October 13th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, October 13, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 18 straight days, reaching today’s price of $3.20 per gallon. This price represents a new 2014 low and is the lowest average for the Columbus Day holiday since 2010 when gas averaged $2.81 per gallon. Today’s average price is nine cents less than one week ago, 20 cents less than one month ago and 15 cents less than one year ago.
Drivers in six states are paying an average price below three dollars per gallon to refuel their vehicles with eight additional states posting prices within a nickel of this mark. Motorists in Missouri saw the average price fall below the $3.00 threshold this past Tuesday, and for the second week in a row are paying the nation’s lowest average price per gallon ($2.90). Although the average price in Hawaii has fallen by four cents over the past seven days, it continues to lead the market with an average retail price above $4.00 per gallon ($4.13). Californians still pay the highest average ($3.60) in the continental U.S. followed by New Yorkers and Oregonians who are both paying $3.52 per gallon.
The average price is down in every state and Washington, D.C. in both week-over-week and month-over-month comparisons. Week-over-week the retail price has dropped by a dime or more in 13 states with drivers in the Midwestern states of Minnesota (-16 cents), Michigan (-15 cents) and Kentucky (-14 cents) saving the most per gallon. Motorists in 46 states and Washington, D.C. are saving a nickel or more over this same period. Even larger drops in the price at the pump are reflected over the past month. Michigan (-40 cents), Delaware (-35 cents), Washington (-33 cents) and Oregon (-32 cents) are registering the largest discounts in price over this period, followed by 10 other states where the average price is down by a quarter or more. State averages have fallen by a dime or more in every state but Florida, where prices have fallen only nine cents.
Year-over-year the average price for retail gas is lower in every state but Alaska (where prices are up less than a penny), and consumers in 48 states and Washington, D.C. are saving a nickel or more per gallon. The price has dropped by a dime or more in 38 states with consumers in Michigan (-30 cents), Minnesota (-30), Ohio (-27 cents) and Delaware (-25) saving a quarter or more per gallon to refuel their vehicles.
Low demand combined with abundant supply has kept downward pressure on global oil prices. The impact of falling prices is currently front of mind for many in the market, and attention is now focused on whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will alter production in order to influence prices higher. OPEC members are scheduled to meet at the end of November and will reportedly not hold an emergency meeting before then based on current prices, which has supported the bearish sentiment for crude oil. Additionally, while violence continues in Iraq, market watchers still assess the threat to oil production to be relatively limited. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled eight cents lower at $85.74 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX. This is fifth consecutive settlement below $90 per barrel and the lowest price since December 2012.
October 7th, 2014 by admin
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 7, 2014) – With three out of four drivers believing that hands-free technology is safe to use, Americans may be surprised to learn that these popular new vehicle features may actually increase mental distraction, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This research can serve as guidance to manufacturers who increasingly market hands-free systems as safety features. The good news for consumers is that it is possible to design hands-free technologies that are less cognitively distracting, according to the research.
- AAAFTS Cognitive Distraction Phase II Report
- AAAFTS Cognitive Distraction Phase IIa Report
- Infographic – Mental Distraction Levels by Task
- Infographic – Mental Distraction Levels by System
- Video – Research Overview (2:47)
- Video: AAA National Spokesperson Interview
- Video: Researcher and Participant Interviews
- B-Roll with audio
The results, which build on the first phase of the Foundation’s research conducted last year, suggest that developers can improve the safety of their products by making them less complicated, more accurate and generally easier to use – a point AAA hopes to use in working with manufacturers to make hands-free technologies as safe as possible for consumers. While manufacturers continue their efforts to develop and refine systems that reduce distractions, AAA encourages drivers to minimize cognitive distraction by limiting the use of most voice-based technologies.
“We already know that drivers can miss stop signs, pedestrians and other cars while using voice technologies because their minds are not fully focused on the road ahead,” said Bob Darbelnet, chief executive officer of AAA. “We now understand that current shortcomings in these products, intended as safety features, may unintentionally cause greater levels of cognitive distraction.”
