Posts Tagged ‘Fuel Articles’

Jeanette CasselanoHeading into Memorial Day weekend, gas prices are increasing for the first time in four weeks. Today’s national average is $2.36/gallon – two cents more than a week ago, six cents less than a month ago, but eight cents more than a year ago. The increases are likely the result of rising demand and crude oil prices. At least 36 states saw price increases on the week, with national gasoline inventories dropping by 400,000 bbl to 240.7 million.

AAA projects that more than 34 million Americans are planning to take a road trip this Memorial Day weekend– which is 800,000 more drivers than last year. The rise in road travel could pressure pump prices to continue to increase into the summer months, potentially returning to the higher national averages seen in April.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the biggest changes in the last week include: Ohio (+10 cents), Michigan (+9 cents), California (+8 cents), Indiana (+6 cents), Delaware (+4 cents), Nevada (+4 cents), Wisconsin (+3 cents), Oklahoma (+3 cents), South Carolina (+3 cents) and Kentucky (+3 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the most expensive gas: California ($3.06), Hawaii ($3.06), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.88), Oregon ($2.73), Nevada ($2.72), Pennsylvania ($2.57), Idaho ($2.54), Washington, D.C. ($2.54) and Connecticut ($2.50).

 

West Coast

The West Coast continues to be the most expensive region in the country, with every state landing on the top 10 list of most expensive markets: California ($3.06), Hawaii ($3.06), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.88), Oregon ($2.73) and Nevada ($2.72).

Drivers in California are now paying more than $3/gal at the pump, 20 cents more than last year. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows West Coast gasoline stocks dropped for the third consecutive week to 29.1 million bbl, the lowest mark in eight weeks. Refinery maintenance at Phillips 66’s Carson refinery, Valero’s Benicia refinery and Tesoro’s Golden Eagle and Carson refineries are all contributing to growing supply concerns. Early June scheduled gasoline deliveries from Europe, via New York Harbor, and from the Caribbean, could help increase regional supplies.

Rockies

Drivers in Idaho ($2.54) are paying the highest gas prices in the region and +18 cents more than the national average. It is not uncommon for prices in the Rockies to surpass the national average. According to the latest EIA report, the Rockies lead the nation for low demand and gasoline stocks are down to 7.7 million bbl, the lowest in the country.

Since January, all states in the Rockies have seen gas prices rising steadily. Utah has seen the biggest fluctuation in price. On its most expensive day in April, gas prices were +31 cents higher than the cheapest price posted on January 1, 2017.

Great Lakes and Central States

Ohio (+10 cents), Michigan (+9 cents), Indiana (+6 cents) and Wisconsin (+3 cents) all top the list of largest weekly increases. The increases are in-line with growing national demand and the region’s drop in gasoline inventory. Great Lakes and Central States inventories dropped by 1.5 million bbl, the biggest draws in the country. The region is sitting on 53.5 million bbl of stock, which is about 700,000 bbl higher than a year ago.

South and Southeast

Every state in the South and Southeast touts gasoline prices below the national average, including: South Carolina ($2.05), Mississippi ($2.08), Alabama ($2.09), Arkansas ($2.09), Tennessee ($2.10), Oklahoma ($2.10), Missouri ($2.10) and Louisiana ($2.13).

The Gulf Coast saw the largest build on gasoline inventories in the country, 1.1 million bbl, pushing stocks just above the 80 million bbl mark. Despite the increase in stocks, a few states experienced jumps in gas prices at the pump on the week up to +3 cents: South Carolina, Oklahoma and Kentucky. Even with the build, this part of the region holds a year-on-year deficit of just under 3 million bbl.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw gas prices fluctuate, with increases up to four cents in some areas: Delaware (+ 4 cents), Maryland (+3 cents), Washington, D.C. (+3 cents), West Virginia (+3 cents) and New Jersey (+2 cents); while others saw prices drop or remain stable: Pennsylvania (-1 cent) and Vermont (-1 cent).

Compared to the previous week’s gain of 2.6 million bbl, this week’s addition of only 400,000 bbl likely impacted the wide range in gasoline price changes (+4 cents to -1 cents) in the region. With this week’s growth, the region’s stocks are the second highest in the country at just above the 70 million bbl threshold, but not above the all-time high of 76 million bbl in mid-February.

Pennsylvania ($2.57), Washington, D.C. ($2.54), Connecticut ($2.50) and New York ($2.50) continue to lead the region with the highest gas prices.

 

 

Oil Market Dynamics

After a strong finish to last week’s trading, crude made strong gains on Monday morning and stayed above $50/bbl. The jump is due to a weaker dollar and comes ahead of OPEC’s meeting on Thursday in Austria to discuss extending the already agreed upon production cuts through the remainder of the year – and possibly through the first quarter of 2018. In fact, OPEC is seeking to include additional countries in the agreement to deepen its impact on the global market, as Iran and smaller export nations examine potential cuts.

Only time will tell if OPEC’s actions will curtail growing inventories, especially as the U.S. continues to benefit from historic rates of exploration. Last week, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., oil rigs in the US are up 8 to 720. Unprecedented growth in the exploration sector will continue to put new oil in the production pipeline for refineries. If gas prices continue to increase, refiners will capitalize on the potential to expand profit margins and continue producing record amounts of gasoline. With Memorial Day around the corner, these dynamics and growing demand could lead to higher prices at the pump for road travelers. 

