Posts Tagged ‘Economy’

Gas Price Averages Trending Cheaper on the Week Nationwide

February 20th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

The national gas price average has been steadily decreasing for nearly two weeks dropping from the year-to-date high of $2.61 (on February 5) to today’s national average of $2.53. Motorists in nearly every state are paying less on the week with Midwest and Southern states seeing the largest price drops at the pump. Hawaii (+2 cents) and Indiana (+1 cent) were the only states to see increases.

“The question isn’t how low will they go, but how long will we see prices decline,” said Jeanette Casselano. “A handful of major refineries are undergoing maintenance. If production slows at a high rate and/or if crude oil prices jump, these events could push pump prices back up in late February or March.”

Today’s national gas price average is 4 cent less than one week ago, 1 cent more than a month ago, but 25 cents more than a year ago.

 

Quick Stats

  • The largest monthly decreases are: Michigan (-19 cents), Illinois (-13 cents), Ohio (-13 cents), Kentucky (-10 cents), Indiana (-8 cents), Alaska (-5 cents), Maryland (- 5 cents), Georgia (-5 cents), Mississippi (-4 cents) and North Carolina (-4 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Texas ($2.27), Mississippi ($2.27), Missouri ($2.27), Alabama ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.28), Ohio ($2.28), Arkansas ($2.32), Oklahoma ($2.33), Tennessee ($3.33) and New Mexico ($2.34).

 

West Coast

Pump prices in six states in the West Coast region remain among the most expensive in the country: Hawaii ($3.47), California ($3.33), Alaska ($3.03), Washington ($2.99), Oregon ($2.87) and Nevada ($2.79). On the week, only Hawaii saw an increase (+2 cents). Meanwhile, California and Alaska both saw the largest drop (-2 cents), and Nevada remained unchanged.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gasoline stocks in the region fell slightly by 600,000 bbl. Inventories still sit at a comfortable 34.4 million bbl, which is 3.3 million bbl higher than they were at this time last year.

 

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices decreased at the pump all across the Great Lakes and Central region except in Indiana (+ 1 cent). On the week, Michigan (-11 cents), Ohio (-7 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Nebraska (-6 cents), Illinois (-6 cents) and Iowa (-6 cents) lead the region in price drops and land on the top10 states with the biggest changes list. A few states, including South Dakota (-2 cent) and North Dakota (-2 cents) did not see quite as high price drops.

North Dakota ($2.61) continues to sell the most expensive gas in the region and the 13th most expensive in the country. Motorists there are paying 31 cents more for a gallon of unleaded compared to this time last year.

With a slight build of 612,000 bbl, gasoline inventories in the region measure at 58 million bbl, according to the latest EIA report. Although the region has seen steady inventory build for seven straight weeks, current levels sit 2.2 million bbl below this time last year yet they are about 1 billion bbl ahead of the five-year average.

 

South and Southeast

Every state in the South and Southeast is paying 5 to 8 cents less at the pump on the week. Florida (-8 cents), Mississippi (-6 cents) Alabama (-6 cents), and Louisiana (-6 cents) lead the region in price drops and land on the top 10 states with the biggest changes list in the last seven days.

In the region, most states are paying less compared to one month ago: Georgia (-5 cents), Mississippi (-4 cents), South Carolina (-4 cents), Missouri (-3 cents), Alabama (-3 cents), Oklahoma (-3 cents), Texas (-2 cents), New Mexico (-1 cent) and Louisiana (-1 cent). Floridians are paying a penny more while prices hold steady for Arkansans.

The EIA’s latest report shows gasoline inventories increased by a substantial 2.2 million bbl, pushing the regional totals to 83.5 million bbl. This total is on par with inventory levels at this time last year.

 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

With a 5-cent decrease, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Tennessee and Georgia saw the largest weekly changes of all states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. With a 2-cent decrease, Rhode Island saw the smallest drop. Pennsylvania ($2.83), Washington, D.C. ($2.75), New York ($2.73) and Connecticut ($2.71) continue to sell the most expensive gas in the region and among the most expensive in the country.

Five Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states rank among the top 10 states paying substantially more for gasoline compared to February 2017: New Jersey (+32 cents), Rhode Island (+32 cents), Massachusetts (+31 cents), Vermont (+31 cents) and Pennsylvania (+29 cents). Additional states also paying at least 28-cents more include Connecticut, West Virginia and New Hampshire.