Using instrumented test vehicles, heart-rate monitors and other equipment designed to measure reaction times, Dr. David Strayer and researchers from the University of Utah evaluated and ranked common voice-activated interactions based on the level of cognitive distraction generated. The team used a five-category rating system, which they created in 2013, similar to that used for hurricanes. The results show:
- The accuracy of voice recognition software significantly influences the rate of distraction. Systems with low accuracy and reliability generated a high level (category 3) of distraction.
- Composing text messages and emails using in-vehicle technologies (category 3) was more distracting than using these systems to listen to messages (category 2).
- The quality of the systems’ voice had no impact on distraction levels – listening to a natural or synthetic voice both rated as a category 2 level of distraction.
The study also separately assessed Apple’s Siri (version iOS 7) using insight obtained from Apple about Siri’s functionality at the time the research was conducted. Researchers used the same metrics to measure a broader range of tasks including using social media, sending texts and updating calendars. The research uncovered that hands- and eyes-free use of Apple’s Siri generated a relatively high category 4 level of mental distraction.
To put all of this year’s findings in context, last year’s research revealed that listening to the radio rated as a category 1 distraction; talking on a hand-held or hands-free cell phone resulted in a category 2 distraction; and using an error-free speech-to-text system to listen to and compose emails or texts was a category 3 distraction.
“Technologies used in the car that rely on voice communications may have unintended consequences that adversely affect road safety,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The level of distraction and the impact on safety can vary tremendously based on the task or the system the driver is using.”
To assess “real-world” impact, Dr. Joel Cooper with Precision Driving Research evaluated the two most common voice-based interactions in which drivers engage – changing radio stations and voice dialing – with the actual voice-activated systems found in six different automakers’ vehicles. On the five point scale, Toyota’s Entune® system garnered the lowest cognitive distraction ranking (at 1.7), which is similar to listening to an audio book. In comparison, the Chevrolet MyLink® resulted in a high level of cognitive distraction (rating of 3.7). Other systems tested included the Hyundai Blue Link (rating 2.2), the Chrysler Uconnect™ (rating 2.7), Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch® (rating 3.0) and the Mercedes COMAND® (rating 3.1).
“It is clear that not all voice systems are created equal, and today’s imperfect systems can lead to driver distraction,” continued Darbelnet. “AAA is confident that it will be possible to make safer systems in the future.”
This phase of the research highlights the variability in demands across all the systems tested.
AAA is calling for developers to address key contributing factors to mental distraction including complexity, accuracy and time on task with the goal of making systems that are no more demanding than listening to the radio or an audiobook. AAA also plans to use the findings to continue a dialogue with policy makers, safety advocates and manufacturers.
To view the full report, “Measuring Cognitive Distraction in the Vehicle II: Assessing In-Vehicle Voice-based Interactive Technologies,” and other materials on distracted driving, visit NewsRoom.AAA.com. This study builds upon groundbreaking research conducted last year, which found that drivers can be dangerously distracted even if their eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel. AAA promoted the study in the release: Think You Know All About Distracted Driving? Think Again, Says AAA.
Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable educational and research organization. Dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads, the Foundation’s mission is to prevent crashes and save lives through research and education about traffic safety. The Foundation has funded over 200 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them and minimize injuries when they do occur. Visit www.aaafoundation.org for more information on this and other research.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 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. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
October 6th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, October 6, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.29 per gallon. This price is the least expensive daily average since February 9, it is just two cents above the low for 2014 ($3.27 on February 7), and it is the lowest price for this calendar day since 2010 ($2.75). Today’s average is a nickel less than one week ago, 15 cents less than one month ago, and six cents less than one year ago. The national average has fallen for each of the past 11 days and could drop as low as $3.10-$3.20 per gallon before the end of the year.
