-19-15

Regional volatility is relatively common at this time of year due to fluctuations in supply and demand, resulting from both planned and unplanned maintenance.  Depending on the severity, these regional fluctuations in price can impact the national average. This year’s autumn refinery maintenance season was expected to be heavier than usual due to refineries operating at higher than normal rates in order to meet demand from the busy summer driving season. However, ample domestic supply kept a ceiling on pump prices in addition to helping to keep the national average relatively steady since September 15. This factor has also been a contributing factor to prices moving lower over the past several days. Barring any unanticipated disruptions in supply, and/or spikes in the price of crude oil, the national average could fall below the $2 per gallon threshold for the first time since 2009 before the end of year.

Motorists in South Carolina ($1.94) and New Jersey ($1.97) are paying the nation’s lowest prices at the pump, and a total of five states are posting retail averages below $2 per gallon. States west of the Rockies continue to post the highest averages at the pump, however, for the third consecutive week drivers in every state are paying averages below $3 per gallon. Hawaii ($2.90) unseated California ($2.88) as the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline and the two market leaders are joined by regional neighbors Nevada ($2.82), Alaska ($2.63) and Utah ($2.51) as the top five most expensive markets.

Top10-Lowest-Average-Gas-Prices-10-19-15

Regional volatility appears to be easing, and with the exception of Hawaii (+2 cents), motorists nationwide are experiencing savings at the pump week-over-week. Pump prices have fallen by double-digit increments in nine states over this same period and averages are down by a nickel or more per gallon in a total of 17 states. The largest weekly savings are seen in the Midwestern states of Indiana (-19 cents), Ohio (-17 cents) and Michigan   (-13 cents), likely a welcome change compared to previous weeks where prices moved higher in a similar fashion.

Top10-Largest-Weekly-Savings-10-19-15

Monthly price comparisons continue to reflect some volatility with pump prices moving by double-digits at both ends of the spectrum. Drivers in 33 states and Washington, D.C. have seen prices move lower month-over-month, and pump prices in the majority of these states (15) are discounted by a dime or more per gallon. Consumers in Alaska (-53 cents), Idaho (-29 cents) and Colorado (-27 cents) are saving the most per gallon to refuel their vehicles and prices in all three states are down by a quarter or more per gallon month-over-month. On the other end of the spectrum, drivers in 17 states are paying monthly premiums – although averages have moved upward in a less dramatic fashion. Pump prices have moved higher by  nickel or more per gallon in seven states over this same period, and motorists in a total of three states have seen prices move higher by double-digit increments: Minnesota (+13 cents), Oklahoma (+11 cents) and Iowa (+11 cents).

Year-over-year discounts in the price of retail gasoline continue, and drivers nationwide are experiencing savings at the pump. Retail averages are discounted by $1 or more in nine states, led by: Alaska (-$1.19),

Hawaii (-$1.19), Connecticut (-$1.11) and Vermont (-$1.11). Drivers in 37 states and Washington, D.C. are saving at least 75 cents per gallon or more, and Nevada (-49 cents) is the only state where pump prices are not discounted my more than 50 cents per gallon in comparison to this same date last year.

A number of factors have the potential to shift the global price of crude oil in the weeks ahead. The Iranian nuclear deal is once again front-of-mind, as global negotiators continue to move forward, which could bring Iranian oil back to the market in as little as two months. China’s economic growth rate fell below seven percent for the first time since 2009, putting a damper on speculations that demand from this country could offset some of the market’s oversupply.

Like the global market, the domestic oil market is also characterized by oversupply and the most recent reports from the U.S. EIA show a recent build in crude oil. Refinery maintenance is ongoing, making it likely that total domestic inventories of crude oil could hit another record-high, keeping the market oversupplied. WTI opened the week falling below the mid-$40 per barrel range, despite closing the week up 88 cents and settling at $47.26 per barrel.

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

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, October 12, 2015) After 13 consecutive days of holding steady at $2.29 per gallon, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline began ticking higher last week, reaching today’s price of $2.31 per gallon. Today’s average represents an increase of two cents per gallon compared to one week ago; however prices have fallen for 46 of the past 56 days for a total of 36 cents per gallon. On the whole, pump prices remain discounted across the country, and drivers are saving an average of four cents per gallon month-over-month, and 89 cents per gallon year-over-year.

