Posts Tagged ‘AAA Travel’

Today’s national gas price average is $2.54, which is only one cent more than last week. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that while gasoline demand modestly decreased (146,000 b/d), gasoline inventory increased by 3.6 million bbl. Combined, these two factors resulted in minimal impact on the national average this week. On the week, gas prices increased for 41 states with Florida seeing the largest jump at the pump with a nine-cent increase.

“For consumers, the questions is how high are gas prices going to go in 2018,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Since 2014, gas prices decreased as much as 20 cents in the first three weeks of the year. This year, gas prices are five cents more than on January 1 of this year, a possible indication that prices in 2018 will likely be more expensive than last year.”

Today, motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 58 percent of gas stations nationwide.

Quick Stats

  • The largest yearly changes in the top ten markets are: California (+39 cents), Indiana (+37 cents), Michigan (+32 cents), Alaska (+30 cents), Oregon (+28 cents), Hawaii (+28 cents), Montana (+28 cents), Ohio (+27 cents), Illinois (+25 cents) and Tennessee (+25 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Texas ($2.29), Missouri ($2.30), Alabama ($2.30), Mississippi ($2.31), South Carolina ($2.32), Arkansas ($2.32), Arizona ($2.34), New Mexico ($2.35), Oklahoma ($2.35) and Tennessee ($2.36).

West Coast

Gas stations across the West Coast region are selling gasoline at some of the highest prices in the nation. Six of the most expensive markets in the country are found in this region: Hawaii ($3.35), California ($3.19), Alaska ($3.08), Washington ($2.94), Oregon ($2.82) and Nevada ($2.69). On the week, Hawaii (+5 cents) saw the region’s largest increase, while California, Washington and Nevada increased by only a penny.

Total gasoline stocks in the West Coast increased by 1.2 million bbl, landing at 34.7 million bbl. According to the EIA, it is the highest inventory level in the region in four years, since the week of January 17, 2014.

Great Lakes and Central

Motorists in five Great Lakes and Central states are among the minority in the country seeing pump price decreases on the week: Indiana (-12 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Ohio (-8 cents), Illinois (-6 cents) and Kentucky (-5 cents). All other states in the region are paying one to five cents more at the pump for a gallon of regular gasoline compared to last Monday.

While a few states in the region are welcoming cheaper gas prices this week, there are no cost savings at the pump compared to this time last year – gas prices are as much as 37 cents more expensive. Indiana (+37 cents), Michigan (+32 cents), Ohio (+27 cents) and Illinois (+25 cents) are among the top 10 states in the country with the largest yearly increase.

Gasoline inventory built in the region for the fourth week, albeit it just adding 300,000 bbl. At 53 million bbl, inventories are in line with this time last year, according to the latest EIA report.

South and Southeast

Florida (+9 cents) and Louisiana (+5 cents) not only lead the region with the largest increases on the week, but land on this week’s top 10 states with the biggest change in pump prices. New Mexico was the only state in the region to see no change on the week. At $2.29, Texas leads the region and the country with the least expensive gas price average. The highest gas price in the South and Southeast is found in Florida $2.54, which is 25 cents more a gallon than in Texas.

After two weeks of decreases, gasoline inventory built by 2.6 million bbl on the week. The increase was the largest of any region in the country. Total stocks sit at a healthy 84 million bbl.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

While gas prices are as much as five cents more expensive on the week in the region (Washington, D.C. and North Carolina), they are 17-25 cents more than a year ago. However, despite a double-digit year-over-year increase, a handful of Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states land on the top 10 states with the smallest year-over-year increase: New York (+17 cents), Maine (+17 cents) and Delaware (+18 cents). States with the largest year-over-year increases in the region: Tennessee (+25 cents), Massachusetts (+25 cents), Rhode Island (+24 cents), Maryland (+24 cents) and Kentucky (+24 cents).

After a substantial build the week prior, this week the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region had a nearly 500,000 bbl draw on gasoline inventory. The 53 million bbl in total is typical for this time of year.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rockies region increased as much as four cents on the week: Utah (+4 cents), Idaho (+3 cents), Wyoming (+1 cent) and Montana (+1 cent). Colorado’s gas price average held steady at $2.43 on the week and is just one cent cheaper than this time last month. Whereas Utah’s gas price is six cents more expensive month over month.

Gasoline inventory remains above the 7 million bbl mark despite a small 64,000 bbl draw on the week, according to the EIA.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped 58 cents to settle at $63.37. Oil prices slid after EIA’s latest petroleum report underscored that domestic crude production in the U.S. continues to grow. On the week, U.S. crude production increased by 258,000 b/d to 9.750 million b/d. Market observers are looking for indications that growth in the global crude market has slowed, but the U.S. has bucked that trend. In fact, U.S. producers are seizing the higher petroleum prices to grow global market share – evidenced by crude exports growing to 1.25 million b/d last week. That figure is up from the rate last year at this time, which stood at 704,000 b/d. This growth potentially stalls efforts by OPEC and major crude producers to rebalance the market (by cutting production through the end of 2018). However, market observers who are looking for indications that the crude market may tighten in the coming months were glad to see the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. declined by five last week. The total number of rigs now stands at 747.

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

Gas prices jumped four cents on the week landing today’s national average at $2.53. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gasoline demand increased 164,000 bbl on the week to register at 8.8 million. The demand measurement is the highest demand for the first EIA report of January since 2011. The demand increase is a contributing factor to this week’s higher pump prices.

“The EIA’s gasoline demand measurement is higher than any week in January last year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “If demand continues to climb, motorists are likely to see pump prices increase too, paving the way for even more expensive fill-ups. This month’s average is already 19-cents more than last January.”

Motorists in the Great Lakes and Central states are seeing the largest increase in gas prices on the week. Only two states, Alaska (-2 cents) and Rhode Island (-1 cent), in the country carry pump prices that are less than last week’s price.

Quick Stats

  • The largest weekly changes in the top ten markets are: Kansas (+9 cents), Kentucky (+9 cents), Indiana (+9 cents), Iowa (+9 cents), Michigan (+7 cents), Minnesota (+7 cents), Oklahoma (+7 cents), Missouri (+7 cents), Georgia (+7 cents) and Nebraska (+6 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Texas ($2.28), Alabama ($2.28), Mississippi ($2.29), Missouri ($2.30), Arkansas ($2.30), South Carolina ($2.30), Oklahoma ($2.32), Arizona ($2.32), Louisiana ($2.33) and Virginia ($2.34).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the highest in the nation. Six of the most expensive markets in the country are found in this region: Hawaii ($3.30), California ($3.18), Alaska ($3.08), Washington ($2.93), Oregon ($2.82) and Nevada ($2.68). On the week, Oregon (+2 cents) saw the region’s largest increase and Alaska (-2 cents) saw the largest decrease.

The EIA’s first weekly petroleum status report for 2018 found that gasoline inventories measure near a 2-year high at 33.4 million bbl. The level is well above the 28 million bbl threshold that many market observers consider “comfortable” for the region. Additionally, the region’s refineries produced 1.48 million b/d of gasoline according to the EIA’s latest report. However, as winter and planned maintenance ahead of spring moves forward, gasoline production levels may decline in the coming weeks.