For the fourth consecutive week, Hawaii ($4.17) remains the only state with an average price above four dollars per gallon. The western United States continues to lead the market posting the highest prices per gallon, with Alaska ($3.89), California ($3.68), Oregon ($3.63), and Washington ($3.62) following Hawaii as the nation’s most expensive markets. As the national average continues to decline, a few states are registering averages approaching the three dollar mark. Drivers in Missouri are paying the lowest average per gallon ($3.01), followed by South Carolina ($3.06) and Mississippi ($3.07). No state has registered a daily average of less than $3.00 per gallon since January 23 when Missouri was last below this threshold. Given relatively inexpensive crude prices, adequate supplies and cheaper winter-blend fuel, and barring any unexpected market-moving news, drivers in as many as 20 states could enjoy an average price of less than three dollars per gallon before the end of the year.
After operating at reduced rates for two weeks, ExxonMobil successfully restarted a crude distillation unit over the weekend at its Torrance, California refinery. The unit was initially down due to an issue with the heater, and earlier attempts to restart the unit were delayed due to a leak on process equipment. Refinery issues were also resolved in the Gulf Coast where two refineries returned to service, after the combination of planned and unplanned maintenance to the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit challenged operations. This caused motor gasoline production in the region to slow to its lowest level in over a year, however with supply returning to normal levels motorists near the Gulf Coast should see pump prices point lower again.
Week-over-week, the average price for retail gasoline is down in 48 states and Washington, D.C. Drivers in 19 states are saving a nickel or more per gallon over this same period, with consumers in the Midwest experiencing the largest savings: Michigan (-14 cents), Ohio (-12 cents) and Indiana (-12 cents). On the other side of this trend, the retail average is up in Louisiana (+2 cents) and Florida (fractions of a penny) over the past seven days.
On the whole, motorists continue to pay less per gallon to refuel their vehicles. Month-over-month the average price has fallen in every state and Washington, D.C., led by the Midwestern states of Indiana (-37 cents), Michigan (-37 cents) and Ohio (-28 cents). Although the magnitude of monthly savings per gallon does vary from state to state, consumers in 41 states are saving a dime or more per gallon at the pump.
Year-over-year the average price is down in 45 states and Washington, D.C. Eighteen states are registering savings of a dime or more per gallon, with motorists in California (-18 cents), Rhode Island (-17 cents) and Connecticut (-17 cents) experiencing the largest savings at the pump. Of the five states where the price has increased in comparison to this date last year, Georgia (+5 cents) is the only state where the increment is more than fractions of a penny.
Global oil prices have continued to slide as supplies have outpaced demand and markets remain relatively unmoved by geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, Europe and Africa. WTI did settle 60 cents higher at $90.34 per barrel at the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, but remains near the low-price for the year. On Friday, for the first time in 17 months, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled below $90 per barrel, breaking a streak of 365 consecutive settlements above this threshold.
September 30th, 2014 by admin
Consumers Paid the Cheapest September Gas Prices in Four Years
- Drivers paid the lowest September gas prices since 2010 with the monthly average at $3.39 per gallon, which was about 13 cents less than last year and 44 cents less expensive than 2012.
- “American drivers will have a bit more money to spend or use on savings as gas prices continue to fall,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “It is a nice relief for most of us to pay a little less than in recent years to fill up at the gas station.”
- Gas prices have declined about ten cents per gallon since the beginning of the month with the daily average falling 24 out of 30 days in September. This is the fourth consecutive year that gas prices have fallen in September. Gas prices have dropped 35 cents per gallon since June 28 despite a busy travel season and conflict in the Middle East.
- Gas prices generally have been less expensive than in recent years due to the dramatic boom in North American petroleum production. U.S. refineries have taken advantage of increased crude oil supplies to make more gasoline. In addition, increased domestic production has helped insulate U.S. consumers from conflicts and instability overseas.
- Gas prices typically decline in September as the busy driving season ends and because many stations begin selling less costly winter-blend gasoline on September 16. As the weather grows cooler, summer-blend gasoline is no longer required in most areas to prevent gasoline evaporation and air-quality issues.