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

Jeanette CasselanoToday’s national average is $2.34/gallon. This price is a penny cheaper than one week ago, seven cents less than a month ago, but +12 cents more than a year ago. The latest Energy Information Association (EIA) report shows that gasoline demand increased by 252,000 barrels on the week. Despite the jump in demand, the continued oversupply of gasoline caused prices in most parts of the country to drop or remain steady with the exception of some states in the Great Lakes and Central regions, where prices increased by a penny or more.

In coming weeks, the onset of summer travel is likely to increase demand which might help dip into high gasoline stocks; however, it may not be enough demand to increase prices significantly.

National Average Gas Price Comparison 2014-2017

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the most expensive gas: Hawaii ($3.06), California ($2.98), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.88), Oregon ($2.73) and Nevada ($2.68), Pennsylvania ($2.57), Idaho ($2.54), Washington, D.C. ($2.51) and New York ($2.50).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the biggest changes in the last week include: Indiana (+9 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Michigan (+7 cents), Delaware (-5 cents), Kentucky (+5 cents), Florida (-5 cents), South Carolina (-4 cents), Alabama (-4 cents), North Carolina (-4 cents) and Pennsylvania (-4 cents).

Top Ten Largest Weekly Declines in Gas Prices

West Coast

Hawaii ($3.06), California ($2.98), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.88), Oregon ($2.73) and Nevada ($2.68) lead the nation with the highest gas prices. Demand in the region continues to dip into seasonally high inventories, but not enough to deplete the unseasonably high gasoline stocks. Despite dropping 388,000 bbl last week, gasoline stocks are sitting close to a high of 30 million bbl.

Down time at the Valero Benicia refinery coupled with potential month-end work at Tesoro’s 166,000-b/d Martinez, Calif., refinery are creating supply concerns in the region. A drop in supply could potentially move prices higher in the coming weeks.

Rockies

In the Rockies, Utah’s gas prices fell two cents since last week, while Montana and Colorado saw just a penny decline. Wyoming and Idaho remained flat. With gas prices ringing in at $2.54, Idaho lands on this week’s top ten cities with the most expensive gas prices. According to the latest EIA report, the region’s gasoline stocks are at 7 million bbl- the lowest in the entire country.

Great Lakes and Central States

Despite high gasoline stocks in the regions, five states saw price increases on the week: Indiana (+9 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Michigan (+7 cents), Illinois (+2 cents) and Minnesota (+1 cent). The region is carrying 55 million bbl in gasoline stocks- 2 million bbl more than this same time last year.  

South and Southeast

Every state in the South and Southeast saw prices decline on the week, with the exception of Kentucky (+5 cents). Consumers can find the cheapest gas in the country in this region, with eight states landing on the top 10 weekly list of least expensive markets: South Carolina ($2.01), Oklahoma ($2.07), Alabama ($2.09), Mississippi ($2.09), Tennessee ($2.09), Arkansas ($2.10), Louisiana ($2.12) and Missouri ($2.12).

The Gulf Coast saw a small dip in gasoline stocks last week and is the only region where current gasoline stocks (79.2 million) are below levels posted during this same time last year (83.1 million).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states continued to see prices at the pump decline, notably Delaware (-5 cents), North Carolina (-4 cents) and Pennsylvania (-4 cents). Even with the price drop, Pennsylvania held its spot on the country’s top 10 list of most expensive markets along with Washington, D.C. ($2.51) and New York ($2.50).  Ranked as the 11th most expensive state this week, Connecticut is just as pricey at $2.50.

With a 2.6 million bbl increase, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast were the only regions in the country to see a jump in gasoline stocks, according to EIA data. This jump likely contributed to declines on the week.

Top Ten Largest Yearly Increases in Gas Prices

Oil Market Dynamics

On Monday morning, U.S. petroleum futures were just below $50 per barrel. Prices rallied after officials from Russia and Saudi Arabia announced that they plan to extend production cuts into March 2018. This news comes after OPEC released its May report, which warns that the global oil market will not rebalance by the end of the year unless there is a collective effort from all oil producers to increase market stability.

OPEC is expected to draft a formalized production cut extension during its meeting in Vienna, Austria, on May 25. However, there is skepticism that any extended cuts will offset growing U.S. production. Last week, U.S. drillers added an additional nine oilrigs, bringing the total U.S rig count to 712 and marking 17 weeks of growth. The expected result of OPEC’s actions is far from certain. Until it is, drivers may continue to benefit at the pump – even during the typically more expensive summer driving season.

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

 

Jeanette Casselano

Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.35 per gallon, which is four cents less than one week and one month ago, and 14 cents more than the same date last year. Last week, 46 states saw prices drop – some by at least 9 cents – with prices remaining steady in other parts of the country. The trending decline is due to an unseasonable glut of gasoline in the U.S. market, record high refinery production rates, moderate demand and a recent drop in crude oil prices.  

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly decreases include: Ohio (-9 cents), Michigan (-9 cents), Indiana (-9 cents), Illinois (-7 cents), Delaware (-6 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Florida (-5 cents), Kansas (-5 cents) and Maryland (-4 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the biggest changes in the last year include: Alaska (+44 cents), Hawaii (+42 cents), Washington (+40 cents), Oregon (+34 cents), New Jersey (+30 cents), New Mexico (+27 cents), Montana (+26 cents), North Dakota (+24 cents), Nevada (+21 cents) and Pennsylvania (+21 cents).

West Coast

Despite small price declines on the week, the region remains the most expensive market in the country for gasoline. The West Coast is the only region in the country where demand seems to counter oversupply. The latest Energy Information Association (EIA) report shows that regional gasoline stocks registered their largest draw in seven weeks. According to OPIS, the inventory drop indicates regional demand has increased leading into to the summer driving season and is likely to continue.