2012-2015_Avg-Gas-Prices-10-12-15

The refinery maintenance season is reportedly nearing its peak, and the national average has been relatively stable since September 15. While national prices have been steady, pump prices in some regions have moved dramatically over this same period, largely due to fluctuations in supply and demand. Averages in the Midwest remain under pressure due to a growing list of both planned and unplanned maintenance for refineries located in the region. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Midwest refinery utilization rate fell below 80 percent for the first time since 2013, which means production was running well below capacity. Prior to the start of the fall turnaround season, the Midwest refinery utilization rate was nearly 99 percent, and this marked decline is contributing to tightening supply in the region. Ample domestic supplies are expected to temper any regional price spikes, preventing the national average from moving dramatically higher. Before the end of the year, drivers could still see the national average fall below $2 per gallon for the first time since 2009, assuming crude oil prices do not increase and there are not unexpected disruptions to supply.

For the second week in a row, retail averages are below $3 per gallon in every state. California ($2.91) remains the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline and is joined by Hawaii ($2.88), Nevada ($2.86), Alaska ($2.74) and Illinois ($2.58) in the rankings as the top five most expensive markets. Motorists in South Carolina ($1.97) and New Jersey ($1.98) are paying averages below $2 per gallon, and five additional states are within a nickel of this benchmark.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices-10-12-15

The stable national average obscures volatility in weekly price comparisons at the state level, with averages moving by double-digit increments on both ends of the spectrum. Pump prices in the majority of states (33 and Washington, D.C.) have moved higher week-over-week and averages in eight states are up by a dime or more per gallon. The Midwestern states of Iowa (+18 cents), Nebraska (+17 cents) and Minnesota (+17) are posting the largest increases in price over this same period, and consumers in a total of 13 states are paying premiums of a nickel or more per gallon. Retail averages have fallen in 17 states versus one week ago, although in a less dramatic fashion. Alaska (-17 cents) is the only state where averages are down by more than a dime per gallon, and prices are discounted by a nickel or more per gallon in a total of five states.

Top10-Largest-Monthly-Savings-10-12-15

Regional volatility is also apparent in month-over-month price comparisons. Averages are down in 31 states and Washington, D.C., and consumers in the majority of these states (22 states) are benefiting from double-digit discounts at the pump. Six states located west of the Rockies are posting savings of more than a quarter per gallon, led by Alaska (-57 cents), Oregon (-31 cents) and Washington (-30 cents). Drivers in 19 states are paying more to refuel their vehicles versus one month ago, and the price is up by a dime or more in six states. The largest monthly premiums are seen in the Midwestern states of Indiana (+30 cents), Ohio (+23 cents) and Minnesota (+22 cents).

Despite the regional fluctuations in price, year-over-year discounts persist in every state and Washington, D.C. Pump prices are down in 36 states and Washington, D.C. by 75 cents per gallon or more, and motorists in 18 states are saving $1 or more compared to this same date last year. Drivers in Hawaii (-$1.25), Connecticut (-$1.17) and Vermont (-$1.16) are saving the most per gallon over this period.

The global oil market remains in flux and speculation about the future direction of the market continues to be focused on questions of supply and demand. Both crude oil benchmarks, West Texas Intermediate and Brent, posted weekly gains, but there is uncertainty of the direction that prices will move in the months ahead. The general secretary for OPEC has provided little insight about the cartel’s plans for future production, however he did state the belief that market fundamentals are contributing to non-OPEC countries reducing their output. Geopolitical instability in the Middle East and Russia’s plans for production are also font of mind, and prices are expected to remain volatile in the near term.

Domestic oil prices had an end-of-week boost driven by a weakening U.S. dollar and news that U.S. oil rigs were down by nine from the week prior. WTI closed out Friday’s formal trading session up 20 cents, settling at $49.63 per barrel. This represents a week-over-week gain of approximately $4 per barrel, marking the largest weekly increase since mid-July.

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.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, October 5, 2015) Pump prices remain relatively stable, with today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline holding at $2.29 per gallon for the 12th consecutive day. Today’s average price is up by fractions of a penny compared to one week ago, but has moved lower for 43 of the past 49 days, providing drivers with a savings of 12 cents per gallon month-over-month. Significant yearly discounts remain with drivers saving $1.01 per gallon on average, largely attributed to cheaper crude oil and ample gasoline supplies.

2012-2015_Avg-Gas-Prices-10-5-15

Retail averages have declined 51 cents per gallon since reaching the 2015 peak price of $2.80 per gallon on June 15. The national average tends to move lower during the autumn and winter months due to seasonal declines in both driving and gasoline demand, and pump prices have fallen during the month of October for three years in a row. Despite refineries going offline to conduct scheduled maintenance, there should still be more than enough gasoline to meet demand because people tend to drive less this time of year. Barring any major disruptions in supply, the national average is expected to move lower by the end of the year, and for the first time since 2009, could fall below the $2 per gallon benchmark.