- For the second year in a row, consumers caught a break in September with no Atlantic hurricanes striking the U.S. coastline. September is the peak period for the Atlantic hurricane season, and hurricanes can cause gas prices to rise significantly by disrupting refineries, pipelines and oil production.
U.S. Gas Stations Increasingly Selling Gas for Less than $3.00 Per Gallon
- Gas stations selling gas for less than $3.00 per gallon are growing increasingly common in some parts of the country. Already, consumers can find at least one station selling gas for $3.00 or less in 26 states. Nearly four percent of U.S. stations are selling gas for $3.00 or less today, and this number should increase significantly over the next couple of months.
- “Gas prices could fall another 20 cents per gallon by the time families load up the car for Thanksgiving,” continued Ash. “If everything goes smoothly, buying gas for less than $3.00 per gallon should be refreshingly common in many parts of the country this winter.”
- AAA expects the national average price of gas could drop to $3.10 – $3.20 per gallon before the year ends, which could be the closest that the national average has come to $3.00 since 2010. Last year, the national average reached a low of $3.18 per gallon on Nov. 12.
- Fifteen states have average gas prices below $3.25 per gallon today, and many of these states could see average gas prices drop below $3.00 per gallon before the year ends. The lowest gas prices today are primarily in the Southeast and Central United States, which are regions that typically have lower gas taxes, access to domestic crude oil and abundant refinery capacity.
- Oklahoma has the most stations with gas prices under $3.00 today with nearly 3 in 10 stations statewide selling gas for under that price. In fact, the most common price in Oklahoma today is $2.989 per gallon. The next two states with the most stations below $3.00 per gallon are South Carolina and Missouri where nearly 1 in 5 stations are below that price.
- Gas prices typically decline from September through early winter due to declining demand as people drive less during colder months. While gas prices will not fall every day over that period, drivers should pay significantly lower prices in December than they are paying today.
- It is possible that gas prices may remain relatively flat over the next week or two due to relatively heavy refinery maintenance. Seasonal maintenance can reduce refinery production and lead to tighter gasoline supplies. Refineries should complete most of this seasonal maintenance by the middle of October.
- The average price of gas in October has declined three consecutive years by an average of 13 cents per gallon. Gas prices averaged $3.49 per gallon in October during the previous three years.
- The peak period for Atlantic hurricanes has passed, but it is still possible for a late-season hurricane to disrupt production before the year is over. In late October 2012 for example, Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast, which caused gas prices to rise significantly in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. In New York City and Long Island, average gas prices climbed above $4.15 per gallon.
Daily Average Price of Gas Drops to a Seven-Month Low
- The national average price of gas has fallen to $3.33 per gallon, which is the least expensive daily average since February 13, 2014.
- Today’s average is the lowest for the final day of September in four years and about seven cents per gallon less expensive than a year ago.
- The five states with the highest average prices today include: Hawaii ($4.20), Alaska ($3.92), California ($3.70), Washington ($3.69) and Oregon ($3.69). The five states with the lowest gas prices today include: Missouri ($3.09), South Carolina ($3.09), Mississippi ($3.10), Tennessee ($3.12) and Virginia ($3.13).
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 7th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, July 7, 2014) The national average price of gas has fallen for ten straight days, but remains the highest price for this calendar date since 2008. Yesterday, for the first time since June 11, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline reflected a month-over-month discount. Today’s average is $3.65 per gallon. This price is two cents less than one week ago and fractions of a penny less than one month ago, but it remains 18 cents more than this date in 2013.
With Independence Day in the books, this year’s holiday registered the highest price since 2008 at $3.66. This surpassed the price per gallon for the holiday from each of the previous five years: 2013 ($3.48); 2012 ($3.34); 2011 ($3.57); 2010 ($2.74); and 2009 ($2.62), but was still well below the all-time-high for the date of $4.10 in 2008.