Drivers in the region have seen significant increases at the pump compared to this same time last year, with most paying on average 14 percent more for a gallon of gasoline: Alaska (+44 cents), Hawaii (+42 cents), Washington (+40 cents), Oregon (+34 cents), Nevada (+21 cents) and Arizona (+12 cents)

Rockies

Last week, Colorado ($2.33) and Utah ($2.46) saw two-cent decreases, while three states remained flat: Montana ($2.38), Wyoming ($2.33), and Idaho ($2.56). The average gas price in the region is 17 cents more expensive than this day a year ago ($2.23 vs. $2.40).

Great Lakes and Central States

The Great Lakes and Central states are seeing the biggest drops in prices this week with five regional states making the top 10 list of largest weekly declines: Ohio (-9 cents), Michigan (-9 cents), Indiana (-9 cents), Illinois (-7 cents), and Kansas (-4 cents). Two states have gas prices within pennies of May 2016 prices, including Ohio ($2.18) and Indiana ($2.17).

Historically, gasoline stocks start to fall in April, however this year the region has seen unseasonable increases in gasoline stocks, which continues to build due to low driving demand. Projections for high summer travel volume will likely cause demand to peak later this summer – July or August.

South and Southeast

Gas prices in most parts of the region dropped slightly or remained flat on the week, with the exception of Kentucky (-6 cents), Missouri (-6 cents) and Florida (-5 cents) where prices dropped by five cents or more. The region continues to lead the country as the cheapest market for retail gasoline: South Carolina ($2.06), Oklahoma ($2.07), Tennessee ($2.12), Mississippi ($2.12), Alabama ($2.12), Missouri (2.13), Arkansas ($2.13), and Louisiana ($2.15). Since January 1, 2017, South Carolina on average has had the cheapest gas in the country ($2.07).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Like most parts of the country, drivers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are seeing regional gasoline supplies out pace demand. Delaware (-6 cents) and Maryland (-4 cents) saw some of the country’s largest weekly declines, while Pennsylvania ($2.64), New York ($2.53) and Washington, D.C. ($2.53) held their place on the country’s top 10 list of most expensive markets. Other states saw prices remain stable or experienced small fluctuation.

Oil Market Dynamics

On Monday morning, U.S. petroleum futures were below $50 per barrel, but they have gained slightly after encouraging remarks from the Russian and Saudi Arabian energy ministers over the weekend. The energy ministers stated that there is budding consensus to extend production cuts beyond the June 30 deadline and into 2018, signaling that OPEC and non-OPEC producers are willing to take necessary steps to rebalance the market. Since the cuts were enacted, U.S. oil production has increased more than 10 percent since mid-2016 to a total of 9.3 million barrels per day and close to levels of the world’s top producers – Russia and Saudi Arabia. With some market predictions suggesting that U.S. production could soon reach 10 million barrels per day, OPEC and its partners must continue to restrict supply if their market correction goals are to be achieved. Additionally, U.S. drillers added 6 more oil rigs, bringing the total rig count to 703 and marking 16 weeks of growth, according to last week’s data from energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc. The U.S. rig count is now up a whopping 375 oil rigs when compared to last year’s count at this time. Continued increases in the supply and exploration of crude will certainly counter OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market. Only time will tell if supply restrictions and rising demand will shorten the oversupply – and ultimately lead to higher retail prices at the pump. 

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

Jeanette Casselano

Gas prices have dropped slowly on the week. Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.39, a three cents drop from one week ago; however, it is an increase of nine cents over last month and 18 cents more than this time last year. One year ago, the country was experiencing higher consumer demand and prices were increasing. Fast forward to today, consumers are still experiencing higher gas prices over last year due to the OPEC agreement, but we are not seeing substantial increases at the pump due to increased gasoline inventories and low demand across the country.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.10), Mississippi ($2.15), Tennessee ($2.15), Arkansas ($2.15), Alabama ($2.16), Missouri ($2.18), Louisiana ($2.18), Virginia ($2.20) and Kansas ($2.22).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly decreases include: Indiana (- 13 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Oklahoma (-5 cents), Delaware (-4 cents), Florida (-4 cents), Kansas (-4 cents) and Wisconsin (-4 cents).

West Coast

Gasoline prices on the West Coast are flat from a week ago, but continue to reign as the most expensive in the country: Hawaii ($3.08), California ($3.00), Alaska ($2.92), Washington ($2.91), Oregon ($2.76) and Nevada ($2.71). On the West Coast, gasoline inventories are substantial, about 2.7 million bbl higher than the five-year average. The inventory spike is likely a result of refiners’ robust gasoline production in March and a strong April import schedule. Even with the region’s substantial gasoline inventories contributing to this week’s price stabilization, prices at the pump are, on average, 38 cents more than this time last year for West Coast consumers.

Rockies

Two states in the Rockies saw gas prices increase, albeit by pennies: Idaho (+1 cent) and Montana (+1 cent), while Colorado and Wyoming gas prices remain flat. The region tends to be among the most stable in the nation due to their insulated status in the center of the country and few disruptions to regional production over the past few weeks.

Great Lakes and Central States

With decreases as much as 13 cents, prices at the pump have dropped in the Great Lakes and Central States. In the region, six states made the top ten list of largest weekly decline: Indiana (- 13 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Kansas (-4 cents) and Wisconsin (-4 cents).

