Posts Tagged ‘Gas Price Commentary’

After holding steady for nine days, the national gas price average is slowly declining at the start of the Thanksgiving week. At $2.54, today’s national gas price average is two cents less than one week ago and 40 cents more than a year ago. However, the more expensive year-over-year pump price is not stopping Americans from hitting the road for holiday travel.

“Nearly 46 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles away from their home by car this holiday. Many will be thankful to see gas prices trending cheaper in cities across the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Since 2014, the national gas price average has dropped one to five cents heading into the Thanksgiving week.”

Motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 55 percent of gas stations in the country.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten states with the largest yearly increases: Alaska (+63 cents), Illinois (+59 cents), Indiana (+58 cents), Minnesota (+55 cents), Wisconsin (+54 cents), California (+52 cents), Michigan (+51 cents), Kansas (+49 cents), Iowa (+47 cents) and Colorado (+47 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten states with the least expensive gas prices: Alabama ($2.25), Mississippi ($2.26), South Carolina ($2.27), Texas ($2.28), Arkansas ($2.29), Oklahoma ($2.31), Virginia ($2.31), Tennessee ($2.31), Louisiana($2.33) and Missouri ($2.35). 

West Coast

The West Coast continues to sell the most expensive gas with Alaska $3.27 (+6 cents) leading the region and topping all states’ gas prices. Hawaii ($3.23) and Arizona ($2.40) saw a slight increase, albeit one cent on the week. California ($3.21) is down three cents on the week and Nevada ($2.73) is down one cent. Oregon ($2.85) and Washington ($3.00) saw no change on the week. 

According to the latest Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report, total gasoline stocks grew to 28.2 million bbl – which is in line with the five-year average for the region. Refinery utilization rates in the region continue to sit above 86 percent, which has given the region a comfortable supply and demand balance sheet and will help prices stabilize ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices in the region are volatile – increasing, stabilizing and decreasing – throughout the Great Lakes and Central states. With a double-digit decrease, Michigan has the country and the region’s largest decline at 12 cents. Also making the national spotlight for the region, Illinois ($2.70) lands on this week’s top 10 states with the most expensive gas in the country.

On Thursday, November 16, the Keystone pipeline was shut down due to a spill at a section of the pipeline in Marshall County, South Dakota. Over the weekend, TransCanada said that it does not yet have a potential restart date for the pipeline, which runs from Hardisty, Alberta, to Cushing, Oklahoma, and on to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois. While the pipeline is shut down, crude oil deliveries to some Midwestern refineries that draw from the pipeline may be reduced. In addition, crude inventory levels at Cushing, Oklahoma, may drop due to the delivery disruption. “The impact to gas prices in the Midwest will be based on the length of time the pipeline is down,” added Casselano.

Compared to one year ago, five states in the region are paying 50 cents more for a gallon of gasoline: Illinois (+59 cents), Indiana (+58 cents), Minnesota (+55 cents), Wisconsin (+54 cents) and Michigan (+51 cents). Heavy refinery maintenance this fall is one the factors that has contributed to the year-over-year hefty price increase.

After nearly two months of straight declines, regional gasoline inventory had an impressive 1.3 million bbl build. Overall, inventory stands 2.5 million bbl below levels this time last year. However, ExxonMobil’s Joliet refinery in Illinois is resuming operations following planned maintenance, which can help to alleviate the differential.

South and Southeast

Three months following Hurricane Harvey, gas prices in the South and Southeast are again among the cheapest in the country with seven states landing on this week’s top 10 states with the least expensive gas for a consecutive week: Alabama ($2.25), Mississippi ($2.26), South Carolina ($2.27), Texas ($2.28), Arkansas ($2.29), Oklahoma ($2.31) and Louisiana ($2.33). Despite the cheap prices, two states landed on this week’s top 10 states with the largest changes this week. Louisiana saw a three-cent jump, while Florida saw prices decrease four cents.

Gasoline inventories took a substantial 1.4 million bbl dip on the week. This was the second straight week of inventory declines bringing total levels to 76.5 million bbl, according to the EIA. The region has been steadily exporting inventory.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region either are seeing no change or small declines at the pump on the week with Delaware (-3 cents) seeing the largest decrease. Pennsylvania ($2.78), Washington, D.C. ($2.73), Connecticut ($2.71), New York ($2.69) and Rhode Island ($2.61) carry the most expensive gas in the region. At $2.31, Virginia touts the cheapest of all Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states.

Compared to last Thanksgiving week, motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are paying more at the pump, anywhere from 41 to 21 cents more. Pennsylvania pump prices have seen the biggest change year-over-year. 

The relatively small changes in gas prices reflect the EIA’s data that the region had a small (525,000 bbl) build on the week. At nearly 53 million bbl, inventory levels for the region sit 3.2 million below this time last year. The year-over-year deficit is attributed to a lack of gasoline imports as of late.  