Great Lakes and Central

Eight Great Lakes and Central states land on this week’s top 10 states with the biggest changes list: Kansas (+9 cents), Kentucky (+9 cents), Indiana (+9 cents), Iowa (+9 cents), Michigan (+7 cents), Minnesota (+7 cents), Missouri (+7 cents) and Nebraska (+6 cents). All states in the region are paying more compared to last week. Gas prices range from as low as $2.30 in Missouri to as high as $2.69 in Michigan.

Gasoline inventory built in the region for the third week in a row adding 2.2 million bbl. That is the second highest build in the country according to the EIA. In total, Great Lakes and Central states inventories measure at 53 million bbl.

South and Southeast

Gas prices continue to increase for motorists across the South and Southeast. Compared to one month ago, gas prices are as much as 8 to 13 cents more expensive: Georgia (+13 cents), Oklahoma (+12 cents), South Carolina (+12 cents), Florida (+11 cents), Mississippi (+10 cents), Arkansas (+10 cents), Alabama (+10 cents), Louisiana (+9 cents) and Texas (+9 cents). New Mexico is the only state in the region with less expensive gas prices (-6 cents) on the month.

Despite the month-over-month increases, the South and Southeast continue to carry the cheapest gas in the country. This week, Texas ($2.28) leads the region and the country with the least expensive gas price average.

For a second week, gasoline inventories decreased in the region, though this week by a high 2.36 million bbl. Measuring at 81.7 million bbl, inventory levels are 1 to 2 million below January levels the past two years.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

In the region, Tennessee (+6 cents) saw the largest increase at the pump on the week. Motorists are paying more in every state in the region except for Rhode Island ($2.55) where prices are one cent cheaper. With the increases, Pennsylvania ($2.80) and Washington, D.C. ($2.75) sell the most expensive gas in the region and among the most expensive in the country. At $2.55, Massachusetts and Rhode Island sell the least expensive gasoline.

The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region had the largest build of all regions in gasoline inventories on the week. According to the EIA, the region added 3.2 million bbl, totaling inventories at 61.4 million bbl. Despite the build, inventories sit at nearly 6 million bbl below levels this time last year, yet 1.7 million bbl more than the start of 2016.

Rockies

Gas prices increased as much as three cents in the region on the week: Utah (+3 cents), Idaho (+3 cents), Colorado (+1 cent) and Wyoming (+1 cent). Montana’s average remained stable at $2.57. On average, gas prices in the Rockies are $2.50, with all states paying at least 17-cents more than at the same time last year.

Building by 502,000 bbl, gasoline inventories sit at 7.8 million bbl – a healthy inventory level for the region.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 50 cents to settle at $64.30. Oil prices edged higher last week following the release of EIA’s report for the first week of 2018, which revealed that domestic crude oil production dropped by 290,000 b/d. The decline is the largest U.S. production drop since the highly active hurricane season ended in mid-October last year. Moreover, crude inventories around the country dropped by 4.9-million bbl.

Some market observers are encouraged that oil prices will continue to climb as production slows and inventories grow tighter. However, the drop in production may be short-lived. Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that last week, the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. grew by 10, bringing the total number of rigs to 752. The oil produced by these rigs may help the U.S. reach a new crude production level of 10 million b/d later this year, as speculated by many market observers.

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

National Gas Price Average Holds Steady

January 8th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

The national gas price average has held steady at $2.49 for nine straight days. Many motorists across the country are seeing more expensive gas prices at most six cents on the week, while prices are cheaper for a select few states: Indiana (-10 cents), Ohio (-7 cents), Michigan (-6 cents), Kentucky (-4 cents), Illinois (-2 cents), Colorado (-1 cent), Montana (-1 cent), New Mexico (-1 cent) and Washington, D.C. (-1 cent).

“On average, gas prices are 12 cents more expensive than a year ago. However, on the week consumer demand for gasoline decreased. If this continues, gas prices will decrease in the weeks ahead,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

Motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 64 percent of gas stations nationwide. The cheapest gas can be found in Missouri ($2.23).

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten states with the largest monthly changes are: Alaska (-13 cents), New Mexico (-11 cents), Colorado (-10 cents), Illinois (+9 cents), Delaware (+9 cents), Idaho (-9 cents), Michigan (+9 cents), Utah (-8 cents), Wyoming (-8 cents) and Maryland (+7 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten states with least expensive gasoline are: Missouri ($2.23), Arkansas ($2.24), Oklahoma ($2.25), South Carolina ($2.25), Alabama ($2.25), Texas ($2.25), Mississippi ($2.26), Louisiana ($2.27), Tennessee ($2.28) and Kansas ($2.28).

 

West Coast
Drivers in the West Coast region continue to pay some of the highest prices in the country. Six of the most expensive markets in the country are found in the region: Hawaii ($3.30), California ($3.16), Alaska ($3.10), Washington ($2.92), Oregon ($2.80) and Nevada ($2.67). On the week, California (+6 cents) saw the country and the region’s largest increase.

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest petroleum status report (for the week ending on December 29) found that gasoline inventories measure near a 2-year high at 32.9 million bbl. Healthy refining output rates and increased gasoline imports are contributing to the high inventory volume, which has helped to keep prices in the region mostly stable on the week.

Great Lakes and Central
Pump prices are volatile across the Great Lakes and Central states with prices increasing as much as six cents and decreasing as much as three cents on the week. Motorists in Indiana (-10 cents), Ohio (-7 cents), Michigan (-6 cents), Kentucky (-4 cents) and Illinois (-2 cents) are the only ones in the region with reprieve at the pump. Despite the ten-cent drop in price, Michigan ($2.63) continues to sell the most expensive gas in the region and is ranked 11th in the states with the most expensive gas prices.

Illinois and Michigan lead the country in the largest month-over-month change in pump price with a nine-cent increase compared to early December. Also seeing large jumps on the month: Wisconsin (+7 cents), Ohio (+5 cents), Kentucky (+4 cents) and Indiana (+2 cents).

Gasoline inventory increased alongside gas prices. The region added 2.7 million bbl. on the week, bringing the latest measurement total to 50.8 million bbl. According to the EIA, this is the largest one-week increase and highest supply levels the region has seen since end of September 2017.

South and Southeast
Motorists in every state except New Mexico are seeing more expensive gas prices on the week, with Alabama (+3 cents) seeing the largest increase. Prices have been increasing since before the holidays, yet still rank among the cheapest in the country with every state under $2.50: Arkansas ($2.24), Oklahoma ($2.25), South Carolina ($2.25), Alabama ($2.25), Texas ($2.25), Mississippi ($2.26), Louisiana ($2.27), New Mexico ($2.34), Georgia ($2.36) and Florida ($2.45).

Compared to one month ago, motorist in the South and Southeast are paying anywhere from four cents more to a one cent less at the pump, with the exception of New Mexico (-11 cents).