Overall, the region is seeing gasoline demand flatten while production grows. Currently, the region’s gasoline stocks are about 1-2 million bbl higher than levels in the last two years and could potentially increase as the region is typically a receiver of other regional gasoline during the summer driving season.

South and Southeast

Nearly a dozen South and Southeast states have seen gas prices decline since last week: Florida (-4 cents), Missouri (-4 cents), Texas (-3 cents), South Carolina (-3 cents), Georgia (-3 cents), Mississippi (-2 cents), Louisiana (-2 cents), Alabama (-2 cents), Tennessee (-2 cents) and Arkansas (-2 cents).

Across the board, demand for gasoline in 2017 is lower than 2016, but prices are higher. South and Southeast states reign with the country’s least expensive gas prices: South Carolina ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.10), Mississippi ($2.15), Tennessee ($2.15), Arkansas ($2.15), Alabama ($2.16), Missouri ($2.18) and Louisiana ($2.18).

 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pennsylvania ($2.64), New York ($2.53), Washington, DC ($2.53), Connecticut ($2.52) and Vermont ($2.43) are among the country’s 15 most expensive markets. Despite the high prices, some Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw prices drop on the week: Delaware (-4 cents), Maryland (-4 cents), North Carolina (- 3 cents), Washington, D.C. (-3 cents), Virginia (-3 cents) New Jersey (-2 cents), Pennsylvania (-2 cents) and West Virginia (-1 cent). Other states saw prices remain stable or fall by a penny or less. Compared to one month ago, a bulk of Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are paying at least 14 cents more for a gallon of gasoline.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of trading Friday, April 28, on the NYMEX, WTI increased 36 cents to settle at $49.33. The below $50 price per barrel can be partly attributed to increasing crude oil stocks. According to energy services company Baker Hughes, the U.S. added nine oil rigs last week, putting the total at 697 – the largest number of rigs since April 2015. Increased production from the U.S. comes ahead of talks to extend a production cut agreement from OPEC and non-OPEC countries, which is scheduled to end on June 30. The countries in the agreement will meet on May 25 in Vienna, Austria to discuss whether to end or extend the supply reduction.

On Monday morning, US petroleum futures were down, reflecting continued concern about growth in U.S. production. However, there is reason to believe that continued low price per barrel is reducing global investment in oil exploration, which could lead to tighter supplies moving forward. Last week, the International Energy Agency released information that revealed global oil discoveries fell to a record low in 2016, as companies continued to cut spending and conventional oil projects were at their lowest level in 70 years. Deepwater offshore exploration, which accounts for almost a third of crude oil production and is a crucial component of future global supplies, has been particularly hard hit by the industry’s slowdown. In 2016, only 13 percent of all drilling of conventional resources was offshore, compared with more than 40 on average between 2000 and 2015. This reduction could lead to higher prices per barrel, assuming demand continues to grow and the market experiences further constrained crude stocks.

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

Jeanette Casselano

Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.42, which is an increase of 13 cents over last month and 29 cents more than this time last year. As gas prices continue to reach new heights and hit an all-time high for the year, the summer demand has not kicked in, meaning consumers can expect the price at the pump to continue to rise for coming weeks. Based on recent American Petroleum Institute reports, U.S. gasoline deliveries in March were the second highest March deliveries ever recorded, confirming the forecast that demand is on track for the summer.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.12), Oklahoma ($2.15), Mississippi ($2.17), Tennessee ($2.17), Arkansas ($2.17), Alabama ($2.18), Louisiana ($2.20), Missouri ($2.22), Virginia ($2.23) and Texas ($2.26)
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly increases include: Utah (+9 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Idaho (+5 cents), Alaska (+5 cents), Massachusetts (+4 cents), Connecticut (+4 cents), Indiana (+4 cents), New Hampshire (+4 cents), Rhode Island (+4 cents) and Florida (+4 cents)

West Coast

The West Coast continues to lead the country with the most expensive gas: Hawaii ($3.08), California ($3.01), Alaska ($2.94), Washington ($2.91), Oregon ($2.77) and Nevada ($2.71).

Rockies

Across the region, the Rockies saw an upward trend in gas prices. Utah (+9 cents) and Idaho (+6 cents) landed on this week’s largest price increase list. Typically, during the summer time, the region becomes short on gasoline inventory and has a tendency to see prices move up rather sharply. Drivers in other parts of the region saw relatively small increases: Montana (+2 cents), Wyoming (+2 cents) and Colorado (+1 cent).

Great Lakes and Central States

Despite declines a week ago, drivers in the Great Lakes and Central States saw prices increase with Ohio (+7 cents) and Indiana (+4 cents) landing on this week’s top 10 list for largest increases. With the 12th most expensive gas in the country, Michigan consumers are paying $2.52 at the pump, up +2 cents from last week. Elsewhere in the region, gas prices remained stable. The latest Energy Information Administration report shows that the region’s refiners raised capacity by 23,000 b/d last week, while gasoline stocks in the region dropped by 1.5 million bbl to 56 million bbl. The decline resulted in the lowest posted inventory numbers for the region in nearly three months.

South and Southeast

With area market inventories jumping by 2.5 million bbl, gas prices in the South and Southeast remained steady on the week. High gasoline inventories and low demand are causing some markets to lower prices. Prices fell by one penny from a week ago in South Carolina, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas and Louisiana. As we await the onset of the summer driving season, AAA predicts there are plenty of opportunities for demand to tap into the country’s excess supply and the price of gas to continue to rise.