The pump price in four states continues register above $4.00 per gallon: Hawaii ($4.33), Alaska ($4.22), California ($4.14) and Washington State ($4.01). While prices in all but three states (Idaho, Wyoming and Utah) are higher than the same date last year, prices in 38 states have dropped over the past week, led by a handful of Midwestern states: Michigan (-10 cents), Ohio (-7 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Illinois (-5 cents) and Minnesota (-4 cents). Prices over the past two weeks have been more evenly split. Prices in 23 states and Washington, DC have increased – led by Alaska (+7 cents), Utah (+6 cents) and Idaho (+5 cents) – while prices in 27 states have fallen – led by Ohio (-17 cents), Indiana (-12 cents) and Illinois (-12 cents). With high wholesale gasoline prices beginning to subside in many parts of the country, AAA expects pump prices for many US motorists to continue to tick lower over the coming week.
Violence in Iraq continues to impact global oil prices, but as production in the south of the country remains unaffected, the fear of a disruption to supply has abated. Market watchers are keeping a close eye on the situation, but the risk premium that had pushed oil prices to 2014 highs has subsided in recent trading sessions. These elevated oil prices have meant stubbornly high pump prices for motorists, but as oil prices have eased retail gas prices have finally started to follow suit.
At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 53 cents lower at $103.53.
June 30th, 2014 by admin
AAA Monthly Gas Price Report
(WASHINGTON, June 30, 2014)
Drivers Stuck Paying Highest Gas Prices in Six Years for Independence Day
- U.S. drivers will pay the most expensive Independence Day gas prices since 2008, primarily because Iraqi violence has increased global petroleum costs. AAA predicts that 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more by car during the holiday weekend despite high gas prices.
- “Most drivers are paying about 15-20 cents more per gallon than expected heading into the busy Independence Day weekend due to market fear about Iraq,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “It is frustrating that events overseas will make it more expensive to celebrate Fourth of July here at home.”
- With Independence Day only a few days away, today’s national average price of gas is $3.68 per gallon. This average is considerably more expensive than recent years for the holiday. The national average on July 4 in previous years was: $3.48 (2013); $3.34 (2012); $3.57 (2011); $2.74 (2010); $2.62 (2009); and $4.10 (2008).
- AAA does not believe that high gas prices will have a significant impact on the number of people traveling, but it could result in some consumers cutting back on dining, shopping or other trip activities. AAA’s full Independence Day forecast can be found here.
- The monthly average price of gas in June was $3.67 per gallon, which was the most expensive for June since 2011, and it was the highest average for any month since March 2013. Last year gas prices averaged $3.60 per gallon in June.
- Gas prices often decline in June as refineries complete maintenance and increase gasoline production in anticipation of the summer driving season. During the previous three years, the national average price of gas declined in June by an average of 21 cents per gallon. A month ago, AAA predicted the national average could decline 10-15 cents per gallon in June, but this did not happen due to the unexpected events in Iraq.
- On June 10, insurgents known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), captured Mosul, which is Iraq’s second largest city. Following this attack, there were concerns in the market that the rebels would take Baghdad or disrupt the southern oil producing regions of the country. These concerns helped drive up global oil prices, which made it more expensive to produce gasoline. Iraq is the second largest oil producer in OPEC, and any decline in exports could impact global oil supplies.
Gas Prices to Remain Expensive During Summer Driving Season
- Gas prices this July likely will remain expensive due to high crude oil costs and rising summertime demand. AAA expects the national average price of gas in July will range from $3.60-$3.70 per gallon, though prices could climb higher if there are new developments in Iraq or a major hurricane. Last year gas prices averaged $3.58 per gallon nationally in July.
- “It is shaping up to be a hot and expensive summer for gas prices, and we have not even hit the busiest time of the year yet,” continued Ash. “It is clear that most drivers will pay high prices as they fill up for their summer road trips.”