Gasoline inventories decreased slightly (199,000 bbl.) and sit just above the 84 million bbl. (for week-ending Dec 29). EIA data cites the regional inventory total as the highest year-end inventory measurements on record for the region.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are increasing by the day in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. On the week, price jumps range from six to one cent. Vermont (+5 cents) saw the largest jump in the region and the country. Washington, D.C. was the only state in the region to see prices decrease, albeit by one cent.

Similar to this time last year, four states have among the top 10 most expensive gas price averages in the country. In fact, gas prices in these states are as much as 17 cents more expensive at the start of 2018: Connecticut (+17 cents), Washington, D.C. (+12 cents), New York (+12 cents) and Pennsylvania (+11 cents).

Despite artic temperatures and violent winter weather, there have been no real supply issues in the region since gasoline inventories are ample. With a small build (55,000 bbl.), gasoline inventory levels continue to top 58 million bbl. However, the region is at a 7 million bbl. deficit compared to this time last year.

Rockies

Motorists in the region are seeing small fluctuations on the week: Utah (+2 cents), Idaho (+1 cent), Colorado (-1 cent) and Montana (-1 cent). Wyoming’s state average remained stable at $2.43.

All states in the region are paying more at the pump compared to this time last year: Montana (+31 cents), Utah (-+23 cents), Idaho (+21 cents), Wyoming (+21 cents) and Colorado (+13 cents).

After two weeks of draws, gasoline inventories built by 82,000 bbl. to keep the total inventory above 7 million bbl.

 

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 57 cents to settle at $61.44.

Although the market dropped slightly last week, end of the year gains were significant according to the EIA. Among the 2017 U.S. crude highlights were:

  • Crude oil prices at the end of the year were the highest year-end prices since 2013;
  • U.S. crude production increased by more than 384,000 b/d to 9.2 million b/d (based on confirmed data through September 2017); and
  • Crude oil exports averaged 1 million b/d through October 2017 – a record high and increase of 445,000 b/d from the 2016 average.

These facts have given the market greater optimism about the potential of prices continuing to climb in 2018, as OPEC’s agreement to reduce production will remain in effect through the end of this year and will help to restrain growing inventories. However, growing U.S. production amid higher global demand growth has given some pause to these optimistic market observations. U.S. production rates in coming months will give a clearer picture. The latest weekly active rig count report from Baker Hughes, Inc. found the U.S. dropped by five rigs to land at 742.

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.

2018 Kicks-off with Most Expensive Gas Prices Since 2014

January 2nd, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

At $2.49, the national gas price average is the most expensive seen at the start of a new year since 2014, when gas prices were more than $3/gallon. High travel volumes over the holidays drove gas prices up five cents on the week. At the start of 2018, motorists in the Northeast, South and the upper Midwest are seeing pump prices as much as 13 cents more expensive than last one week ago.

“Although prices at the pump shot up over the holidays, now that the holiday season in the rearview mirror, motorists can expect gas prices to trend cheaper this month as we are likely to see a significant drop in gasoline demand,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report measures gasoline demand at a strong 9.5 million b/d, which is typical of the holiday season. However, historical data shows that in early January demand typical drops and stays below the 9 million mark for the first few months of the year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten states with the largest yearly changes are: Alaska (+39 cents), Montana (+35 cents), California (+34 cents), Oregon (+30 cents), Hawaii (+27 cents), Washington (+24 cents), Wyoming (+24 cents), Indiana (+23 cents), Nevada (+22 cents) and Utah (+22 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten states with the least expensive gasoline are: Missouri ($2.22), Oklahoma ($2.22), Alabama ($2.22), Arkansas ($2.23), Mississippi ($2.23), South Carolina ($2.24), Texas ($2.24), Louisiana ($2.26), Tennessee ($2.26) and Kansas ($2.28).

 

West Coast

Gas prices in the West Coast remain among the highest in the country. On the week, California (+2 cents) and Oregon (+1 cent) saw the largest price increases, while Alaska (-2 cents), Hawaii (-1 cent) and Washington (-1 cent) saw the largest price decreases.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, the region’s refinery crude utilization rate hit a new record high at 96.3 percent, which is the highest level since the mid-2010s and well above the 80 percent rate seen at this time last year. In addition, gasoline inventories continue to measure above 30 million bbl. for a third week, positioning the region with a comfortable supply level as the year begins.

Great Lakes and Central

Across the region, gas prices have increased as much as 10 cents on the week with four states landing on this week’s top 10 states with the largest increases: Ohio (+10 cents), Michigan (+8 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents) and Kansas (+6 cents). At $2.69, Michigan is selling the most expensive gas in the region, followed by Illinois ($2.63) and Indiana ($2.61). Missouri ($2.21) is selling the cheapest gas not only in the Great Lakes and Central states, but in the whole country.

Compared to beginning of December, Indiana (+24 cents), Michigan (+23 cents), Ohio (+15 cents) and Illinois (+12 cents) are the only states where gas prices have increased more than 10 cents on the month.

With a 259,000 bbl. add, gasoline inventory sits at 48.1 million bbl., according to the EIA (week ending Dec. 22). The last time the region had inventory less than 50 million bbl. at the end of the year was in 2010.

South and Southeast

Gas prices in the South and Southeast remain among the cheapest in the country even with pump prices jumping in every state on the week except New Mexico (-1 cent). Motorists in Florida (+9 cents), Georgia (+8 cents), Texas (+7 cents), Mississippi (+6 cents), Alabama (+5 cents) and Arkansas (+5 cents) are seeing the biggest price increases in the region since Christmas Day.
Gasoline inventories had a 278,000 bbl. build on the week, bringing levels above the 84 million bbl. mark. This is one of the highest inventory measurements of 2017 for the region.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are $2.50 or more in 11 Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states: Pennsylvania ($2.74), Washington, D.C. ($2.71), Connecticut ($2.64), New York ($2.64), New Jersey ($2.56), Rhode Island ($2.54), West Virginia ($2.54), Vermont ($2.53), Massachusetts ($2.53), Maine ($2.51) and Maryland ($2.51). Motorists in every state are paying more on the week. With a 13 cent jump, Delaware saw the largest increase in the country and the region.
Gasoline inventories sit at 59.2 million bbl. and saw a small increase on the week (335,000 bbl.).

Rockies

States in the Rockies were among the only ones to see gas prices decrease in the country on the week: Idaho (-1 cent), Colorado (-1 cent) and Utah (-1 cent). Gas prices remained stable in both Montana ($2.58) and Wyoming ($2.43) on the week. Looking at gas prices this time last year, Montana (+35 cents), Wyoming (+24 cents) and Utah (+22 cents) land on the top 10 states list with the biggest year-over-year changes.

Gasoline inventory continues to measure above 7 million bbl. in the region, which is typical for this time of year.

Oil market dynamics

On Friday, the final day of trading for 2017, WTI closed 58 cents up, reaching its highest price of the year: $60.42/bbl. Moving into 2018, prices are expected to continue rising as OPEC’s production reduction agreement will remain in place for the entirety of 2018.