As on trend, this region carries the country’s least expensive gas prices: South Carolina ($2.12), Oklahoma ($2.15), Mississippi ($2.17), Tennessee ($2.17), Arkansas ($2.17), Alabama ($2.18), Louisiana ($2.21) and Missouri ($2.22). 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

This week, four states in the region landed on the top 10 list of biggest increases: Massachusetts (+4 cents), Connecticut (+4 cents), New Hampshire (+4 cents) and Rhode Island (+4 cents), while Pennsylvania ($2.64), Washington, DC ($2.55) and New York ($2.52) held their spot on the list of top 10 most expensive markets.

Consumers will likely continue to see gas prices increase as we enter the peak of summer driving season. Looking further ahead, there is early indication that the start of the Dakota Access Pipeline could impact Northeast gas prices with the potential for crude prices to rise as a result of more competition in the market looking to sell crude oil.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of trading last week, WTI crude oil futures fell $1.09 to settle just under $50 per barrel. One of the leading reasons for the drop was skepticism about whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers would extend their pledge to cut output by 1.8 million bbl by another six months. In particular, the market is still unsure if Russia will agree to an extension deal beyond June 30, which could add dramatically to already bloated global inventories.

On Monday morning, U.S. petroleum futures were trading higher across the board, with WTI recovering after costly losses last week. This rebound follows last week’s EIA report that showed gasoline inventory building across the country, which can be attributed to higher import levels and blending activity. While spring stock-building is a normal trend to account for the peak summer demand, the counter-seasonal build is likely pressuring markets and increasing pump prices. Additionally, last week’s Baker Hughes oil rig count report showing the U.S. adding 5 rigs, bringing the total rig count to 688 — is further evidence of increased U.S. production. Traders will look closely at this week’s numbers from key indicators of supply to determine if the market will rebalance in the near term.

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 Reach 2017 High

April 17th, 2017 by Jessica Souto

Tamra Johnson

Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.41. This price is two cents more expensive than one week ago, 12 cents more than one month ago and 30 cents more than one year ago. The national average is at its highest price this year and has now increased for 20 consecutive days. Pump prices in 43 states and Washington D.C. have moved higher over the last week. This increase was most prevalent in the East Coast region where refiners wrapped up seasonal turnaround resulting in significant prices increases last week.

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.13), Mississippi ($2.17), Tennessee ($2.18), Alabama ($2.18), Arkansas ($2.18), Oklahoma ($2.18) Missouri ($2.19), Louisiana ($2.21), Kansas ($2.23) and Virginia ($2.23).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest monthly increases include: Indiana (+18 cents), Texas (+18 cents), Michigan (+17 cents), Kentucky (+17 cents), Ohio (+16 cents), Illinois (+16 cents), Florida (+15 cents), Wisconsin (+15 cents), Colorado (+15 cents) and Delaware (+14 cents).

West Coast

The country’s six most expensive gas prices continue to reside on the West Coast (Hawaii $3.06), California ($3.01), Washington ($2.90), Alaska ($2.90), Oregon ($2.75) and Nevada ($2.69). Compared to this time last year, four West Coast states are experiencing some of the country’s biggest year-over-year price jumps: Washington (+58 cents), Alaska (+57 cents), Oregon (+54 cents) and Hawaii (+45 cents).

This region could see prices hit $3/gal this month due to maintenance at variety of refineries in the area, including Torrance’s refinery in Southern California and Shell’s Martinez California Refinery. Shell’s maintenance, which is scheduled for late April/early May, could tighten San Francisco Bay area refined products markets. In the Pacific Northwest, refined products supplies are expected to tighten as Tesoro’s 125,000-b/d refinery in Anacortes, WA, carries out an eight-week maintenance program; however, the company is expected to meet its obligations in the Oregon and Washington region by delivering product via barge.

Rockies

Gas prices in this region moved higher on the week: Colorado (+5 cents), Idaho (+4 cent) and Wyoming (+3 cents). Drivers in Colorado continue to see price increases resulting from planned and unplanned maintenance at Phillips 66’s 154,000 b/d Borger refinery in the Texas Panhandle. The refiner supplies gasoline to Colorado and parts of the Gulf Coast and Central States via pipeline.

Great Lakes and Central States

Drivers in some parts of the Great Lakes region experienced weekly declines at the pump: Michigan (-7 cents), Indiana (-7 cents), Ohio (-6 cents) and Illinois (-2 cents). Drivers in some Central states saw slight increases on the week: Nebraska (+2 cents), North Dakota (+2 cents) and Minnesota (+2 cents). Volatility in the region along with early turnaround by regional refineries resulted in significant monthly increases in: Indiana (+18 cents), Michigan (+17 cents), Kentucky (+17 cents), Ohio (+16 cents), Illinois (+16 cents) and Wisconsin (+15 cents).

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows that Midwest refiners raised capacity by 23,000 b/d last week, while gasoline stocks in the region dropped by 1.5 million bbl to 56 million bbl. The decline resulted in the lowest posted inventory numbers for the region in nearly three months.