Drivers in every state are paying an average price at the pump below $3 per gallon for the first time since 2009. Averages on the West Coast remain some of the highest in the nation, and California ($2.94) unseated Alaska ($2.91) as the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline. Nevada ($2.90), Hawaii ($2.88) and Utah ($2.64) round out the top five most expensive markets for fuel; however, prices have fallen in all of these states week-over-week.  Consumers in New Jersey ($1.96) and South Carolina ($1.96) are paying the nation’s lowest averages at the pump, and a total of four states have retail averages below $2 per gallon.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices-10-5-15

Drivers in the majority of states (29 and Washington, D.C.) are paying less at the pump week-over-week, although some volatility remains. Retail averages are down by a nickel or more in eight states over this same period, with the largest discounts experienced by drivers in Alaska (-13 cents), Idaho (-8 cents), Colorado (-7 cents) and Oregon (-7 cents). Weekly comparisons reveal that prices have moved higher in 21 states, although in a slightly less dramatic fashion. Consumers in four states are paying weekly increases of a nickel or more per gallon: Michigan (+9 cents), Ohio (+5 cents), Kansas (+5 cents), and Minnesota (+5 cents).

Top10-Largest-Weekly-Savings-10-5-15

With the exception of three states in the Midwest: Ohio (+17 cents), Michigan (+14 cents) and Indiana (+9 cents), motorists nationwide are benefitting from monthly saving in the price of retail gasoline. Averages in the Midwest have been under pressure, due to both planned and unplanned maintenance, at some of the region’s major refineries, and prices should remain relatively volatile as the maintenance continues. Prices have moved lower on the month in 47 states, and drivers in 37 states and Washington, D.C. are experiencing double-digit savings at the pump during that time. Pump prices are discounted by a quarter or more per gallon in seven states, all located west of the Rockies, led by: Alaska (-46 cents), California (-35 cents), Oregon (-34 cents) and Washington (-33 cents).

Drivers nationwide continue to experience significant yearly savings in the price of retail gasoline. The average price at the pump is discounted by more than $1 per gallon in 30 states and Washington D.C. year-over-year, and consumers in Hawaii (-$1.30) and Connecticut (-$1.22) are saving the most per gallon over this same period. Regional neighbors Nevada (-58 cents) and California (-75 cents) are the only states where drivers are not saving more than 75 cents per gallon in comparison to one year ago.

The balance between global supply and demand remains front of mind, and a number of factors are expected to influence global oil prices in the months ahead. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of petroleum and the swing member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, announced plans to further cut prices to Asia in an effort to protect its market share. Russia is reportedly ready to enter talks with OPEC and other producing countries about possible reductions in output, and the country’s actions in Syria continue to make headlines that influence the geopolitical instability in the region.

Now that Hurricane Joaquin is no longer an imminent threat, market watchers are focusing their attention on domestic supply and demand in light of falling rig counts and the potential impacts of this year’s refinery maintenance season. The number of rigs operating in the U.S. fell by 26 last week, its largest drop since April, which reportedly is a reaction to sustained low oil prices.

WTI opened the Monday trading session posting gains for a second consecutive session, after closing out the Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX up 80 cents and settling at $45.54 per barrel.