Rockies

With a three-cent increase, Montana lands on this week’s top 10 states with the largest change on the week. Prices remained stable in Idaho ($2.65), Colorado ($2.55) and Wyoming ($2.53). While motorists throughout this region are paying more compared to Thanksgiving week 2016, Colorado (+47 cents) motorists are seeing the largest year-over-year change in the region, while Utah (+16 cents) is seeing the smallest year-over-year change in both the region and the country.

With a 217,000 bbl draw on the week, gasoline inventory in the region measures at 6.8 million bbl. Today’s levels are about a half a million less than this time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.41 to settle at $56.55. The price per barrel of crude oil is likely to continue gaining throughout the week after EIA’s latest report showed that crude inputs into refineries, for production of products like gasoline, grew by 250,000 b/d on the week to land at 16.9 million b/d. On the flip side, crude oil inventories ballooned to 1.9 million bbl, but are still lower than where they were at this time last year. Increased oil inventories and domestic crude production, which reached an all-time high at 9.65 million b/d last week, have contributed to growth in crude exports as they rose to 1.12 million b/d.

After recent growth in the U.S. active oil rig count, last week’s count remained unchanged at 738. This news may give market observers hope that oil prices may push even higher ahead of OPEC’s meeting on November 30, in Vienna. However, recent growth in U.S. oil production may only underscore that other countries, such as the U.S., will continue to fill the void left by other oil producers. At the upcoming meeting, OPEC and non-OPEC member countries that are a part of the production reduction agreement to curtail supply may decide to extend the agreement beyond its current expiration date at the end of March 2018. All eyes will remain on key countries in the agreement, such as Russia and Saudi Arabia, to see if they signal a willingness to extend the agreement through the end of the year or deepen the production cuts.

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

 

At $2.56, the national gas price average has increased nine cents inside of 13 days. Strong fall consumer gasoline demand has continued into November and is chipping away at national gasoline inventory. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports total gasoline inventories dropped by 3.3 million bbl in their latest report.

 “Compared to the first half of November last year, gas prices this November are on average 39-cents more expensive,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “However, while November gas prices have come in like a lion, AAA expects them to go out like a lamb.”

On the week, gas prices increased for the majority of states across the country. However, only four states are seeing double-digit fluctuations at the pump: Florida (+13 cents), Indiana (-13 cents), Alaska (+12 cents) and Ohio (-10 cents).

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten states with the largest weekly changes: Florida (+13 cents), Indiana (-13 cents), Alaska (+12 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Georgia (+7 cents), Oregon (+7 cents), North Carolina (+6 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Texas (+6 cents) and South Carolina (+6 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten states with the least expensive gas prices: Alabama ($2.26), Mississippi ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.29), Louisiana ($2.30), Arkansas ($2.31), Texas ($2.31), Virginia ($2.32), Tennessee ($2.34), Oklahoma ($2.35) and Missouri ($2.36).

West Coast

The West Coast has seen prices push upward and the region continues to sell the most expensive gas. Gas prices on the West Coast increased as much as 12 cents on the week: Alaska $3.21 (+12 cents), Oregon $2.85 (+7 cents), California $3.24 (+3 cents), Hawaii $3.22 (+ 5 cents), Washington $2.99 (+5 cents), Arizona $2.40 (+2 cents) and Nevada $2.74 (+1 cent). Refinery utilization on the West Coast remains high at 86.2 percent, according to the EIA weekly report. The report also showed that crude oil inputs through regional refineries also increased last week by 135,000 bbl to reach 2.388 million bbl per day.

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices in the Great Lakes and Central states continue to see volatility across the region. Motorists in six states are paying less on the week: Indiana (-13 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Wisconsin (-2 cent), Missouri (-2 cents) and Kentucky (-1 cent). The remaining states in the region saw modest price jumps with Nebraska’s gas price increasing the most with a five-cent increase. Michigan ($2.74) and Illinois ($2.72) are selling the most expensive gas in the region, while motorists in Kansas ($2.40) and Missouri ($3.36) are paying the least.

At 44.5 million bbl, the Great Lakes and Central region has seen gasoline inventories decline for six weeks straight and register at the lowest level since mid-November 2014.

South and Southeast

On the week, gasoline prices have increased an average of nine cents across the South and Southeast. With a 13-cent jump, Floridians are seeing the biggest change, while Oklahomans’ gas prices are five cents more than last Monday. Regardless of the increases, the region is still selling some of the cheapest gas in the country with seven states landing on this week’s top 10 states with the least expensive gas: Alabama ($2.26), Mississippi ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.29), Louisiana ($2.30), Arkansas ($2.31), Texas ($2.31) and Oklahoma ($2.35).

Sitting at 78 million bbl, gasoline inventory in the region dipped slightly by 800,000 bbl on the week. The latest EIA report shows that regional inventory has only surpassed the 80 million bbl mark one time since Labor Day.. This move shows demand, while steady, is slowing.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Every state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region is paying more for a gallon of gasoline on the week, with North Carolina (+6 cents) and New Jersey (+6 cents) seeing the largest jumps. The most expensive gas in the region is in Pennsylvania ($2.79) and Washington, D.C. ($2.74). Both areas also land on this week’s top 10 states with the highest gas prices. The cheapest gas in the region is in Virginia ($2.32) and Tennessee ($2.34).