Regional inventories pushed past the 66 million bbl mark on the week with the addition of 1.1 million bbl, according to the EIA. The region has seen consistent build for the past month, yet fall about 1 million bbl behind inventory levels last year.

 

Rockies

Gas prices decreased across all states in the Rockies with Colorado (-3 cents) and Utah (-3 cents) seeing the largest declines on the week, followed by Montana (-2 cents) and Idaho (-2 cent). Prices remained stable in Wyoming ($2.46).

At $2.59, both Montana and Idaho are selling the most expensive gas in the region. Colorado carries the cheapest price at $2.45.

Following a large decline, gasoline inventories built by 25,000 bbl on the week to register at 7.6 million bbl according to the EIA.

 

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 34 cents to settle at $61.68. Crude prices may continue to trend higher this week amid signs of continued growth in U.S. oil production. In fact, last week’s EIA petroleum report revealed that U.S. oil production grew 332,000 b/d, putting total crude output at 10.271 million b/d. Likewise, U.S. crude inventories rose for a third straight week by 1.8 million bbl. Inventory levels now total 422.1 million bbl. Moreover, according to Baker Hughes, the U.S. added 7 oil rigs last week bringing the total rig count to 798. Increased U.S. production coupled with the fourth consecutive week of increases in the U.S. oil rig count has placed a spotlight on OPEC’s restrained production agreement aimed at rebalancing the global oil supply. Market watchers will closely monitor to see how much a surge in U.S. production eats into OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market to determine the impact it has on crude oil prices.

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

 

Pump Prices Cheaper on the Week for Majority of the Country

February 12th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

At $2.58, the national gas price average has decreased for the first time week-over-week this year. Today’s price is 3 cent less than last week, 6 cents more than a month ago and 30 cents more than a year ago. Motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 53 percent of gas stations across the country.

“Gas price averages are less expensive for 78 percent of states compared to last Monday. Motorist filling up in the Midwest, South and East Coast are most likely to see the positive change at the pump,” said Jeanette Casselano. “Unfortunately, it’s too early to know if this one-week decline is the start of a cheaper gas price trend.”

Consumer gasoline demand and gasoline inventories increased according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports. Hitting its highest level this year, gasoline demand registered at 9.1 million b/d, a 169,000 b/d increase year-over year. Total U.S. gasoline inventories built by 3.4 million bbl to total 245.5 million bbl, which sits about 1.4 million bbl above the five-year average.

Quick Stats

  • The largest weekly changes in the nation’s top ten markets are: Indiana (-14 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Kentucky (-9 cents), Ohio (-8 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Utah (+6 cents), Hawaii (+5 cents), Missouri (-4 cents), Maryland (-4 cents) and Florida (+4 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($3.44), California ($3.35), Alaska ($3.04), Washington ($3.00), Oregon ($2.89), Pennsylvania ($2.86), Nevada ($2.78), Washington, D.C. ($2.77), New York ($2.76) and Connecticut ($2.74).

 

West Coast

Drivers in six states in the West Coast region are paying the most expensive gas prices in the country: Hawaii ($3.44), California ($3.35), Alaska ($3.04), Washington ($3.00), Oregon ($2.89) and Nevada ($2.78). Conversely, Arizona ranks as the 9th state with the least expensive gas prices.

Only seven states in the country saw gas prices increase on the week, four of them were West Coast states. Hawaii (+5 cents) and Nevada (+3 cents) saw the region’s largest increases. Washington and California each increased by a penny, while Alaska decreased by a penny and Oregon saw no change in its average price.

According to the EIA, gasoline stocks in the region surged to a five-year peak – increasing by 1.1 million bbl. Inventories of gasoline now sit at 35 million bbl, which is unusually high for the region at this time of the year. Last year at this time, stocks were about 5 million bbl lower than the present level.

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices are less expensive on the week across the Great Lakes and Central region, except North Dakota where prices remained stable. Indiana (-14 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Kentucky (-9 cents), Ohio (-8 cents) and Illinois (-6 cents) saw not only the largest decreases in the region, but in country. In the region, North Dakota ($2.63) and Iowa ($2.60) are selling the most expensive gasoline. At $2.37, Ohio is selling the cheapest gas in the region and the 7th cheapest in the country.