2017’s increasing oil prices, especially in the fourth quarter, led to increased investment in production and drilling. This allowed the U.S. to reach its highest crude production level — 9.637 million b/d (October) — since April 1971, officially confirmed by EIA last week. This represents a roughly 10 percent gain from the same month in 2016 and a 167,000 b/d increase from September 2017. For 2018, U.S. crude production is expected to hit 10 million b/d for the first time ever, helping the country to meet domestic demand and expand its export prowess to countries that have growing energy demands around the globe. The total number of active rigs, 747, is 222 more than the total active number of rigs at the beginning of 2017. No active oilrigs were added last week, according to Baker Hughes, Inc.

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.

Holiday Driving Demand Causes Temporary Increase at the Pump

December 26th, 2017 by AAA Public Affairs

Heading into the final week of the year, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.44, an increase of two cents on the week. As more drivers hit the road for the holidays, the increase in driving demand is likely the cause for increases in some states. Despite the incremental jump, motorists in 33 states are paying less on the week – as much as nine cents. Today’s average is about 26 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. The cheapest gas can be found in Alabama ($2.17), while Hawaii ($3.29) sells the most expensive.

“The majority of motorists have seen savings at the pump this month. The national gas price average is over five cents cheaper than the beginning of December,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

Quick Stats

  • The top ten markets with the largest weekly changes are: Michigan (+17 cents), Ohio (+15 cents), Indiana (+12 cents), Illinois (+11 cents), Kentucky (+9 cents), Alaska (-9 cents), Wisconsin (+7 cents), Missouri (+5 cents), North Dakota (-4 cents) and West Virginia (+4 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.17), Texas ($2.17), Mississippi ($2.18), Arkansas ($2.18), Oklahoma ($2.19), South Carolina ($2.20), Missouri ($2.20), Louisiana ($2.22), Kansas ($2.22) and Tennessee ($2.23).

West Coast

Drivers in the West Coast region are paying some of the highest prices at the pump after the holiday weekend. The six states in the region that are most expensive are: Hawaii ($3.29), Alaska ($3.10), California ($3.08), Washington ($2.92), Oregon ($2.78) and Nevada ($2.65). As prices continue to drop on the week, Alaska saw the largest decline (-9), while Washington, Oregon and Nevada each dropped a penny and Hawaii and California saw no change.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report for the region, gasoline inventories hit a new milestone: a 10-month high at 31 million bbl. The figure is 2.6 million bbl above the inventory level at this time last year.

Great Lakes and Central

Across the Great Lakes and Central regions, gas prices are as cheap as $2.20 in Missouri and as expensive as $2.60 in Michigan. On the week, gas prices continue to decrease for the majority of states in the Central Region with North Dakota (-4 cents), Kansas (-2 cents) and South Dakota (-2 cents) seeing the largest drops at the pump. Conversely, motorists in Michigan (+17 cents), Ohio (+15 cents), Indiana (+12 cents), Illinois (+11 cents), Kentucky (+9 cents), Wisconsin (+7 cents) and Missouri (+5 cents) saw some of the highest weekly increases. Throughout the year, these regions have been some of the most volatile – seeing prices take large jumps and declines from week to week.

Gasoline inventories had a small decline of 26,000 bbl. At 47.8 million bbl, inventories are at a 3.3 million bbl deficit compared to this time last year.

South and Southeast

On the week, Florida saw the largest decrease (-2 cents) in the region. Alabama ($2.17) takes the Nation’s top spot for the cheapest gas price average. Six states in the region join Alabama on this week’s top 10 list of states with the least expensive gas price averages: Texas ($2.17), Mississippi ($2.18), Arkansas ($2.18), Oklahoma ($2.20), South Carolina ($2.20) and Louisiana ($2.22).

While gas prices are more expensive nationally compared to last year, Florida motorists are only seeing a three-cent difference, which is the smallest year-over-year difference in the region and the country.

With an addition of 2.4 million bbl, gasoline inventories grew for a third straight week. At 84 million bbl in total, this is the largest total inventory in the region since late January.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices range from a low of $2.23 in Tennessee to high of $2.69 in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. With a 12 cent price difference, Delaware saw the largest monthly decline in gas prices in the region.

According to the latest EIA report, gasoline inventories in the region increased by 1.2 million bbl on the week despite an increase in driving demand.

Rockies

Motorist in Montana ($2.58) and Idaho ($2.54) are paying the most to fill up at the pump of any states in the region. Idaho, Colorado, Utah and Montana saw the largest drops (-3 cents) at the pump for the region.

Comparing prices to one year ago, three states land on the top 10 year-over-year largest increase list: Montana (+36 cents), Wyoming (+28 cents) and Idaho (+26 cents).

Gasoline inventories in the region increased for a fourth straight week, albeit a small bulid of 260,000 bbl.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 11 cents to settle at $58.47. The price of oil took a slight hit last week after EIA’s weekly report revealed another record for U.S. crude production, which stands at 9.789 million b/d. Moreover, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the U.S. active oil rig count remained the same as it did last week, holding steady at 747.

In addition, crude oil inventories declined by 6.5 million bbl, driven mostly by high crude processing rates at refineries across the country. Gross crude inputs for this month have been running consistently above 17 million b/d, which has never happened before 2017. As the year draws to a close, market observers will watch this week’s data from EIA to see if high gasoline demand eats away at crude inventories, or if high levels of domestic crude production will build inventories despite high gasoline demand.

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

On the week, the national average dropped three cents to $2.43. Motorists in the Midwest are seeing the largest drops at the pump, by as much as 10 cents. However, two states are paying more on the week: Indiana (+3 cents) and Hawaii (+1 cent). The national gas price average is 12 cents cheaper than one month ago, but that’s not the case compared to this time last year.

“More than 97 million Americans will begin to hit the road this week for the holidays – the most ever on record,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “At 20 cents more per gallon than the same time last year, pump prices don’t seem to be a deterrent for today’s travelers. The good news is that in most states, gas prices are 12 cents less than they were a month ago. So today, motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 71 percent of gas stations in the country.”

Weekly gasoline inventories increased by an astonishing 5.7 million bbl, according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Demand teeters above the 9 million mark, which is in line with this time last year.

“The increase in supply combined with weaker winter demand will pave the way for even cheaper winter gas prices,” added Casselano.

Quick Stats

  • The top 10 states with largest yearly changes are: Alaska (+54 cents), California (+43 cents), Montana (+42 cents), Oregon (+38 cents), North Dakota (+36 cents), Colorado (+35 cents), Hawaii (+34 cents), Wyoming (+34 cents), Washington (+34 cents) and Idaho (+33 cents).
  • The top 10 states with the least expensive gasoline are: Missouri ($2.16), South Carolina ($2.18), Alabama ($2.18), Oklahoma ($2.18), Mississippi ($2.18), Texas ($2.18), Arkansas ($2.19), Tennessee ($2.22), Louisiana ($2.23) and Virginia ($2.24).