- AAA expects the national average price of gas likely will remain relatively flat in the near future and could even decline a few cents as the situation stabilizes in Iraq. Price increases from recent ISIL attacks in Iraq already are reflected in current prices, and it would take major new developments, such as ISIL moving into southern oil producing regions, for prices to rise significantly higher in the days ahead.
- Gas prices have increased by an average of 16 cents per gallon in July during the previous three years as strong summer demand pushed up prices. July is typically the second busiest month of the year on the roads behind August. Last year Americans drove a total of 263.2 billion miles in July.
- From Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2013, gas prices nationally averaged $3.58 per gallon. The most expensive summer driving period was in 2008 when prices averaged $3.95 per gallon. Gas prices have averaged $3.67 per gallon so far this summer.
National Average Price of Gas Has Remained Flat This Week
- Today’s national average price of gas is $3.68 per gallon, which is the same as a week ago. Gas prices nationally have stopped increasing and have remained relatively flat in recent days as the situation stabilizes in Iraq. The conflict in Iraq is unlikely to send gas prices significantly higher unless there are major developments in Baghdad or in the southern oil producing regions.
- The five states with the highest average prices today include: Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($4.22), California ($4.13), Washington ($4.00) and Oregon ($3.98). The five states with the lowest average prices include: South Carolina ($3.39), Alabama ($3.42), Mississippi ($3.45), Tennessee ($3.46) and Arkansas ($3.48).
- Despite high gas prices in most parts of the country, drivers in four states are paying less than a year ago. These four states include Utah (-8 cents), Idaho (-6 cents), Montana (-1 cent) and Colorado (-0.1 cents). The states with the largest price increases compared to a year ago include Michigan (42 cents), Kentucky (37 cents) and Ohio (32 cents).
- The most expensive metro area in the continental United States is San Luis Obispo-Atascadero-Paso Robles, Calif. at $4.24 per gallon. The least expensive metro area in the United States is Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, S.C. at $3.33 per gallon.
June 30th, 2014 by admin
( WASHINGTON, June 30, 2014) The national average price of gas has stopped increasing as we approach the Independence Day holiday, though prices remains at a six-year high for this time of year. Today’s national average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.68 per gallon. The price has remained relatively stable over the past seven days, and the current price is just a penny more than one month ago.
Consumers have seen little fluctuation in the national average for the month of June; however the current price at the pump is 19 cents more than at this time last year ($3.49). In comparison to previous Independence Day holidays, motorists will face prices that are the highest since 2008, with today’s average ($3.68) surpassing the holiday’s price per gallon from: 2013 ($3.48); 2012 ($3.34); 2011 ($3.57); 2010 ($2.74); and 2009 ($2.62).
The situation in Iraq continues to put pressure on global oil prices, as markets weigh the potential for supply disruptions from OPEC’s second largest producer. These elevated oil prices have ultimately meant stubbornly high retail gasoline prices for motorists.
This past Friday (June 27), the price at the pump reached the $4.00 mark in the state of Washington ($4.00 today) for the first time since 2013 (May 24). The Evergreen State joins Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($4.21) and California ($4.13) with prices at or above $4.00 per gallon. Prices have remained relatively stable (+/- 2 cents) over the last week in 43 states and Washington, D.C., and consumers in just four states have seen prices either rise or fall more than a nickel over this same period: Alaska (+7 cents), Illinois (- 6 cents), Ohio (-10 cents) and Indiana (-11 cents). Prices over the last 30 days have been more universally volatile with consumers in 31 states and Washington, D.C. posting averages that have moved either up or down over a nickel, led by Alaska (+21 cents), Ohio (-23 cents) and Indiana (-25 cents).
Regardless of geographic location, motorists in nearly every state are paying more at the pump than one year ago. Motorists in 40 states and Washington, D.C., are experiencing a bit of sticker shock, with prices up a dime or more compared to this time last year. This largest increases are in Michigan (+42 cents), Kentucky (+37 cents) and Ohio (+30 cents). However, four states are outside of this trend and have posted year-over-year declines: Colorado (-0.1 cent), Montana (-1 cent), Idaho (-6 cents) and Utah (-8 cents).