Compared to one month ago, Michigan (-16 cents), Ohio (-13 cents), Illinois (-12 cents), Indiana (-11 cents) and Kentucky (-5 cents) are five of only six states in the country that are paying less at the pump. These states have seen very volatile gas prices since January.

Gasoline inventories in the region have built every week this year according to EIA reports. With a build of nearly 1 million bbl, gasoline inventories total 57 million bbl this week.

South and Southeast

All but one state in the South and Southeast are seeing cheaper pump prices on the week. Mississippi and Texas lead the region with the largest decrease of 4 cents. Florida (+4 cents) is the only state in the region to see an increase. At $2.64, the sunshine state’s gas average is the most expensive in the region and ranks as the 13th most expensive at the country. Conversely, six states in the region rank among the 10 with the cheapest gas prices in the country: Texas ($2.33), Mississippi ($2.33), South Carolina ($2.34), Alabama ($2.34), Arkansas ($2.37) and Oklahoma ($2.38).

Gasoline inventories increased by a small 146,000 bbl on the week and continue to sit above the 81 million bbl mark, according to the EIA.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Motorists across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region are enjoying cheaper gas prices on the week. The states with the largest declines include Maryland (-4 cents), North Carolina (-4 cents), Delaware (-3 cent), Maine (-3 cents), Tennessee (-3 cent), and Washington, D.C. (-3 cents). All other states saw prices drop 1-2 cents. Gas prices in the region are as expensive as $2.86 (Pennsylvania) and as cheap as $2.41 (Virginia).

Compared to one month ago, gas prices on average are 7 cents more expensive for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. Motorists in New Jersey (+11 cents) are seeing the biggest month-over-month increase, while motorists in West Virginia (+2 cents) are paying the smallest difference.

With a 1.6 million bbl build, regional gasoline inventories register at 65 million bbl. According to the EIA, that is the largest build of any region in the country. However, large inventory builds may not be common as local Phillips 66 Bayway refinery turnaround is underway through at least this month and will reduce capacity temporarily.

Rockies

Utah (+6 cents) tops the Rockies region list for the states with the largest increases on the week. With a 3-cent increase, Idaho also joins the list. Gas prices are slightly cheaper for motorists filling up in Colorado (-1 cent) and Wyoming (-1 cent). Gas prices remain stable in Montana, but at $2.61 is the most expensive gas price average, along with Idaho ($2.61), in the Rockies region.

Gasoline inventories in the Rockies saw the largest one-week decline on the year dropping by 386,000 bbl. Registering at 7.4 million bbl, inventories sit at their lowest mark of the year.

 

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped by nearly $2 to settle at $59.20. Price gains made throughout January, which saw a closing high of $66.27, were wiped away after trading last week. Last week’s losses, which were buoyed by a strengthening dollar, may continue into this week after EIA’s latest weekly petroleum report revealed that U.S. crude production hit 10.25 million b/d – a new record weekly production rate.

The continuing growth in U.S. crude oil production may give the market some pause as it continues to assess the long-term impact of OPEC’s production reduction agreement, which remains in effect through the end of 2018. On the other hand, OPEC’s latest forecast for oil demand projects that global oil demand will increase by 1.59 million b/d. The estimate is an increase of 60,000 b/d from last year, which may help to drain growing oil exports from the U.S.

A sign of potentially explosive growth in U.S. crude production, the latest Baker Hughes, Inc. report found the active oil rig count in the U.S. grew by 26 new rigs last week to total at 791. This is the highest number of active rigs since April 2015, and it will likely push production to even higher levels later this year.

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 Price Trends Showing No Relief

February 5th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

The national gas price average has increased for the sixth consecutive week, landing today’s national average at $2.61. That is 18 cents more expensive since prices started the upward trend in late-December and 3 cents more than last Monday.

“Every motorist in the country is paying more at the pump year-over-year. At 18 cents, Utah is seeing the smallest increase and California is feeling the biggest increase at 52 cents compared to the same time last year,” said Jeanette Casselano. “Strong demand coupled with steadily rising oil prices means filling up will continue to cost consumers more this month. In fact, the last time the national gas price average was this high, but under $3/gallon in February was in 2010.”