According to the EIA, the region had a 1.6 million bbl draw on the week, which was the largest draw of any region in the country. At a total of 52 million bbl, regional inventories are at a low for the year. In fact, the last time regional inventory measured at the 52 million bbl mark was in December of 2014.

 Rockies

As motorists in Utah (-3 cents) and Idaho (-1 cent) pay less at the pump on the week, those in Colorado (+3 cents), Montana (+3 cents) and Wyoming (+1 cent) are paying pennies more. Compared to one month ago, gas prices in both Utah (-11 cents) and Idaho (-7 cents) are cheaper. Gasoline inventory remains at the 7 million bbl mark for a fifth week.

Oil market dynamics

International markets opened Monday morning posting crude oil losses amid reports of the U.S. adding oil rigs that indicate increased U.S. investment and oil production. Oil-services firm Baker Hughes reported that drillers added nine rigs last week – the biggest increase since June of this year – bringing the total crude oil rig count to 738. The increased U.S. production continues to dilute OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the global oil market and may be on the minds of OPEC cartel members when they meet in Vienna on November 30 to discuss extending their production cuts through the end of 2018 to rebalance global crude oil supply.

Additionally, tensions in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iran and Bahrain have traders keeping a watchful eye on the region. Discussions of political power and influence continue to surround the Saudi Arabian King and his son the Crown Prince. At this time the King has not relinquished the thrown to his son, but his son continues to instate economic reforms including a plan to sell off a portion of the government-owned Saudi Aramco oil company.

On Friday, an explosion at Bahrain’s main pipeline shut down operations. Bahrain officials have labeled the explosion an act of terrorism and linked it to Iran. Over the weekend, the country was able to get the fire under control and shut off oil supplies to the pipeline. At this time, it is unclear when Bahrain will have its pipeline back up and running. Monday also saw a powerful earthquake hit the border of Iraq and Iran, killing 348 people. Both countries currently have search and rescue missions responding to earthquake. In the coming days, government officials will know more about the extent of the damage and whether any energy producing sectors where damaged during the quake.   

Traders will continue to keep an eye on any supply disruptions in the Middle East, U.S. production and the impact it has on global supply and demand. At the closing of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 43 cents to settle at $56.74 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.

Highest October Gasoline Demand Since 2006

November 6th, 2017 by AAA

Gas prices see a slight uptick

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the latest gasoline demand measurement is the highest for the end of October since 2006. At $2.53, today’s gas price is six cents more than a week ago, two cents more than a month ago and 31 cents more than a year ago.

“October has seen strong demand numbers likely, in part, due to consumers taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather rather than spending time indoors,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “As consumers fill up their tanks more frequently, we are seeing supply levels tighten and gas prices increase. However, we don’t expect this increase to be long-term.”

The national gas price average during the second half of October was relatively stable, fluctuating a penny or two until October 31. Since then, the national price has seen upward movement, primarily resulting from increased demand.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten largest weekly increases are: Michigan (+21 cents), Ohio (+20 cents), Illinois (+19 cents), California (+17 cents), Wisconsin (+16 cents), Indiana (+14 cents), Missouri (+11 cents), Kentucky (+10 cents), Minnesota (+8 cents) and Nebraska (+7 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.22), South Carolina ($2.23), Texas ($2.25), Arkansas ($2.26), Louisiana ($2.26), Virginia ($2.28), Tennessee ($2.28), Oklahoma ($2.33) and North Carolina ($2.35).

West Coast

Moving into the week, the West Coast continues to lead the U.S. among most expensive markets. Six of the top ten most expensive markets in the country are found in this region: California ($3.21), Hawaii ($3.17), Alaska ($3.09), Washington ($2.94), Oregon ($2.79) and Nevada ($2.73). Most prices in the region have seen growth over the past week, with California (+17 cents) and Alaska (+5 cents) seeing the largest increases of markets in the region. Drivers in California are likely to see pump prices increase due to new gasoline taxes that were imposed on November 1. The tax rate for gasoline increased 12cts/gal, from 29.7cts/gal to 41.7cts/gal.

In the EIA’s latest report, total gasoline stocks are below 28 million bbl, reaching a seven-week low at 27.6 million bbl. Additionally, EIA’s report showed that the refinery utilization rate of crude fell to 81.4 percent from 81.9 percent last week, which means less gasoline is being produced. With demand remaining high and supplies tightening in the region, prices are also being pushed up by these supply and demand factors.

Great Lakes and Central

Compared to a year ago, more than a dozen Great Lakes and Central states are paying at least 25 cents more a gallon to fill up their tanks. Topping the year-over-year increases list: Indiana (+60 cents), Illinois (+59 cents), Michigan (+54 cents), Ohio (+52 cents), Wisconsin (+51 cents), Minnesota (+44 cents), Missouri (+43 cents) and Kansas (+40 cents).