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

Michael Green Contact Tile

Americans Saving Nearly $350 Million a Day on Lower Gas Prices

  • The national average price of gas in September was $2.34 per gallon, which was the lowest monthly average since February 2015. By comparison, the average price of gas in September 2014 was $3.39 per gallon. AAA estimates that American consumers are spending nearly $350 million less on gasoline per day compared to a year ago.
  • “Drivers continue to enjoy substantial savings at the pump, but even bigger savings could be in store,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesperson. “Barring any major supply disruptions, the national average could even test the $2 per gallon benchmark before the end of the year for the first time since 2009.”
  • Today’s national average price of gas is $2.29 per gallon, which is the cheapest average for this time of year since 2004. Today’s average is about $1.04 per gallon less than a year ago and 19 cents less than a month ago. Gas prices are significantly cheaper than in previous years due to the relatively low cost of crude oil.
  • Average U.S. gas prices have declined about 52 cents per gallon since hitting a 2015 peak price of $2.80 per gallon on June 15. The national average declined 26 out of 30 days in September for a total savings of 19 cents per gallon. Gas prices have dropped during the previous few weeks due to declining fuel demand and the switchover to less expensive winter-blend gasoline.
  • Many Americans drive less after Labor Day and the end of the summer driving season, which reduces gasoline demand. This decline in driving can lead to increased fuel supplies in autumn and winter, which ultimately results in cheaper gas prices for drivers.
  • Gas stations in many parts of the country switched over to less expensive winter-blend gasoline on September 16. As outside temperatures cool in the autumn, gasoline is less likely to evaporate and contribute to air quality issues. Producers can blend relatively inexpensive butane into the fuel to meet octane requirements this time of year, and some of these savings are passed on to consumers. Butane is more likely to evaporate in hot temperatures and is not used in summer-blend gasoline.
  • Gas prices remain relatively inexpensive compared to recent years due to the low cost of crude oil. WTI oil prices remained relatively steady in September and closed yesterday at $45.09 per barrel. By comparison, the cost of oil a year ago was about twice as high at $90.73 per barrel.
  • Oil prices have dropped in recent months due to abundant oil production and a weaker global economy, particularly in China. China is the world’s largest oil importer, and the downturn in its economy has raised questions about the country’s future oil demand. Oil supplies also remain abundant in the United States with commercial stocks about 28 percent higher than a year ago.
  • Despite a bearish sentiment prevailing in the oil market, gas prices remain relatively high compared to the cost of crude oil, in part due to record-high levels of driving this year. Total U.S. driving topped 1.82 trillion miles during the first seven months of the year, beating the previous record of 1.77 trillion set during the first seven months of 2007, according to the latest estimates by the Federal Highway Administration. Driving is expected to remain relatively high through the end of the year, which means 2015 could go down as the busiest driving year of all time.

Gas Prices May Drop More Slowly in October as Refineries Conduct Maintenance

  • The national average price of gas has remained relatively unchanged over the past week, and this trend may continue well into October as refineries conduct seasonal maintenance. Nevertheless, a seasonal decline in driving this winter should help push gas prices below $2 per gallon in most parts of the country by the end of the year as long as crude oil costs remain steady.
  • “This autumn’s refinery maintenance season is expected to be heavier than in years past because refineries ran at such high rates during the summer,” continued Ash. “Retail averages in some regions temporarily could rise during this maintenance period, yet we would expect prices in most areas to remain relatively low compared to recent years.”
  • Refineries typically conduct maintenance in the autumn and spring when demand for gasoline, diesel and heating oil is relatively low. More refineries than typical have scheduled maintenance for the next few weeks, but much of this maintenance should wrap up by December, which would allow a steady decline in gas prices later in the year.
  • The national average price of gas has fallen in October for three years in a row. Gas prices typically drop in October due to a seasonal decline in both driving and fuel demand. While driving is expected to remain relatively strong because of low gas prices, we would expect driving to decline from summertime highs through the end of the year based on typical seasonal trends.
  • Hurricane Joaquin may impact regional gas prices in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast next week. Hurricanes have the potential to disrupt refinery production, pipeline transportation, wholesale deliveries and gas station operations. Small hurricanes on the East Coast generally have a very limited and brief impact on prices, while larger storms, such as Hurricane Sandy, can disrupt regional fuel supplies and distribution for a number of weeks. AAA recommends that drivers in the affected areas fill their vehicle’s gas tanks in advance of the storm in case there are any distribution problems.
  • Crude oil remains the primary wildcard in determining future gas prices. If OPEC cuts production, the Chinese economy grows stronger or if Iranian oil is unable to enter the market, then oil prices could rise and push up the cost of gasoline. There also is a possibility that oil prices could drop significantly in the coming months given the weaknesses in the global economy and because refineries conducting maintenance will need less crude oil.

More than One in Five U.S. Stations Selling Gas for Less than $2 per Gallon

  • More than one in five U.S. gas stations (21 percent) are selling gas for less than $2 per gallon today.
  • Five states have average gas prices below $2 per gallon, including South Carolina ($1.96), New Jersey ($1.97), Mississippi ($1.98) and Alabama ($1.99). An additional five states have average prices within a dime of $2 per gallon, including Tennessee ($2.00), Louisiana ($2.03), Virginia ($2.03), Texas ($2.05) and Arkansas ($2.06).
  • Average gas prices this week dropped below $3 per gallon in every state for the first time since June 2009. The five most expensive state averages include: Alaska ($2.96), California ($2.96), Nevada ($2.92), Hawaii ($2.89) and Utah ($2.66).
  • Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at com/mobile.

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082, mgreen@national.aaa.com.

 

Podcasts

B-Roll

YouTube Videos

AAA Senior Driver Expos

NewsRoom Video Gallery

Media: Find and Download AAA Videos and B Roll.