South and Southeast

South Carolina ($2.13), Mississippi ($2.17), Tennessee ($2.18), Alabama ($2.18), Arkansas ($2.18), and Louisiana ($2.21) are posting some of the cheapest prices for gasoline in the country despite recent increases in each state’s respective average price. As we enter into the high-drive season of summer, the demand for gas will increase, dipping into crude oil storage across the country and leading to increases at the pump through September. The latest EIA report shows regional refining capacity increased 102,000 b/d in the Gulf Coast last week while gasoline inventories dropped by 1.8 million bbl.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pennsylvania ($2.64), Washington, DC ($2.55), New York ($2.52) and Connecticut ($2.48) all land on the list of top 15 most expensive markets. The region made the final switch to summer-blend gasoline last week, causing states in the region to top the list of largest weekly increases: Delaware (+9 cents), Vermont (+6 cents), Maryland (+6 cents), North Carolina (+5 cents), Rhode Island (+5 cents), Maine (+5 cents) and Pennsylvania (+5 cents). Compared to this same time last year, New Jersey (+43 cents), Delaware (+36 cents), and Pennsylvania (+35 cents) are seeing significant increases at the pump. This trend is likely the result of the region’s move toward less substantial gasoline imports.

Oil Market Dynamics

Last week, crude oil futures held onto the week’s gains closing out above $53 per barrel. Competitive prices were led by reports that OPEC and non-OPEC compliance is above 90 percent and the countries are considering extending production cuts beyond June, the original end date for the agreement reached last November. Participating OPEC countries plan to meet on May 25 to discuss how an extension of their agreement could further rebalance global oil supply and inventory levels. 

Markets opened Monday morning with less confidence, countered somewhat by growing U.S. production. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a larger-than-expected decline in oil stockpiles last week showing growth in U.S. oil output. National crude oil output reached a one-year high of an estimated 9.1 million b/d in March this year. Last week’s Baker Hughes oil rig count report — which showed the U.S. adding 11 rigs last week, bringing the total rig count to 683 — is further evidence of increased U.S. production. Traders will continue to watch the impact that increased U.S. production has on OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market. At the close of last week’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up seven cents to settle at $53.18 per barrel.

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

Tamra Johnson

Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.39. This price is six cents more expensive than one week ago, nine cents more than one month ago and 35 cents more than one year ago. The national average is at its highest price this year and has now increased for 13 of the last 14 days. Pump prices in 48 states and Washington D.C. have moved higher over the last week, led by the switch over to more expensive summer-blend gasoline and increased driving demand.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.11), Alabama ($2.14), Tennessee ($2.14), Mississippi ($2.14), Oklahoma ($2.15), Arkansas ($2.16), Virginia ($2.19), Louisiana ($2.19), Missouri ($2.20) and Texas ($2.21). 
  • The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($3.04), California ($2.99), Washington ($2.89), Alaska ($2.88), Oregon ($2.75), Nevada ($2.67), Pennsylvania ($2.59), Michigan ($2.57), District of Columbia ($2.54) and Illinois ($2.51).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly increases include: Kentucky (+15 cents), Florida (+12 cents), Michigan (+12 cents), Indiana (+11 cents), Alaska (+10 cents), Missouri (+9 cents), Pennsylvania (+9 cents), Illinois (+9 cents), Georgia (+7 cents) and Colorado (+7 cents).

West Coast

West Coast gas prices continue to prove the highest in the country, with six states in the region topping the list of most expensive U.S. markets: Hawaii ($3.04), California ($2.99), Washington ($2.89), Alaska ($2.88), Oregon ($2.75) and Nevada ($2.67). Pump prices in some states will likely breach the $3/gal mark by July.

Prices in the Northwest and California will continue to rise in the coming weeks due to refinery maintenance. BP’s Cherry Point refinery in Ferndale, WA, began maintenance work last week, which will result in tighter supply in the region. PBF Energy’s 157,800-b/d Torrance, CA, plant is also set to begin planned maintenance while production issues at Air Products Wilmington, a company supplying hydrogen to Los Angeles-area refineries has resulted in reduced supply of hydrogen. This supply shortage will impact gas processing abilities at impacted refineries.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rockies remain the most stable in the nation. Prices at the pump fluctuated by only a few cents, except in Colorado where prices jumped 7 cents on the week. The increase is likely the result of planned maintenance at Phillips 66’s 154,000 b/d Borger refinery in the Texas Panhandle. The refiner supplies gasoline to Colorado and parts of the Gulf Coast and Central States via pipeline.

Great Lakes and Central States

Five Great Lakes and Central states saw some of the country’s most significant gas price increases in the past seven days: Michigan (+12 cents), Indiana (+11 cents), Missouri (+9 cents), Illinois (+8 cents) and Wisconsin (+7 cents).

Phillips 66’s 330,000-b/d Wood River refinery in Illinois is still undergoing planned maintenance work, adding to a growing list of refinery issues in the U.S. Midwest. In addition, BP’s 430,000-b/d Whiting, IN, refinery was experiencing a minor issue on its second-largest crude distillation unit, which was affecting normal operations, but should be remedied in a few days.

 

South and Southeast

The least expensive gasoline prices continue to flow in South and Southeast states, however, this region did see spikes in the last week. Kentucky saw the largest jump (+15 cents) in the country. Despite a 7 cent increase on the week, South Carolina ($2.11) continues to post the lowest prices in the country.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw some fluctuations in the last week: Pennsylvania (+9 cents), Virginia (+6 cents), New York (+5 cents) and Connecticut (+5 cents). The region will continue to see a jump in price this week as stations make the final change over to summer-blend fuels.

Oil Market Dynamics

Crude oil futures opened Monday trading at their highest level in more than a month as a result of ongoing tensions in the Middle East. An oilfield in Libya was shut down on Sunday after an armed group blocked a pipeline leading to an oil terminal. The Libyan production outage means that one source for crude oil is compromised and may affect global oil supply. Crude oil also rallied and then leveled out following last week’s U.S. missile strike against a Syrian airbase amid fears that further unrest in the region could lead to oil supply disruptions.