On the week and similar to last week, the region continues to see gas prices increase more than any other region in the country. This week, Illinois ($2.78), Indiana ($2.72), Michigan ($2.71) and Ohio ($2.64), all land on the top 15 states with the most expensive gas in the country.

The price volatility is attributed to the continued regional trend of gasoline inventory declines. With 45.5 million bbl, the region has seen levels drop for six straight weeks.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices continue to be volatile in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions with motorists either paying more or seeing stability at the pump. Not one state saw a decrease. A handful of states saw sizeable increases to gas prices on the week: Pennsylvania (+6 cents), Delaware (+6 cents), New Jersey (+5 cents), Maine (+5 cents) and Maryland (+5 cents). However, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island saw no change to prices at the pump.

With a 2.9 million bbl decrease in inventory, the region saw the biggest drop of any in the country. With nearly 54 million bbl, inventory is nearing some of the lowest levels of the year.  As supplies tighten, it brings a nearly 7 million bbl deficit compared to this time last year.

South and Southeast

Most South and Southeast motorists are paying more at the pump for a gallon of unleaded gasoline on the week: Louisiana (+4 cents), Arkansas (+4 cents), Mississippi (+3 cents), Oklahoma (+2 cents), Texas (+2 cent), South Carolina (+2 cents) and Alabama (+2 cent). Only the state of Georgia (-1 cent) saw gas prices decrease and Florida remained stable over the course of the last seven days. Despite the increases, the region carries some of the cheapest gas prices in the country with Alabama ($2.21) topping the country’s list of least inexpensive gas.

Compared to one month ago, many states in the region have seen double-digit declines in gas prices: Georgia (-20 cents), Florida (-16 cents), Alabama (-15 cents), South Carolina (-13 cents), Texas (-13 cents) and Mississippi (-11 cents).

The region is the only one in the country on the week to see a build in gasoline inventory. EIA reports an increase of 1.15 million bbl. Sitting at 78.8 million bbl, the total inventory is on par with levels this time last year.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rockies region are showing some volatility from state to state. On the week, Colorado (+5 cents) saw the biggest increase while Utah (-3 cents) saw the largest dip in gas prices.  Idaho declined (-2 cents), while Wyoming and Montana remain stable. Despite the small change in price, Idaho ($2.66) carries the most expensive gas of all five states in the region.

Oil market dynamics

Last week, WTI hit a new 2017 high at $54.54 and the market will likely build on those gains this week. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI settled up $1.10/bbl at $55.64/bbl. The latest EIA report showed major inventory draws and increased exports, both of which have helped push oil prices higher. Crude oil inventories slid by 2.4 million bbl, while crude oil exports reached a new record of 2.133 million b/d. All of this news has given market observers renewed confidence in seeing oil prices pushing higher as supplies appear to grow tighter and demand remains strong, fueled by oil demand growth in key export markets.

Last week, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. oil rig count dropped by eight rigs, bringing the total to 729. The news follows reports that at OPEC’s next meeting in Vienna on Nov. 30, OPEC and allied non-OPEC producers will review the agreement to reduce production through March of next year. Some reports have stated that the group may extend the agreement through the end of 2018, which if true, will likely help boost oil prices through the end of the 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.

Pump Prices Bring Tricks and Treats on the Week

October 30th, 2017 by Jessica


At $2.47, today’s national gas price average is one cent more on the week. Gas prices are fluctuating across the country with 25 states paying more, 17 states paying less and nine states staying stable on the week for a gallon of regular gasoline. States in the Great Lakes and Central are experiencing the biggest increases (six to 12 cents).

“Depending on where in the country you are filling up your tank, gasoline prices are playing tricks on some motorists with large increases on the week and treating others to lower gas prices,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The price volatility can be attributed to a new trend that has emerged during October in the last few years, which is an unexpectedly steady demand for gasoline after the end of the summer driving season.”

Despite the fluctuation, AAA forecasts that the national average gas price will decrease as the holidays approach.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest monthly changes are: Georgia (-27 cents), Florida (-23 cents), Alabama (-22 cents), Tennessee (-22 cents), South Carolina (-21 cents), Mississippi (-20 cents), North Carolina (-20 cents), Texas (-19 cents), Indiana (+16 cents) and Virginia (-14 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are:  Mississippi ($2.19), Alabama ($2.19), South Carolina ($2.21), Louisiana ($2.22), Arkansas ($2.22), Texas ($2.23), Tennessee ($2.25), Virginia ($2.26), Missouri ($2.26) and Oklahoma ($2.30).

South and Southeast

Seven South and Southeast states land on this week’s top 10 markets in the country with the cheapest gas prices: Mississippi ($2.19), Alabama ($2.19), South Carolina ($2.21), Louisiana ($2.22), Arkansas ($2.22), Texas ($2.23) and Oklahoma ($2.30).