West Coast

Gas prices in the West Coast region remain among the most expensive in the country, even with California (-4 cents) and Alaska (-3 cents) leading the pack with the largest price drops on the week. In contrast, Hawaii is the only state in the region to see prices rise on the week, increasing by a penny. Current prices in six states are the most expensive in the country, including: Hawaii ($3.30), Alaska ($3.18), California ($3.09), Washington ($2.94), Oregon ($2.79) and Nevada ($2.66).

According to EIA’s latest report for the region, gasoline inventories hit a new seven-month high at 30 million bbl. Refinery crude input rates climbed to 94 percent as the state increased gasoline production levels, helping to send regional gasoline inventories to their highest point this year.

Great Lakes and Central

Six Great Lakes and Central states land on this week’s list of the largest drops in gas prices: Ohio (-10 cents), Michigan (-7 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Kentucky (-5 cents), South Dakota (-5 cents) and Iowa (-4 cents). All states in the region are paying less at the pump on the week except for Indiana (+5 cents). Of note, at $2.16, Missouri has the cheapest gas prices in the region and the country.

As many as 12 states in the region are paying 10-30 cents less compared to one month ago. Ohio (-32 cents), Illinois (-22 cents), Michigan (-21 cents), Wisconsin (-20 cents), Indiana (-19 cents), Missouri (-19 cents), Kentucky (-16 cents), Kansas (-16 cents) and Nebraska (-16 cents) motorists are enjoying the largest decrease in gas prices.

With a small 624,000 bbl build, inventories bumped up to 47.9 million bbl – which is the highest levels for the region since late October.

South and Southeast

Motorists in the South and Southeast are paying less at the pump on the week, on average up to four cents less, and paying among the cheapest gas prices in the country. However, gas prices are more expensive than this time last year. Here is a look at the five cheapest gas prices in the region compared to prices last year at this time.

State Today’s Gas Price Last Year’s Gas Price Difference
South Carolina $2.18 $2.03 $0.15
Alabama $2.18 $2.05 $0.13
Oklahoma $2.18 $2.03 $0.15
Mississippi $2.18 $2.04 $0.14
Texas $2.18 $2.05 $0.13

The region saw the largest build in gasoline inventories (3.2 million bbl). According to the EIA, the 81.6 million bbl total yields a 1.6 million bbl surplus compared to this time last year.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Two Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states carry some of the cheapest gas in the country while four states tout some of the most expensive. Motorists in Virginia ($2.24) and Tennessee ($2.22) are paying nearly 50 cents less than those in Pennsylvania ($2.71), Washington, D.C. ($2.68), Connecticut ($2.65) and New York ($2.63).

Gas prices decreased on the week across the region. With a four cent drop, Delaware motorists had the largest decrease of any state in the region.

Building by 750,000 bbl, gasoline inventories increased for a fifth consecutive week and register at 59 million bbl. While inventories measure at the highest levels in four months, totals sit at a nearly 4 million bbl deficit compared to this time last year.

Rockies

Gas prices continue to trend cheaper in the Rockies with Utah (-4 cents) landing on this week’s top 10 states with the biggest changes. Utah ($2.43) also carries the cheapest gas in the region, followed by Wyoming ($2.46), Colorado ($2.46), Idaho ($2.57) and Montana ($2.60).

At 7.2 million bbl, regional gasoline inventories hit the highest mark since the end of June. On the week, inventories had a small 132,000 bbl build and sit just about 700,000 bbl below regional levels this time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 26 cents to settle at $57.30. Oil prices made slight gains throughout last week, and this trend may continue this week. However, if concerns about overproduction as the market attempts to rebalance continue, market observers may curtail further gains.

EIA’s latest report showed that domestic crude oil production hit a new record high at 9.8 million b/d, which has not been that high since December 1970. Increased oil production has given the market some pause, considering that all eyes were previously on rebalancing efforts led by OPEC and non-OPEC producers. After the cartel agreed to extend crude oil cuts through the end of 2018, efforts by the U.S. and other producers outside of the OPEC agreement came into sharper focus because they have gained market share due to reduced output levels from other global suppliers.

In spite of record production, U.S. crude oil inventories continue to decline, falling 5.1 million bbl last week, according to EIA. Inventories have fallen roughly 16 million bbl over the past four weeks. Moreover, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that active oil rigs in the U.S. decreased by four last week and now stand at 747 in total.

Looking ahead to 2018, oil production from countries outside of OPEC’s agreement are likely to increase, based on the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) oil supply and demand forecast for 2018. According to IEA, the global oil surplus could be around 200,000 b/d in the first half of the year. On the other hand, growth in global oil demand is expected to hit 99.1 million b/d, but overall demand in 2018 is expected to be less than 2017 demand numbers. Reduced demand, while supplies continue to grow, will likely lead to another year of global inventory surplus.

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.

ORLANDO, Fla. (December 14, 2017) – ‘Tis the season to traditionally spend with family and friends and this year Americans are traveling in record numbers. AAA forecasts 107.3 million Americans will take to planes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation during the year-end holiday period from Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 1. This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with last year. 2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel. Since 2005, total year-end holiday travel volume has grown by 21.6 million, an increase of more than 25 percent.

Additional Resources

“More expensive gas prices are not swaying holiday revelers to stay home,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “In fact, across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend – Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving – and we project the same for the year-end holiday period. We’ve seen the strong economy and growing consumer confidence fuel holiday travel all year long.”

For the 97.4 million Americans traveling by automobile, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, in collaboration with AAA, predicts travel times during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the normal trip.

By the Numbers: 2017 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast

  • Automobiles: The majority of travelers – 97.4 million – will hit the road (a 3 percent year-over-year increase).
  • Planes: 6.4 million people will travel by air, a 4.1 percent increase and the fourth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.
  • Trains, Buses, Rails and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 2.2 percent to 3.6 million.

Holiday Headache Hotspots
Based on historical and recent travel trends, INRIX expects drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion before the holiday week – on Wednesday, Dec. 20 and Thursday, Dec. 21 – in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. For example, drivers in New York City could see travel times peak at three times a normal trip between 3:30 and 5:30pm.

“With record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays in major metros,” says Dr. Graham Cookson, chief economist & head of research at INRIX. “Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak times altogether or consider alternative routes.”

Worst Days/Times to Travel

Metro Area Worst Day for Travel Worst Time for Travel Delay Multiplier
New York, NY Wednesday, Dec. 20 3:30 – 5:30 PM 3x
Los Angeles, CA Wednesday, Dec. 20 3:30 – 6:00 PM 2.5x
Washington, DC Thursday, Dec. 21 3:00 – 6:00 PM 2.5x
San Francisco, CA Wednesday, Dec. 20 3:00 – 5:30 PM 2x
Chicago, IL Thursday, Dec. 21 4:00 – 6:00 PM 2x
Boston, MA Thursday, Dec. 21 2:30 – 4:30 PM 2x
Seattle, WA Wednesday, Dec. 20 4:00 – 6:00 PM 2x
Atlanta, GA Thursday, Dec. 21 4:30 – 6:30 PM 1.5x
Houston, TX Wednesday, Dec. 20 5:30 – 7:30 PM 1.5x
Detroit, MI Thursday, Dec. 21 3:00 – 5:30 PM 1.5x

Source: INRIX

Travel Tip: Try to avoid traveling through major cities during peak travel times. The best times to leave are typically early morning or after the morning commute because the roads should be less crowded and you will have more time to get to your destination safely. If your schedule permits, traveling on the holiday itself often results in fewer cars on the road.