Energy market analysts continue to monitor the situation in Iraq and the movements of the group ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). After capturing Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, it was rumored that ISIL would enter Baghdad or the country’s southern oil producing. These concerns caused global prices to rise, but, many analysts now see this action as unlikely in the near term barring a major offensive move by ISIL.
The conversation regarding domestic production was revived this week when two Texas energy companies received permission to export ultra-light oil to foreign buyers. The decision relates to a decades long ban on crude exports, enacted in response to the 1973 OPEC oil embargo and the historic gasoline shortages of the 1970s. The move falls short of relaxing the ban on oil exports, which oil producers have called for, and will remain a topic of discussion in the coming months.
At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 37 cents lower at $105.37.
June 23rd, 2014 by admin
( June 23, 2014) As we approach the end of the first full month of the 2014 summer driving season, the national price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.68 per gallon, which is the highest price for early summer in six years. The average price at the pump has increased for 12 consecutive days for a total of four cents per gallon, narrowing the gap between the current retail price and the 2014 peak of $3.70 per gallon reached on April 28. Today’s average is two cents more than one week ago, three cents more than one month ago, and motorists are paying 11 cents more per gallon than a year ago.
Violence keyed by the militant group known as ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) has continued to expand toward southern Iraq, where the majority of the country’s oil production is located. These concerns have helped to increase global oil prices, which makes it more expensive to produce gasoline. AAA had previously predicted that the national average price of gas would fall 10-15 cents per gallon in June, but that now appears unlikely due to higher oil costs. This means that even though the national average has only increased a few cents per gallon since the Iraq violence intensified, drivers are likely to pay substantially higher gas prices than they would have otherwise.
For more than a month, drivers in three states have paid more than $4.00 dollars per gallon at the pump: Hawaii (currently $4.34), California (currently $4.15) and Alaska (currently $4.10). Prices in 43 states and the District of Columbia have increased during the previous week and prices in 18 states are up by a nickel or more. Motorists in only five states have seen pump prices fall by a penny or more: Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-13 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Illinois (-4 cents) and Kentucky (-3 cents).
In 41 states and Washington, D.C., drivers are paying more at the pump in comparison to this date last year, and 33 states and Washington, D.C. are paying a dime or more per gallon. Of the eight states with lower prices at the pump, only the drivers in North Dakota (-13 cents) and Utah (-12 cents) are experiencing savings in the double-digits.
After a run-up to a new nine-month high to end last week, and with no major market-moving news over the weekend, crude oil prices moved slightly lower today. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 66 cents lower at $106.17.
June 16th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, June 16, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.66 per gallon. Today’s average is fractions of a penny more than a week ago, a little over a cent more than a month ago, and a nickel per gallon more than the same date last year. After falling for nine straight days, the national average has increased for five consecutive days for a total of about two cents per gallon as violence in Iraq has intensified.
AAA has predicted that drivers will pay relatively high prices this summer, ranging from $3.55 – $3.70 cent per gallon, however this range may be higher if unrest in Iraq escalates or disrupts oil production in the region. Given the increase in crude oil prices to nearly a nine-month high, retail gas prices are likely to rise to or near the current 2014 high ($3.70 on April 28) in the coming days.
Gas prices often decline in June with the national average falling the previous three years at an average of about 20 cents per gallon. The recent turmoil in Iraq is likely to prevent that trend from repeating this year. A year ago the national average was turning lower as domestic production and distribution issues eased, although market watchers were keeping a close eye on geopolitical tensions in Syria. While Syria is not a major oil producing nation, there was concern that fighting might spread to other countries in the region, which kept some upward pressure on crude oil prices.