On the week, U.S. consumer gasoline demand hit 9 million b/d. In 2017, demand did not reach this mark until early March, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Quick Stats

  • The largest monthly changes in the nation’s top ten markets are: Iowa (+22 cents), California (+21 cents), Minnesota (+19 cents), Nebraska (+18 cents), Kansas (+17 cents), North Dakota (+17 cents), Oklahoma (+17 cents), Florida (+16 cents), Louisiana (+16 cents) and Missouri (+16 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Texas ($2.36), Mississippi ($2.37), South Carolina ($2.37), Alabama ($2.37), Missouri ($2.38), Arizona ($2.38), Arkansas ($2.39), Tennessee ($2.41), Oklahoma ($2.42) and New Mexico ($2.43).

West Coast

Six of the most expensive gas prices in the country are in the West Coast region: Hawaii ($3.39), California ($3.34), Alaska ($3.05), Washington ($2.99), Oregon ($2.89) and Nevada ($2.75). On the week, California (+7 cents) saw the region’s largest increase, while Washington, Oregon and Nevada each saw a 4 cent increase, Alaska jumped 2 cents and Hawaii increased by a penny.

According to the EIA, gasoline stocks in the region dropped by the largest amount seen in the last 12 weeks – nearly 700,000 bbl. Inventories of gasoline sit at 33.9 million bbl, which is still 3.3 million bbl higher than last year’s level at the same time.

Great Lakes and Central

On the week, gas prices are less volatile than we have seen in the Great Lakes and Central region since the start of the year. While prices increased for most states, from 1 to 6 cents, a few states saw no change (Wisconsin) or a 1-cent decrease at the pump: Illinois and Missouri.

In the region, 10 of 13 states are selling gas for $2.50 or more: Michigan ($2.67), Iowa ($2.64), North Dakota ($2.63), Illinois ($2.62), Nebraska ($2.62), Indiana ($2.60), Minnesota ($2.58), South Dakota ($2.58), Wisconsin ($2.54) and Kentucky ($2.51). Missouri ($2.38) and Ohio ($2.45) have the lowest gas price average in the region.

Gasoline inventory bumped up 875,000 bbl to push levels to 56 million bbl. The last time inventory was this high was April 2017, according to the EIA. For the first time in three weeks, regional refinery utilization rates increased to 92 percent. The week prior’s rate was the lowest since mid-November.

South and Southeast

Florida (+6 cents) and New Mexico (+6 cents) land on this week’s top 10 states with the largest weekly increases. In fact, all states but Georgia (no change) saw price bumps at the pump. Still, prices in the South and Southeast remain among the cheapest in the country and under $2.43 for all states except: Florida ($2.61) and Georgia ($2.49).

With a 2.4 million bbl decline, gasoline inventories sit right at 81 million bbl. According to the EIA, January inventory levels have not been this low since 2015.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Four states in the region are 25-cents or less away from the $3/gal mark: Connecticut ($2.75), New York ($2.77), Washington, D.C. ($2.80) and Pennsylvania ($2.88). On the other side of the coin, Tennessee ($2.41) is selling the cheapest gas in the region. On the week, gas prices increased 1 to 4 cents in the region with motorists in New Jersey (+4 cents) and Vermont (+4 cents) seeing the largest increases.

For another week, gasoline inventory continue to register at 63 million bbl and only saw a slight build of 98,000 bbl. Overall, the EIA reports inventory levels for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region have held at or above 61 million bbl since the beginning of the year.

Rockies

Gas prices in Utah ($2.45) remain stable on the week while all other states are paying more: Wyoming (+3 cents), Colorado (+2 cents), Montana (+2 cent) and Idaho (+1 cent).

In the Rockies, four states land on the top 10 list of the smallest month-over-month changes in gas prices compared to the rest of the country: Wyoming (+4 cents), Utah (+4 cents), Idaho (+3 cents) and Montana (+3 cents).

Gasoline inventories built for the first time since the beginning of the year. With the addition of 171,000 bbl, inventory levels push up to 7.8 million bbl in the region.

 

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 35 cents to settle at $65.45. Last week’s losses, which were buoyed by a stronger dollar, may extend into this week after EIA’s latest weekly report revealed that crude inventories grew by an astonishing 6.8 million b/d.

The crude oil growth may give the market some pause as it assesses the long-term impact of OPEC’s production reduction agreement, which remains in effect through the end of 2018. Countries outside of the agreement, such as the U.S., have seen production grow as global demand has grown, enabling these countries to export more oil while OPEC and its allies reduce production.