On the week, Georgia (-4 cents) saw the largest drop in gas prices, followed by Florida   (-3 cents), Alabama (-2 cents), Mississippi (-2 cents) and Texas (-1 cent). Conversely, Oklahoma (+6 cents) and Arkansas (+2 cents) are paying more on the week. 

After three weeks of inventory builds, regional inventory on the week decreased by 2.4 million bbl to 77.6 million bbl. The decline hits as Gulf Coast refineries utilization capacity surpassed 90 percent for the first time since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in the U.S., indicating that the inventory drop is likely due to exports. But it is worth noting that according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA), overall inventory levels for the region are sitting at a half a million more than this time last year

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are volatile in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions with Delaware ($2.37) seeing prices jump up eight cents on the week while two states – New Hampshire ($2.47) and Washington, D.C. ($2.68) – saw no changes during the last seven days. In addition to Delaware, these states also are paying more at the pump on the week: New Jersey (+4 cents), Maryland (+4 cents), West Virginia (+4 cents), Maine (+3 cents) and Pennsylvania (+3 cents). A handful of states saw small drops (-1 cent) on the week: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island.  

According to the EIA, gasoline inventories dropped by 1 million on the week to a total of 56.9 million bbl in the region – a 6 million bbl deficit compared to this time last year. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the region shipped inventory to hard-hit areas in the South and Southeast and with a recent uptick in exports, overall inventories are tightening.

Great Lakes and Central

The Great Lakes and Central states collectively are seeing gas prices increase more than any other region in the country. On the week, motorists are paying one to 12 cents more at the pump with Ohio (+12 cents), Indiana (+8 cents), Illinois (+7 cents), Missouri (+6 cents), Minnesota (+5 cents) and Nebraska (+4 cents) seeing the largest increases. Only two states in the region are not on the increase trend: Michigan (-8 cent) and Kansas (no change). Illinois is selling the most expensive gas at $2.59/gallon for unleaded.

The Great Lakes and Central region has seen gasoline inventories decline for five weeks straight. At 46.6 million bbl, inventories register at the lowest level of the year and 4.65 million bbl below year ago levels. As supply tightens, gas prices are increasing for motorists in the region.

West Coast

Moving into the week, the West Coast continues to lead the U.S. among most expensive markets. Six of the top ten most expensive markets in the country are found in this region: Hawaii ($3.15), Alaska ($3.04), California ($3.04), Washington ($2.91), Oregon ($2.75) and Nevada ($2.72). Prices are mostly stable on the week, with Hawaii (+4 cents) and Alaska (+2 cents) seeing the largest increases of the most expensive markets.

In EIA’s latest report, total gasoline stocks along the West Coast declined 400,000 bbl to 28.7 million bbl. The current amount is still about a million bbl higher than last year at the same time. This week’s slight decline demonstrates that demand this fall has kept supplies at a healthy level, helping to stabilize prices in the region.

Rockies

Motorists are seeing small changes to gas prices on the week in the Rockies. Both Colorado (+1 cent) and Wyoming (+1 cent) motorists are paying slightly more at the pump while Utah (-3 cents), Idaho (- 1 cent) and Montana (-1 cent) are paying less on the week. Inventories saw a slight build of 136,000 bbl, according to the EIA’s latest report.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI closed at $53.90/bbl, with a gain of $1.26 for the day. Oil prices may continue pushing higher this week, following the release of EIA’s latest report that showed exports of U.S. crude surpassed 1.9 million b/d for the second time in the last four weeks. The growth in exports has helped the price gain amid concerns that global supply is tightening as OPEC’s production reduction agreement has greater influence over the oil market. Additionally, total U.S. crude inventories rose by 900,000 bbl as inputs to refineries rose by 609,000 b/d. The refinery increases are likely due to production levels stabilizing above 16 million b/d after restarts of several Gulf Coast as a precaution ahead of Hurricane Nate’s landfall earlier this month.

Last week, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. gained one oil rig, bringing the total to 737. The news comes amid reports over the weekend that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will continue cutting oil output to comply with the OPEC and non-OPEC production cut agreement set in place until March 2018. The UAE’s compliance with the agreement has been under question, as many other participant countries have made drastic production cuts in an effort to reduce global supply. OPEC and allied non-OPEC producers will review the agreement at a Nov. 30 meeting in Vienna, where they may  decide to take further steps to deepen the agreement’s impact on the market.

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

The average price at the pump has fallen for 15 of the last 20 days, for a total savings of seven cents per gallon. The national average currently sits at $2.46 per gallon, which is one cent less than one week ago, 12 cents less than one month ago and 24 cents more year-over-year. The national average is down 17 cents per gallon versus the 2017 peak price reached in September ($2.67).

“Despite recent declines, the residual impact of last month’s hurricanes linger,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA director of public relations. “Drivers continue to pay in excess of 20 cents more for a gallon of gasoline than they did in 2016, which may prove challenging for those looking to put away some extra cash for the holidays.”