Drivers in Hawaii ($4.35), California ($4.09) and Alaska ($4.06) continue to pay more than $4 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, a trend that has lasted for 23 days. Prices have remained relatively stable (+/- 2 cents) in 34 states and the District of Columbia over the past week, however consumers in five states have seen prices climb a nickel or more: Montana and Ohio (+6 cents) and Illinois, Arkansas, and Missouri (+5 cents).
The overall picture for the states is reflecting a bit of regional variation, especially when looking at the month-over-month and year-over-year averages. The biggest fluctuations in price are evident when comparing year-over-year averages, where prices in 29 states and the District of Columbia have swung by 10 cents or more. The biggest price drops have been in the Midcontinent and Mountain States: North Dakota (-26 cents), Colorado (-22 cents) South Dakota (-19 cents) and Utah (-18 cents). The biggest price increase is Pennsylvania (+23 cents).
The month-over-month picture reflects a similar picture of price volatility. Consumers in Michigan (+20 cents), Illinois (+16 cents), Montana (+14 cents) and Wisconsin (+14 cents) are paying the largest premiums per gallon. Meanwhile, drivers in parts of the South have watched pump prices fall: Alabama (-11 cents), Georgia (-8 cents), South Carolina (-7 cents) and Florida (-7 cents).
Much of the attention of global market watchers has shifted from Ukraine and Russia, to widespread violence in Iraq. According to the EIA, Iraq has the fifth largest proven oil reserve in the world and is the second largest producer of crude oil in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Markets will continue to monitor the conflict closely due to the potential for violence to spread to neighboring oil producing nations, and the overarching regional foreign policy implications associated with an Iraqi civil war.
After a run-up late last week, and with no major market-moving news over the weekend, crude oil prices were relatively steady today. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $106.90, just a penny shy of Friday’s settlement, which was the highest since September 18.
June 10th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014) A day before the 50th anniversary of the modern self-serve fueling station, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.65 per gallon. Today’s average is two cents less than a week ago and fractions of a penny less than a month ago. This time last year consumers were paying two cents less at the pump ($3.63), and the national average was beginning to trend downward toward the summer low of $3.47 (July 7, 2013).
For the past three years, the national average has steadily declined to start the summer driving season. Although early data for summer 2014 is moving in this direction, it is too soon to say to what extent this pattern will persist for a fourth year.
For the past 16 days consumers in Hawaii, California and Alaska have all paid an average pump price of more than $4 per gallon – Hawaii is the only state within 25 cents of the state’s record price per gallon ($4.61 on April 11, 2012). The price at the pump in 35 states has remained relatively stable (+/- 2 cents) over the past seven days, and only two states are posting fluctuations of more than a nickel, both to the downside: Kentucky (-6 cents), and Ohio (-12 cents).
Consumers in 29 states and the District of Columbia are paying a bit less at the pump than a month ago, with the largest occurring savings in Alabama (-11 cents), Florida (-10 cents) and Georgia (-10 cents). For this same period, three states – Michigan (+22 cents), Indiana (+15 cents) and Wisconsin (+11 cents) – are posting double-digit increases. Motorists in 31 states are paying a year-over-year premium, and of this total more than half are paying an additional 10 cents or more per gallon, led by Pennsylvania (+25 cents), Nevada (+22 cents), South Carolina (+20 cents).
On the other side of the year-over-year spectrum, the price per gallon has dropped by a dime or more in 17 states. This time last year, the Great Lake States (Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana) were experiencing near record high prices due to supply and transportation challenges caused by unscheduled maintenance at local refineries. As a result, the largest year-over-year savings at the pump are posted by Midcontinent states, with drivers in North Dakota leading the way at 35 cents per gallon less than this date last year.
Market watchers continue to monitor the ongoing unrest in Libya and Ukraine, and its impact on global crude prices. Additionally, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has a meeting scheduled for this week and the proceedings will be closely monitored to see if there are any indications that production levels will be adjusted in the near future.
At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled $1.75 higher at $104.41 per barrel, which is the highest settlement since March 3.