Pricey pump prices to decrease
The 90 percent of holiday travelers choosing to drive will find the most expensive year-end gas prices since 2014. This December’s national average price is $2.47 (Dec. 1-13), which is 28 cents more than last December. The good news is that AAA does expect the average to drop at least another five cents by year-end, saving motorists a few pennies at the pump.

Airfare and hotel rates trend cheaper, car rentals increase year-over-year
Holiday airfares are nearly 20 percent cheaper than last year. At $165, the average end of year holiday airfare for a round-trip flight for the top 40 domestic routes is at a five-year low, according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index. On average, 2017 airfares are 5 percent less expensive compared to 2016. Overall, competition, capacity over-expansion and lower oil prices are contributing to the decline. Travelers can also find savings at AAA Two and Three Diamond Rated hotels. On average, a Three Diamond hotel nightly rate is $156, a two percent year-over-year decrease. The Two Diamond nightly average rate is $121, a five percent decrease from last year.

Similar to Thanksgiving, car rental rates are more expensive on the year. At $74, the daily car rental rate increased 11 percent. This sets a new five-year record high rate for year-end holiday travel. The increase is on par with the rate increases seen at Thanksgiving.

Top 10 Year-End Holiday Travel Destinations
For a second year, Orlando, Florida, and Anaheim, California, top this year’s top 10 holiday destinations based on AAA.com bookings. Warmer weather destinations reign supreme in winter months with Cancun, Kahului (Maui) and Montego Bay gaining in popularity as holiday spots compared with last year.

  1. Orlando, Fla.
  2. Anaheim, Calif.
  3. Cancun, Mexico
  4. Honolulu, Hawaii
  5. Kahului (Maui), Hawaii
  6. Montego Bay, Jamaica
  7. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  8. Miami, Fla.
  9. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  10. New York, N.Y.

Travel Tip: Airports will be busy and security lines may be longer than usual around the holidays. Travelers should plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to the scheduled departure of their flight. During peak travel times, contact your airline for guidance, as it may be necessary to arrive even earlier. This time of year travelers need to also be aware of potential weather delays. Make sure to check flight status regularly before traveling to the airport. To expedite travel, AAA recommends enrolling in programs such as TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.

Lockouts, flat tires to strand nearly one million motorists
The vast majority of holiday travelers will drive to their destinations, and AAA expects to rescue nearly one million (901,600) motorists. Car battery-related issues, lockouts and flat tires will be the leading reasons AAA is called for roadside assistance over the holidays. For members in need of roadside assistance, download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP. For added convenience, Wazers can now request AAA roadside assistance directly from the Waze app by tapping the Report menu.

Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is road-trip ready. Stop by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the more than 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America, for an inspection. In case of an emergency, be prepared by keeping a cell phone and charger with you at all times. Carry an emergency kit with a flashlight, extra batteries, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, a first-aid kit and extra water.

Travel Tip: Get plenty of rest before setting out on a holiday road trip and schedule breaks every two hours or 100 miles to remain alert and avoid driving drowsy. Also, be aware of the dangers of driving distracted. Drivers should designate a passenger to serve as their official text messenger and navigator.

Download the AAA Mobile app before your holiday getaway
Before heading out on your year-end holiday road trip, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find the 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 nearly 59,000 AAA Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Inspected & 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.

About the AAA travel forecast:
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-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 Markit 2017 year-end holiday travel forecast is available here.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 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.

About INRIX:
INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics. Leveraging big data and the cloud, INRIX delivers comprehensive services and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small.

Gas Prices and Consumer Demand on Steady Decline

December 11th, 2017 by PMarra

The national average price for a gallon of gasoline dropped two cents on the week to $2.46. East Coast and Midwest states are seeing the largest drops in gas prices – as much as six cents – in the last week. While a small number of states, who historically experience ongoing volatility, are seeing increases: Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+8 cents), Ohio (+4 cents), Hawaii (+1 cent) and Illinois (+1 cent). Drivers can expect pump prices to continue to drop heading into the holiday season as supply strengthens and fall gasoline demand weakens.

“Nationally, gas prices are 10 cents cheaper on the month and will continue to drop as we count down the days to the holidays,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “AAA expects gasoline demand to weaken throughout the winter, which translates to better prices at the pump.”

Consumer gasoline demand is registering under 9 million b/d for the second consecutive week, while gasoline inventories increased by nearly 7 million bbl, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

National Average Gas Price Comparison 2014-2017

Quick Stats

  • The top ten states with the largest weekly changes are: Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+8 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Ohio (+4 cents), Delaware (-4 cents), Maine (-4 cents), Kansas (-4 cents), Iowa (-4 cents), Wisconsin (-4 cents) and New Mexico (-3 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($2.19), Alabama ($2.20), South Carolina ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.21), Arkansas ($2.22), Missouri ($2.22), Texas ($2.22), Tennessee ($2.25), Louisiana ($2.27) and Virginia ($2.27).

West Coast

Prices in the West Coast region are among the highest in the country. Six states in the region are on the top ten most expensive list for gasoline prices: Hawaii ($3.29), Alaska ($3.21), California ($3.13), Washington ($2.95), Oregon ($2.80) and Nevada ($2.68). However, on the week, gas prices in these states are down at least two cents, while Hawaii’s price increased by a penny.

The latest report from the EIA shows that total gasoline stocks in the region hit nearly 30 million bbl, the highest point since April 29. Weak demand contributed to the build, even as gasoline production in the region fell to 1.48 million b/d, and will continue to help prices decline throughout the fall and winter.

Top Ten Largest Weekly Changes in Gas Prices

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices in the region range from $2.22 (Missouri) to $2.51 (Michigan). In many states, drivers are paying as much as five cents less at the pump compared to last Monday, except for those filling up in Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+8 cents) and Ohio (+4 cents).

Of note, last Monday Kentucky was the only state in the region to see pump prices jump. Today, gas prices have decreased six cents, which is the largest decrease of any state in the country on the week.

Adding 1.6 million bbl, the region’s gasoline inventories register at 47.2 million bbl. This is the largest inventory total for the Great Lakes and Central states since mid-October, yet two million bbl below this time last year.

Top Ten Least Expensive Average Gas Prices

South and Southeast

On the week, most South and Southeast states are seeing moderate gas price drops – two to three cents. The region is home to the top five states with the cheapest gas in the country: Oklahoma ($2.19), Alabama ($2.20), South Carolina ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.21) and Texas ($2.22). At $2.41, Florida carries the most expensive gas of all states in the region, which is about 20 cents more than one year ago.