Quick Stats

Largest monthly decreases: Georgia $2.39 (-29 cents), South Carolina $2.21( -27 cents), Florida $2.42 (-26 cents), Alabama $2.22 (-25 cents), Tennessee $2.27 (-25 cents), North Carolina $2.33 (-24 cents), Texas ($2.24 (-23 cents), New Jersey $2.44 (-22 cents), Mississippi $2.21 (-21 cents) and Virginia $2.25 (-20 cents).

The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are:  Hawaii ($3.11), California ($3.03), Alaska ($3.02), Washington ($2.92), Oregon ($2.75), Nevada ($2.73), Connecticut ($2.71), Idaho ($2.70), Washington, DC ($2.67) and Pennsylvania ($2.65).

West Coast

Gas prices in the region are stable on the week, with many of the most expensive markets in the country along the West Coast — including California ($3.03), Washington ($2.92), Oregon ($2.75) and Nevada ($2.73).

The refinery utilization rate in the region remains a concern after this week’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) report found that the utilization rate fell seven percent for the week ending on October 13. A lower utilization rate means that less crude oil is being processed to make refined products like gasoline. However, gasoline stocks are still above the five year average, which has helped to keep prices stable in the region. Next week’s West Coast refinery utilization could come under further downward pressure, due to a fire at Chevron’s 290,500-b/d El Segundo, Calif., refinery on Oct. 17. Chevron has not provided updates on the status of the refinery. On a separate note, drivers in California are likely to see prices at the pump increase next week if the state gas tax increase is implemented as expected on November 1. The tax rate for gasoline will increase 12cts/gal, from 29.7cts/gal to 41.7cts/gal. In addition, a storage tax will be imposed on all gasoline and diesel retailers, wholesalers and suppliers holding 1,000 gallons or more of tax-paid gasoline.

Rockies

Prices for motorists in the Rocky Mountain region remain stable, moving only +/- 2 cents on the week. Over the past month, the region has experienced moderate declines: Idaho (-8 cents), Utah (-7 cents), Colorado (-4 cents) and Montana (-3 cents).

Great Lakes and Central States

Gas prices across much of the region have seen a mixed bag of increases and decreases this week.   Missouri ($2.20) Kentucky ($2.31), Ohio ($2.32) and Kansas (2.33), all land on the list of top 15 least expensive markets. At the moment, prices moderately increased in some parts of the region which can likely be attributed to refinery maintenance and the steady decline in gasoline inventories. According to the latest EIA data, regional refineries are running at less than 85 percent capacity and gasoline inventories are at a nearly 3.5 million bbl deficit compared to this same time last year.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Connecticut ($2.71), Washington D.C. ($2.67) and Pennsylvania ($2.65), landed on the list of most expensive markets in the country. Virginia ($2.25) and Tennessee ($2.27) are posting some of the least expensive averages in the country this week.

The latest EIA report shows that gasoline supplies in the region dropped 300,000 bbl, which is likely due to growing U.S. exports. Despite the recent declines, overall inventories are up, reaching 17 million bbl as of last week.

South and Southeast

Drivers in the South are enjoying the lowest pump prices in the country with Arkansas ($2.20), South Carolina ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.21), Alabama ($2.22), Louisiana ($2.22) and Texas ($2.24), all landing on the top 10 list of cheapest markets.

The latest EIA report shows that the Gulf Coast is ramping up production following last month’s storms, increasing gasoline production by 107,000 barrels per day. The increased production has been evident at the pump, with Georgia ($2.39, -29), South Carolina ($2.21, -27), Florida ($2.42, -26), Alabama ($2.22, -25), Tennessee ($2.27, -25), North Carolina ($2.33, -24), Texas ($2.24, -23) and Mississippi ($2.21, -21), all seeing pump prices fall significantly over the past month.

The region’s supply is now three million bbl more than levels posted this same time last year. Chevron’s Pascagoula, Mississippi, refinery ramped up operations after reducing production rates earlier this month. Following Hurricane Nate, Phillips 66 restarted its Alliance refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, and Chevron’s Pascagoula plant is moving toward full production.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 18 cents to settle at $51.47. As the week progresses, the oil market appears poised to continue making gains. Last week’s EIA report noted a drop in crude inventories by 5.7 million barrels. The decrease is likely due to crude exports increasing to 1.8 million barrels per day, according to EIA. Moreover, as expected, crude oil demand in the U.S. is down by 1 million b/d from last year, while total crude inputs at U.S. refineries dropped by 819,000 b/d. Additionally, the U.S. rig count fell by 7, with the latest decline leaving 736 rigs active in the U.S., according to Baker Hughes, Inc. All of this data points toward weak domestic demand and decreased production of crude. As domestic crude demand slows, the ability to sell crude outside of U.S. markets through exports has helped push the price higher.

As the market gets tighter, market observers will closely watch this week’s EIA report to see if the trends continue. Additionally, the upcoming OPEC meeting scheduled for November 30 in Vienna will also help the market assess the 2018 horizon for oil prices. At the meeting, OPEC and non-OPEC members who have agreed to cut production through March 2018 will discuss the status of the agreement and may decide to take additional measures to deepen the agreement’s market impact.