In the U.S., crude production continues to grow. The latest Baker Hughes, Inc. report found the active oil rig count in the U.S. grew by six and now totals 765. The current total is 182 more rigs than last year’s count in early February.

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

Rising Crude Oil Prices Push Up Pump Prices for Consumers

January 29th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

At $2.58, the national gas price is four cents more expensive on the week. Across the country, motorists in 47 states and Washington, D.C. have seen pump prices increase as much as 9 cents with the Great Lakes, Central, South and Southeastern states seeing the largest increases. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports an increase on the week in gasoline demand and inventories.

“Compared to the first few weeks of January last year, consumer gasoline demand is noticeably higher, which is surprising giving the frigid winter much of the country has experienced this month,” said Jeanette Casselano. “But demand isn’t the only factor driving prices up. Crude oil has been selling at very expensive rates the past few months. Those higher market prices are now trickling over to consumers at the pump.”

Nationally, gas prices are 10 cents more expensive than one month ago and 30 cents more than one year ago. On the month, Iowa (+18 cents) has seen the largest increase. Compared to one year ago, motorists in Indiana (+52 cents) top the list for the largest increase, while New Mexico (+15 cents) has seen the smallest increase in the country.

Quick Stats

  • The largest weekly changes in the top ten markets are: North Dakota (+9 cents), California (+8 cents), Missouri (+8 cents), Indiana (+6 cents), Kansas (+6 cents), Oklahoma (+6 cents), Minnesota (+6 cents), Mississippi (+5 cents), Alabama (+5 cents) and Alaska (-5 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.33), Texas ($2.34), Alabama ($2.35), Mississippi ($2.36), New Mexico ($2.36), Arkansas ($2.37), Arizona ($2.37), Missouri ($2.38), Louisiana ($2.40) and Tennessee ($2.40).

West Coast

Drivers in the West Coast region are buying 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 ($3.38), California ($3.28), Alaska ($3.03), Washington ($2.96), Oregon ($2.85) and Nevada ($2.71). On the week, California (+8 cents) saw the region’s largest increase, while Alaska (-5 cents) saw the largest decrease.

Last week, total refinery utilization dropped to 88.6 percent from 96.9 percent the previous week due to refineries undertaking planned maintenance, according to EIA’s latest weekly petroleum status report. As a result, inventories of gasoline dropped slightly to 34.6 million bbl, which is 3.4 million bbl higher than last year’s level at the same time.

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices are as much as 9 cents more expensive on the week in the Great Lakes and Central states. Five states land on this week’s top 10 states with the largest increases list: North Dakota (+9 cents), Missouri (+8 cents), Indiana (+6 cents), Kansas (+6 cents), and Minnesota (+6 cents). Though it claims the smallest increase on the week, Michigan (+2 cents) touts one of the most expensive gas price averages in the region at $2.62. Illinois has the most expensive ($2.63), while Missouri ($2.37) sells the region’s cheapest gas.

The EIA reports that the region is sitting on 55 million bbl, the highest gasoline inventory for the Great Lakes and Central states since early June 2017. On the week, inventories built by1.8 million bbl.

South and Southeast

Motorists in the South and Southeast are seeing higher than average gas prices for this time of year. Four states are paying at least 25-cents more compared to January 2017: Georgia (+31 cents), Oklahoma (+29 cents), South Carolina (+29 cents), Alabama (+28 cents), Mississippi (+27 cents), Arkansas (+26 cents) and Louisiana (+25 cents).

Despite the year-over-year increases, the region is home to some of the cheapest gas prices in the country: South Carolina ($2.33), Texas ($2.34), Alabama ($2.35), Mississippi ($2.36), New Mexico ($2.36), Arkansas ($2.37) and Louisiana ($2.40). This is the first time since August 2017 that South Carolina has claimed the cheapest gas in the country and region.

Gasoline inventories in the region dipped by 814,000 bbl on the week. Total inventories measure at 83.5 million bbl, which is 2.5 million bbl below levels this time last year, according to the EIA.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Four states in the region have gas prices that are 5 cents more expensive on the week: Virginia ($2.42), New Jersey ($2.68), Maine ($2.63) and New York ($2.74). Of these states, New York is one of the most expensive in the region and the country, along with Pennsylvania ($2.86), Washington, D.C. ($2.79) and Connecticut ($2.72).