There was a 1.5 million bbl build in gasoline inventory. With 78.4 million bbl in total, the South and Southeast region carry the largest amount of inventory in the country. Second largest is Mid-Atlantic and Northeast with 58.4 million bbl, a 20 million bbl difference.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

As gas prices drop for every state in the region, two states land on this week’s list of top 10 largest declines: Delaware (-4 cents) and Maine (- 4 cents). Despite recent declines, Washington, D.C. ($2.70) averages among the most expensive gasoline in the region along with Pennsylvania ($2.73), Connecticut ($2.67) and New York ($2.65).

Compared to one month ago, motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are paying less for a gallon of gasoline, with Delaware (-14 cents) seeing the largest regional drop.

For the fourth consecutive week, gasoline inventories increased in the region. With a 2.4 million bbl build, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast sit at 58.4 million bbl – the largest amount of inventory carried by this region since the beginning of September.

Rockies

Across the Rockies, motorists are paying two to three cents less at the pump on the week: Idaho (-3 cents), Utah (-3 cents), Colorado (-3 cents), Wyoming (-2 cents) and Montana (-1 cent). The most expensive gas in the region is found in Montana ($2.62) and Idaho ($2.61).

Compared to this time last year, Montana (+43 cents), Colorado (+42 cents), Wyoming (+40 cents) and Minnesota (+36 cents) land on the top 10 list of states with largest year-over-year increases.

With a build of 258,000 bbl, gasoline inventories jumped above the 7 million bbl mark for the first time in four weeks.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 67 cents to settle at $57.36. Price volatility kicked into high gear last week for crude prices, amid reports of a potential oil worker strike in Nigeria and financial woes in Venezuela potentially impacting its oil production. Nigeria was not subject to the OPEC 2017 oil reduction agreement and as a result, their crude oil exports and market share grew. If the strike occurs, Nigeria’s oil deliveries may be interrupted and cause supply constraints in the global market. For Venezuela, a large-scale default on its debt would lead to it losing access to capital needed to continue producing oil. As a major global exporter, any reduction in the country’s production level is certain to rattle the market and drive prices up.

In additional news, this morning, the energy minister for the United Arab Emirates said that non-OPEC and OPEC countries that have agreed to cut production through December 2018 will announce an exit strategy from the production agreement in June 2018. Although the agreement will still be in effect until the end of 2018, early signals about the end of the agreement may give market observers greater confidence in knowing that global crude supply has been curtailed and prices are likely to keep riding high.

This news comes after EIA’s latest report showed that U.S. crude stocks fell by 5.6 million bbl. The large drawdown demonstrates the U.S.’ growing export prowess, with EIA reporting that crude exports reached 1.4 million b/d last week compared to 500,000 b/d at the same time last year. Moreover, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. increased by two last week, bringing the total number to 751.

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

At $2.48, the national gas price average is at the cheapest price since early November. More so, pump prices nationally have been steadily dropping during the last two weeks. Today’s gas price is three cents less than a week ago, four cents cheaper than one month ago and 30 cents more than a year ago.

“Cheaper winter gas prices are being seen for the bulk of the country as gasoline demand hits the lowest mark since February,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “On the week, 90 percent of states saw their gas price average drop – some even by double digits.”

Declining gas prices mirror the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest consumer gasoline demand report, showing a drop of 871,000 b/d on the week for a total demand number of 8.7 million b/d (week ending Nov. 24). EIA’s next report, due out on Wednesday, will indicate if the drop is a trend.

Quick Stats

  • The top 10 states with the largest monthly changes are: Indiana(-40 cents), Ohio (-34 cents), Michigan (-30 cents), Illinois (-29 cents), Wisconsin (-18 cents), Alaska (+14 cents), Missouri (-14 cents), Oklahoma (-11 cents), Hawaii (+10 cents) and Kansas (-8 cents).

 

  • The top 10 states with the largest yearly changes are: Alaska(+62 cents), California (+50 cents), Colorado (+48 cents), Montana (+43 cents), Wyoming (+43 cents), Hawaii (+43 cents), North Dakota (+43 cents), Oregon (+42 cents), Minnesota (+41 cents) and New Mexico (+39 cents).

West Coast

Drivers in the West Coast region are paying some of the highest prices at the pump, even as prices continue to drop across the nation. Current prices in six of the region’s states are the most expensive in the country, including: Hawaii ($3.28), Alaska ($3.23), California ($3.16), Washington ($2.98), Oregon ($2.83) and Nevada ($2.71).

According to EIA’s latest report for the region, gasoline inventories sit at 28.8 million bbl, which is considered a comfortable supply level for the region. West Coast gasoline production fell slightly to 1.57 million b/d, but with gas stocks sitting high, drivers in the region are likely to see prices continue to drop this week.

Great Lakes and Central

For a second week, the Great Lakes and Central states are seeing the largest drops at the pump in the region and the country. Eight states land on this week’s top 10 states biggest change list: Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), Michigan (-9 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents), Nebraska (-4 cents) and Kansas (-4 cents). Of note, Kentucky (+3 cents) was the only state in the region to see pump prices jump in the last seven days.

Compared to one month ago, all states in the region except two are paying less at the pump with Indiana (-40 cents), Ohio (-34 cents), Michigan (-30 cents), Illinois (-29 cents), Wisconsin (-18 cents) and Missouri (-14 cents) seeing double-digits drops. Only North Dakota (+1 cents) is paying more on the month in the Great Lakes and Central region.

After shutting down for two weeks following a spill, the Keystone pipeline resumed operations last Tuesday. The shutdown had minimal impact on gas prices in the region. The pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma and to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois.

With a small build on the week, gasoline inventories remain above the 45 million bbl level for the third consecutive week. According to OPIS, this inventory level mark is close to the five-year average for this time of the year.

South and Southeast

While gas price averages are cheapest in the South and Southeast, motorists are paying 20 cents or more at the pump compared to where they were one year ago. For example: New Mexico (+39 cents), Arkansas (+30 cents), Texas (+29 cents), Louisiana (+28 cents), Florida (+25 cents), Oklahoma (+25 cents), South Carolina (+24 cents), Mississippi (+24 cents), Alabama (+23 cents) and Georgia (+21 cents).

On the week, the states in the region saw moderate (at most two cent) drops in price.

Due to a small fire, a crude processing unit at ExxonMobil’s Beaumont, Texas, refinery is shut down and expected to be offline for two to three weeks, OPIS reported. The shutdown had no immediate impact on pump prices, but did spark jumps in the futures market.

The South and Southeast was the only region to see a drop (119,000 bbl) in gasoline inventory levels.  

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

States in the region tout some of the cheapest and some of the most expensive gas in the country. Tennessee ($2.28) and Virginia ($2.27) land on the top 10 states with the lowest gas price average this week, while Pennsylvania ($2.75), Washington, D.C. ($2.72), Connecticut ($2.69) and New York ($2.67) average among the top 10 most expensive gas prices. On the week, gas prices are cheaper or unchanged at pumps across the region. With a four-cent decrease, Delaware saw the biggest change.