Additional factors contributing to increased crude oil prices include high production cut adherence by OPEC and non-OPEC producers and the possibility that participating countries may extend their agreement beyond the June deadline. Traders will keep a close eye on political dynamics in the Middle East and any further discussions between OPEC and non-OPEC producers.  At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 54 cents to settle at $52.24 per barrel.

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

Tamra JohnsonGas prices are on the move, reaching an average price of $2.33 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. Today’s price is four cents more than a week ago, one cent more compared to one month ago and 27 cents more than the same date last year. National gas prices have increased six of the last seven days. Although the increase in prices has been moderate, it is possible this trend could continue as refinery maintenance wraps up, more expensive summer-blend gasoline becomes available and driving demand increases this spring.  

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.04), Tennessee ($2.08), Mississippi ($2.08), Alabama ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.10), Missouri ($2.11), Louisiana ($2.12), Virginia ($2.13) and Texas ($2.15). 
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly increases include: Ohio (+18 cents), Michigan (+16 cents), Indiana (+14 cents), Illinois (+11 cents), Wisconsin (+7 cents), Delaware (+7 cents), West Virginia (+6 cents), Kentucky (+5 cents), Oregon (+5 cents) and Georgia (+5 cents).

 

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast remain the highest in the country, with six states in the region topping the list of most expensive U.S. markets: Hawaii ($3.05), California ($2.98), Washington ($2.86), Alaska ($2.78), Oregon ($2.72) and Nevada ($2.66). Prices in the Northwest and California will continue to rise in the coming weeks due to refinery maintenance.

BP started planned maintenance at its 236,000-b/d Cherry Point refinery in Ferndale, Washington, last week, while PBF Energy restarted the hydrotreater unit at its 157,800-b/d refinery in Torrance, California, due to unplanned flaring last Monday. This week, the refinery begins major maintenance work which is expected to last 45-55 days and will likely tighten supply and increase California gas prices. Today, BP is also shutting down operations on its Olympic Pipeline until April 10 for planned maintenance. The shutdown will temporarily impact shipments of gasoline in the northern part of the region.

Rockies

Drivers in the Rockies are among the only ones in the nation to see moderate price declines. Prices in the region are often geographically insulated from movement tied to global crude oil prices and have generally been among the more stable in the nation.

Great Lakes and Central States

The Great Lakes and Central States are currently switching from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline and drivers are seeing significant increases at the pump, with Ohio (+18 cents), Michigan (+16 cents), Indiana (+14 cents), Illinois (+11 cents), Wisconsin (+7 cents) and Kentucky (+5 cents) landing on the list of top 10 weekly increases.

Unplanned mechanical repairs and pipeline issues at Valero’s 172,000-b/d McKee and 103,000-b/d Houston refineries in the Texas Panhandle are impacting delivery and tightening supply in the Midwest region.

South and Southeast

Markets in the South and Southeast continue to post some of the lowest prices for retail gasoline in the nation, including South Carolina ($2.04), Tennessee ($2.08), Mississippi ($2.08), Alabama ($2.09), Louisiana ($2.12) and Texas ($2.15).

ExxonMobil’s 584,000-b/d Baytown, Texas refinery experienced operational issues last week due to severe weather. Valero also reports pipeline issues and unplanned mechanical repairs at both its 172,000-b/d McKee and 103,000-b/d Houston refineries, which has tightened supply in the Dallas area. OPIS reports that during past fuel-supply problems, the market pulled barrels of gasoline from Tyler, Texas and can also receive supply via pipeline from Corpus Christi.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Prices in much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions have followed the national average the past week with Delaware (+7 cents), West Virginia (+6 cents) and Maryland (+4 cents), all landing on the list of largest weekly increases. The latest report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that regional gasoline storage levels dropped by 2.6 million bbl, the largest decline in the country. The region will switch from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline by April 10 and drivers will continue to see increases at the pump.

Oil Market Dynamics

This morning, the market saw a bump following reports that Iraq plans to increase its production cut compliance as a part of OPEC’s output agreement. This announcement furthered speculation that OPEC and non-OPEC producers may extend their agreement beyond the original six-month deadline of June. The oil reduction deal was brokered last fall in an attempt to rebalance the global oil supply and boost the price of crude oil. While the agreement has lifted the price of crude oil to $50 per barrel, it has also encouraged U.S. producers to invest and drill more. Oil service company Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. increased its rig count by 10 last week, bringing the total to 662. Traders will keep a close eye on discussions between OPEC and non-OPEC producers and any decisions they make regarding further production cuts through the remainder of 2017.  At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 25 cents to settle at $50.60 per barrel.

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

Tamra JohnsonNew AAA Survey Reveals Impact of Rising Gas Prices on Consumers’ Lifestyle

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Mar. 28, 2017) – A new AAA survey reveals that nearly a quarter of consumers believe the price at the pump is already too high. AAA projects the national average for a gallon of gasoline to increase 40 cents this summer, peaking near $2.70. To offset gas price increases, more than 70 percent of consumers say they would make everyday lifestyle or driving habit changes. The top five changes drivers would make include:

Additional Resources

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  • Combining errands or trips
  • Driving less
  • Reducing shopping or dining out
  • Delaying major purchases
  • Carpooling

However, not everyone will jump to make a change. The survey found that younger Americans (18-34) are more tolerant of higher prices.

“Higher gas prices are already influencing the travel industry,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of Travel and Publishing. “The good news is people are still planning to hit the road. With nearly 80 percent of family travelers planning a road trip this year, higher gas prices are making shorter trips to national parks and theme parks the most desired travel destinations.”