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.

As the national gas price average drops just two cents on the week to $2.47, states east of the Mississippi are paying as much as eight cents less at the start of this week. While gas prices are more expensive than a year ago, the past five weeks of sustained weekly declines indicate that demand may be leveling out alongside refineries and pipelines returning to pre-hurricane operations.

“Gas stations are steadily dropping pump prices for the majority of motorists, especially regional markets in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South and Southeast,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Drivers will see stabilized or decreasing prices at the pump throughout this month due to high refinery production rates and seasonal demand.”

In September, Hurricane Harvey drove gas prices to the highest price of the year – $2.67. That was a 32-cent increase inside of 12 days. Now nearly seven weeks post hurricane, gas prices have shown steady decline dropping a total of 20 cents since September 11, 2017. 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($3.11), California ($3.04), Alaska ($3.00), Washington ($2.93), Oregon ($2.77), Nevada ($2.73), Connecticut ($2.72), Idaho ($2.71), Washington, D.C. ($2.70) and New York ($2.67).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly changes are: Ohio (+13 cents), Michigan (+12 cents), Indiana (+10 cents), South Carolina (-7 cents), Georgia (-7 cents), Tennessee (-7 cents), Florida (-7 cents), Texas (-7 cents), North Carolina (-6 cents) and Alabama (-6 cents).

 

South and Southeast

South Carolina (-7 cents), Georgia (-7 cents), Florida (-7 cents), Texas (-7 cents) and Alabama (-6 cents) all land on this week’s states with the largest changes. The state with the cheapest average gas price in the region is Arkansas ($2.21) and the most expensive average in the region is Florida ($2.47).

As prices steadily decline for motorists in the South and Southeast, they will notice today’s gas prices are double-digits below prices compared to one month ago in Georgia (-29 cents), South Carolina (-28 cents), Florida (-25 cents), Alabama (-25 cents), Texas (-22 cents), Mississippi (-21 cents), Arkansas (-18 cents), Louisiana (-14 cents) and Oklahoma (-10 cents).

While the South and Southeast tout the largest inventory of any region in the country, levels are both 5 million bbl below pre-Harvey rates and levels this time last year. As inventories continue to build, motorists can expect gas prices to drop alongside the build.   

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

For a second week, Tennessee (-7 cents) and North Carolina (-6 cents) saw the largest drop in gas prices of all states in the region. The most expensive gas price averages in the region can be found in Connecticut ($2.72), the District of Columbia ($2.70), New York ($2.67) and Pennsylvania ($2.67), which were also the four most expensive regional states one month ago. However, the differentiator is that gas prices in these four states are 13 to 21cents cheaper on the month. Overall, gas prices in the region are following the national trend downward and are expected to continue that path throughout the fall.

With a 1.27 million bbl increase in gasoline inventories, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region saw the largest build of any region, though imports account for roughly 715,000 bbl of the build. Total inventories sit ahead of levels this time last year, albeit just by 278,000 bbl, according to the EIA

Great Lakes and Central

Defying the national trend, five states in the Great Lakes and Central region are paying more at the pump than a week ago: Ohio (+13 cents), Michigan (+12 cents), Indiana (+10 cents), Illinois (+4 cents) and Kentucky (+3 cents). This increase is flip-flopped from last week, when Ohio, Michigan and Indiana saw almost equal declines. All other states in the region are paying less at the pump, with Nebraska (-5 cents) seeing the largest decline on the week. Gas prices in the region have been volatile throughout the year due to varying factors: demand, hurricane impact, inventory levels, etc.

The Great Lakes and Central region was the only in the country to see gasoline inventories drop on the week. At 49.7 million bbl, inventories register at the lowest level since December 2016. This is the third straight week of inventory declines, according to the EIA. However, regional gasoline production is on the rise, having increased steadily for four weeks indicating that production is not outpacing regional demand.

West Coast

Gas prices in the region continue to remain among the most expensive in the country, with Hawaii ($3.11), California ($3.04), Alaska ($3.00), Washington ($2.93), Oregon ($2.77) and Nevada ($2.73) leading the way. However, on the week, all prices in the region are less expensive except in Alaska where prices increased one cent, and Hawaii saw no change.

Gasoline inventory levels reached a 4-month high, according to EIA’s latest report, growing to 29.3 million bbl. The increase is a surprise given planned maintenance at various refineries and healthy exports in the region that were expected to keep inventory growth low. Additionally, despite dropping from last week, the refinery utilization rate of crude remains high at 88.3 percent in the region. The utilization rate is likely to climb back up, as more refineries return to typical production rates when scheduled maintenance is completed.

Rockies

Gas prices continue to decline in the Rockies, but just by one to two cents. Prices across the region as of today are as follows: Idaho ($2.71), Montana ($2.60), Utah ($2.58), Wyoming ($2.50) and Colorado ($2.45).