The latest EIA report shows the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region had the largest build of gasoline inventory in the country on the week with 2.6 million bbl added. Totaling at 56 million bbl, this is the largest inventory build and level for the region since late October.  

Rockies

Utah (+3 cents) saw the only jump in gas prices of any state in the region. Gas prices decreased two cents in Colorado and dropped by just one penny in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana on the week.

All states in the Rockies are paying significantly more for a gallon of unleaded gasoline on the year. Motorists in Colorado (+48 cents), Montana (+43 cents) and Wyoming (+43 cents) are seeing the biggest year-over-year increases.

Gasoline inventories increased (608,000 bbl) in the Rockies, totaling 28.8 million bbl according to the EIA. Since 2013, stocks generally level at the 28 million bbl mark through the month of November.

Oil market dynamics

On Friday, WTI increased 96 cents, closing at $58.36. The price per barrel of crude pushed higher last week and is likely to continue its climb following news on Nov. 30 from OPEC and some non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, that they have agreed to keep their production cuts in place through the end of December 2018. Participants in the agreement will continue to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in order to drain the global glut of oil that has suppressed oil prices.

Increased production and investment in drilling from producers outside of the production reduction agreement have slowed efforts to drain the global glut, which is why OPEC decided to extend its current agreement. All of this news signals that the U.S. is gaining export prowess through increased demand for exports, making up for losses in global supply due to OPEC’s agreement. As the U.S. moves toward exporting more oil and petroleum products than it imports, such as gasoline for the second year in a row, market observers may decide to pull back on optimistic expectations for the price per barrel of crude.

EIA reported last week that U.S. crude production hit its highest point since April 2015 in September of this year. Moreover, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the active U.S. rig count grew by two last week, with rigs now standing at 749 – that is 272 more rigs than last year at this time.

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.

 

The national gas price average has been trending cheaper for 10 days. At $2.51, today’s price is three cents less than last Monday. On the week, 49 states are paying less at the pump for a gallon of regular gasoline. The District of Columbia and Hawaii saw their gas price increase by one cent. Prices have dropped between one and 15 cents elsewhere across the country.

“AAA expects to see gas prices trend cheaper through the year-end, decreasing as much as 20 cents for some motorists before year-end,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

Today, motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 63 percent of gas stations nationwide.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten states with the largest weekly decreases: Indiana(-15 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Kansas (-4 cents), Nebraska (-4 cents) and Oklahoma (-3 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten states with the least expensive gas: Alabama ($2.23), Mississippi ($2.24), South Carolina ($2.24), Texas ($2.26), Arkansas ($2.27), Oklahoma ($2.27), Tennessee ($2.29), Missouri ($2.29), Virginia ($2.30) and Louisiana ($2.31).

West Coast

Gas prices in states within the West Coast region are among the most expensive in the country. In fact, current prices rank five of the region’s states as the top most expensive states in the country: Alaska ($3.26), Hawaii ($3.24), California ($3.19), Washington ($2.99) and Oregon ($2.84).

After a few weeks of slow growth and declining refinery rates, the region’s refinery utilization rate jumped above 86 percent last week – a rate higher than last year’s at this time. Demand has remained stronger than expected for the early part of fall, so an increasing utilization rate will close the supply gap and help keep stocks in check as winter draws closer.

Great Lakes and Central

Of all the regions, the Great Lakes and Central states are seeing the largest drops at the pump – some at double-digit rates on the week: Indiana (-15 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Kansas (-4 cents) and Nebraska (-4 cents).

The Keystone pipeline remains shut down; however, it has not had an immediate impact on gas prices in the region. TransCanada still does not yet have a potential restart date for the pipeline, which runs from Hardisty, Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma and to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois.

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows regional gasoline inventory registers at 45 million bbl, which is about 3.2 million below levels this time last year.

South and Southeast

In the South and Southeast, motorists continue to see gas prices decline and trend toward pre-hurricane prices. In fact, five states in the region are selling the cheapest gas prices in the country: Alabama ($2.23), Mississippi ($2.24), South Carolina ($2.24), Texas ($2.26) and Arkansas ($2.27). While all states are seeing cheaper gas prices on the week, Oklahoma (-3 cents), Florida (-3 cents), Georgia (-3 cents) and Alabama (-3 cents) saw the largest decreases.

While gas prices in the region remain significantly higher than this time last year, Georgia is seeing the smallest change compared to last year (+27 cents). Oklahoma (+37 cents) has the largest year-over-year difference in gas prices.

Gasoline inventories had a small 439,000 build on the week, bringing levels above the 77 million bbl mark. The region carries the largest gasoline inventory in the country, according to the EIA.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

In the region, gas prices are cheaper on the week with Maryland seeing the largest decline (-3 cents). Prices dropped across the region except in Washington, D.C., where prices increased one cent on the week. The cheapest gas in the region can be found in Tennessee ($2.29) and Virginia ($2.30). These two states land on the top 10 states with the least expensive gas, while four states in the region land on the top 10 states with the most expensive gas: Pennsylvania ($2.77), Washington, D.C. ($2.74), Connecticut ($2.70) and New York ($2.68).

With a build of 546,000 bbl, the region saw the largest gasoline inventory increase in the country on the week. However, the region is also experiencing the largest deficit year-over-year, according to the latest EIA report. An uptick in imports is expected to help reduce the deficit.

Rockies

Gas prices declined as much as two cents in the region on the week: Wyoming (-2 cents), Colorado (-1 cent), Idaho (-1 cent) and Utah (-1 cent). At $2.47, Utah’s gas price average today is eight cents less than one month ago, which is the second biggest monthly decrease of any state in the country. Similarly, Idaho (-4 cents) and Wyoming (-1 cent) are also seeing a month-over-month drop at the pump.

With a 43,000 bbl draw on the week, gasoline inventory in the region measures at 6.7 million bbl.

Oil market dynamics

On Friday, WTI hit $58.95 bbl – a multi-year high that the price per barrel has not come close to since June 2015. Expectations for an extension of the current OPEC and Russian production cut until December 31, 2018 fueled this spike. OPEC and non-OPEC members of the production reduction agreement will meet in Vienna on November 30, to discuss the fate of the agreement, which is currently set to expire in March 2018. Market observers have been awaiting this meeting to see if agreement participants will take additional measures to restrict supply in the global market, which could push oil prices even higher.

Increased oil production and exports from countries outside of the agreement, including the U.S., have acted as a counterforce to the agreement’s intended market impact. In fact, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the active U.S. oil rig count grew by nine last week, with the total now at 747. Moreover, oil production in the U.S. reached 9.7 million b/d last week, according to EIA’s latest report, a high not seen since April 1971. With the U.S. gaining a stronger foothold in the market, OPEC’s announcement following this week’s meeting will be heavily assessed for its potential impact on the market in 2018 and beyond.

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

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