Compared to one month ago, gas prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region are 6 to 15 cents more expensive. Virginia (+15 cents), Tennessee (+15 cents), New Jersey (+14 cents), Delaware (+14 cents) and Pennsylvania (+14 cents) lead the region with the largest month-over-month changes.

The region saw the largest addition of gasoline inventories with a 2.3 million bbl add. The 63 million bbl total sits eight million bbl below EIA’s report from the same week last year.

Rockies

Utah (-2 cents) and Idaho (-1 cent) were among the minority of states this week in the country and the region to see gas price decreases. Colorado (+4 cents) and Montana (+2 cent) saw small increases, while Wyoming remained stable. Montana ($2.60) and Idaho ($2.57) tout the most expensive gas in the region this week. Gas averages are about 15 cents cheaper in Wyoming ($2.45).

For a second week, gasoline inventories took a small draw. However, levels continue to remain above 7 million bbl.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 63 cents to settle at $66.14. Moving into this week, oil prices are likely to continue trending higher. EIA’s latest weekly report highlights that U.S. crude inventories reached their lowest level in nearly three years at 411.6 million barrels.

Crude production in the U.S. continues to inch closer to a new 10 million b/d record, which most market analysts expect the U.S. to hit sometime this year. According to the EIA, crude output grew by 128,000 b/d, reaching 9.88 million b/d. Market observers remain cautiously optimistic about this year due to worries about growing production rates from large producers who are not participating in the OPEC production agreement. These producers, such as the U.S., could thwart OPEC efforts to rebalance supply.

Last week’s U.S. oil rig count from Baker Hughes, Inc. showed that the number of active oil rigs increased by 12, raising the total to 759. For drivers, the crude price rally could mean even higher pump prices in the near future.

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

More Americans Willing to Ride in Fully Self-Driving Cars

January 24th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

ORLANDO, Fla. (January 24, 2018) – American drivers are beginning to embrace self-driving vehicles, according to a new study from AAA. The annual survey reveals that 63 percent of U.S. drivers report feeling afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, a significant decrease from 78 percent in early 2017. Millennial and male drivers are the most trusting of autonomous technologies, with only half reporting they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car. To ensure that American drivers continue to be informed, prepared and comfortable with this shift in mobility, AAA urges automakers to prioritize consumer education.

Additional Resoures

“Americans are starting to feel more comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles,” AAA Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations Director Greg Brannon said. “Compared to just a year ago, AAA found that 20 million more U.S. drivers would trust a self-driving vehicle to take them for a ride.”

While riding in a fully self-driving vehicle is a futuristic concept for most, testing of these vehicles in the United States means that sharing the road with an automated vehicle is an increasing near-term possibility. In this situation, drivers remain leery of self-driving vehicles. In AAA’s survey, only 13 percent of U.S. drivers report that they would feel safer sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle while nearly half (46 percent) would actually feel less safe. Others say they are indifferent (37 percent) or unsure (4 percent).

Additional survey results include:

  • Women (73 percent) are more likely than men (52 percent) to be afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle, and more likely to feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving car (55 percent versus 36 percent).
  • Millennials are the most trusting of self-driving vehicles, with only 49 percent (down from 73 percent) reporting that they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car. While the majority of baby boomers (68 percent) still report being afraid to ride in a self-driving car, this generation is significantly more comfortable with the idea than they were a year ago, when 85 percent reported being afraid.
  • Baby boomers (54 percent) and Generation X (47 percent) drivers are more likely than millennial drivers (34 percent) to feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving car.

Although fears of self-driving vehicles appear to be easing, U.S. drivers report high confidence in their own driving abilities. Despite the fact that more than 90 percent of crashes are the result of human error, three-quarters (73 percent) of U.S. drivers consider themselves better-than-average drivers. Men, in particular, are confident in their driving skills with 8 in 10 considering their driving skills better than average.

“AAA found that American drivers are very confident in their driving abilities, which may explain some hesitation to give up full control to a self-driving vehicle,” Brannon said. “Education, exposure and experience will likely help ease consumer fears as we steer toward a more automated future.”
To help educate consumers on the effectiveness of emerging vehicle technologies, AAA is committed to the ongoing, unbiased testing of automated vehicle technologies. Previous testing of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking technology and lane keeping systems has shown both great promise and great variation. Future AAA testing will look at how well systems work together to achieve higher levels of automation.

AAA provides more than 58 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 36 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

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.

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