During April, Americans across the country will start to see gas prices begin to climb as the industry wraps up spring maintenance and completes the switchover to summer-blend gasoline. Over the years, public opinion for whether a gallon of gasoline would be too much or too cheap has fluctuated as much as the price itself.

  • When gas prices are above the $3.00 benchmark (as they were in 2013 and 2014), most Americans believe prices should be six percent lower.
  • When gas prices are below the $3.00 benchmark (as they were in 2015 and 2016), most Americans believe a 25 percent increase is too high.

This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among two national probability samples (landline only and cell phone), which, when combined, consists of 1,017 adults, 510 men and 507 women, 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was completed on February 2-5, 2017. 517 interviews were from the landline sample and 500 interviews from the cell phone sample. This study has an average statistical error of ±3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. 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.

Tamra Johnson

Pump prices remain relatively stable, with today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline holding at $2.29 per gallon. Today’s average price is down by fractions of a penny compared to one week ago, but has moved one cent higher compared to last month. Drivers are paying 31 cents more per gallon at the pump compared to this same date last year.

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.01), Tennessee ($2.04), Alabama ($2.05), Mississippi ($2.06), Arkansas ($2.08), Texas ($2.09), Virginia ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.09), Louisiana ($2.10) and Missouri ($2.10).
  • The nation’s markets that have seen the largest yearly increases include: Washington (+61 cents), Utah (+60 cents), Alaska (+58 cents), Idaho (+56 cents), New Jersey (+55 cents), Oregon (+54 cents), Hawaii (+51 cents), Montana (+44 cents), Pennsylvania (+43 cents) and Connecticut (+40 cents).

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast remain the highest in the country with six states in the region topping the list of most expensive U.S. markets: Hawaii ($3.07), California ($2.99), Washington ($2.85), Alaska ($2.80), Oregon ($2.68) and Nevada ($2.66). The latest US Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows that gasoline inventories dropped to 29.027 million bbl for the week ending March 10, while regional refinery production increased 17 percent. OPIS reports that production increases are likely the result of the completion of a major 45-day turnaround at Phillips 66’s 107,500- b/d refinery in Ferndale, Washington.

Rockies

Gas prices remain stable over the past week with averages in most states moving by just fractions of a penny. The region is home to some of the largest yearly state increases: Utah (+60 cents), Idaho (+56 cents) and Montana (+44 cents). OPIS reports that recent increases near the Utah area largely resulted from a shutdown on the Wahsatch Pipeline, which negatively impacted refinery production in the region. Plains All American Pipeline completed repairs on the pipeline March 10.

Great Lakes and Central States

Volatility continues to characterize pump prices in the Great Lakes region. Some states reflected double-digit declines at the start of the month, only to see gains over the past seven days: Ohio (+6 cents), Indiana (+6 cents) and Michigan (+2 cents). Drivers in other states saw modest declines on the week: Iowa (-3 cents), Minnesota (-3 cents), Wisconsin (-3 cents) and Kansas (-2 cents).

OPIS reports that a unit fire has slowed production at LyondellBasell’s 302,300-b/d refinery in Houston, Texas. The refiner ships most of its gasoline to the Midwest through the Magellan Pipeline. Wolverine Pipe Line Company reports that the new Detroit Metro Access Pipeline (DMAP) is now in service and is transporting refined oil products from Chicago to Detroit.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The East Coast saw a decline in gasoline supplies last week as refiners prepare to switch from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline. Despite the decline in supply, prices in the regions remain stable on the week with Pennsylvania ($2.49), Washington, D.C. ($2.46), New York ($2.43) and Connecticut ($2.39) all landing on the list of top 15 most expensive markets in the country.

 

South and Southeast

Markets in the South and Southeast continue to post some of the lowest prices for retail gasoline in the nation, including South Carolina ($2.02), Tennessee ($2.04), Alabama ($2.05), Mississippi ($2.06), Arkansas ($2.08), Texas ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.10) and Louisiana ($2.10). The latest EIA report shows that Gulf Coast crude oil inventories dropped 2.4 million bbl for the week ending March 10. The declines are the result of a nearly 500,000-b/d drop in regional imports last week. As mentioned in the Great Lakes/Central States summary, OPIS reports that a unit fire at LyondellBasell’s 302,300-b/d Houston, Texas, refinery resulted in production cuts. The refiner ships most of its product to the Midwest via the Magellan Pipeline.

Oil Market Dynamics

While prices have been flat in recent weeks, a long-term bearish sentiment continues to underscore the global oil market as speculation about the balance between OPEC cuts and U.S. production drives the market. Last Friday, OPEC’s Joint Technical Committee met to review compliance and participant’s level of adherence to the production cut agreement. Following the JTC meeting, Russia agreed to drop total production by 300,000 barrels per day by the end of April and pledged to maintain that level until the deal expires at the end of June. Saudi Arabia followed the compliance meeting with news that it may consider working with partner countries to continue the cuts beyond the June agreement deadline.

Even with OPEC’s compliance in the 90 percent range, U.S. production continues to cut into any rebalancing efforts by OPEC and non-OPEC countries. On Friday, oil service company, Baker Hughes, reported that the U.S. rig count increased again last week when producers added 14 drilling rigs, bringing the total rig count to 631 in the United States. Traders will continue to watch whether OPEC and non-OPEC members make moves to further cut production in an attempt to balance the global oil supply. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up three cents to settle at $48.78 per barrel.

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

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