Gasoline inventory levels in the region are at their highest since the end of June. High tourism throughout the summer months historically drives inventory levels low. They then build with the onset of fall. Data from the EIA report the week’s 648,000 bbl build pushes levels over 7 million bbl, which is a surplus, albeit it small, compared this time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 85 cents to settle at $51.45. Moving into Monday and the rest of the week, oil prices may continue their upward trend. EIA’s latest report showed a 2.7 million bbl decline in crude oil stocks, which correlates with seeing an increase in gasoline stocks around the country. On the U.S. crude oil production side, the EIA report noted that there was an 87,000 b/d decline in production rates in the lower 48 states. That news followed Baker Hughes, Inc. reporting that the U.S. dropped 5 oil rigs last week, landing at a total of 743. When combined, both data points (crude production and oil rigs) may point toward reduced U.S. crude production and its potentially reduced contribution to global supply, which may help bolster the price per barrel of oil as the fall continues.

The International Energy Agency’s October Oil Market Report forecasted that three of the four quarters in 2018 will see the oil market in balance, assuming unchanged OPEC production and normal weather conditions. Based on the report, the global crude market is projected to see an inventory build of 800,000 b/d during the first quarter of 2018. Moreover, growth in oil demand is expected to match the increase in production next year from nonmember countries of OPEC, such as the U.S., and could cap oil prices throughout 2018. As a result, market observers will closely watch the upcoming OPEC meeting, scheduled for November 30 in Vienna. OPEC and non-OPEC members who have agreed to cut production through March 2018 will meet to discuss the status of the agreement and may decide to take additional measures to deepen the agreement’s market impact.

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 on Steady One-Month Decline

October 9th, 2017 by AAA

Motorists are paying on average six cents less for a gallon of gasoline on the week with all states seeing prices at the pump either drop or hold steady. Today’s national gas price average is $2.49, which is 18 cents cheaper than a month ago. With the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report measuring gasoline demand at 9.2 million b/d, down 281,000 b/d from the week prior, retail gas prices are showing steady promise of returning to pre-hurricane rates.

“Gas prices have fallen steadily for the past four weeks and now we are seeing gasoline demand drop alongside prices,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The latest demand figures show the lowest since the week Hurricane Harvey hit and can likely be the beginning of a downward demand trend indicating even cheaper gas prices to come this fall.”

Over the weekend, Hurricane Nate made landfall over the Gulf Coast and is now a tropical depression. Ahead of the storm, many Gulf Coast oil platforms and rigs were shut down and employees evacuated. In addition, two refineries, accounting for six percent of total Gulf Coast refining capacity, shut down. Early reports speculate that refineries did not sustain damage and operations could start up today, Monday.

Overall, motorists will see minimal to no impact to gas prices in the region hit by the storm.

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly decreases: Georgia (-10 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), South Carolina (-9 cents), Indiana (-9 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Alabama (-8 cents), Tennessee (-8 cents), North Carolina (-8 cents), Mississippi (-8 cents) and Florida (-8 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest year-over-year changes: New Jersey (+49 cents), Connecticut (+43 cents), Massachusetts (+42 cents), Rhode Island (+39 cents), New Hampshire (+35 cents), New York (+35 cents), Alaska (+34 cents), Utah (+34 cents), Pennsylvania (+33 cents) and Texas (+33 cents).

South and Southeast

Hurricane Nate has had little impact on South and Southeast regional gas prices. In fact, only four other states in the country are selling gas cheaper than Louisiana. In the region, gas prices are on average six cents cheaper than last Monday, with Oklahoma ($2.23), Arkansas ($2.26), Louisiana ($2.29) and Mississippi ($2.30) carrying the cheapest gas in the region. Meanwhile, five states in the region land on this week’s top 10 states with the largest decreases: Georgia (-10 cents), South Carolina (-9 cents), Alabama (-8 cents), Mississippi (-8 cents) and Florida (-8 cents).

For the first time since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, the region’s gasoline inventories increased, adding 1.9 million bbl on the week for a total inventory of 76 million bbl. This positive build indicates supply levels are getting closer to normal. However, year-over-year, the region sits at a 7.8 million bbl supply deficit, according to the EIA. Despite the shortfall, gas prices are expected to continue to decline toward more traditional fall pump prices throughout the month. 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

All states are paying less for a gallon of gasoline compared to a week ago. With an eight-cent decrease, Tennessee and North Carolina saw the largest drops of all states in the region while Rhode Island (-3 cents) and Connecticut (-3 cents) saw the smallest change in price.  

Many motorists are seeing double digit decreases in pump prices compared to one month ago, with gas prices continuing to drop: Delaware (-40 cents), Maryland (-31 cents), New Jersey (-27 cents) and Maine (-27 cents).

For a second straight week, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region increased gasoline inventory. However, despite a 1.1 million bbl build, regional inventories are 3 million bbl below this time last year, according to the latest EIA data.

Great Lakes and Central

At 10 cents less than last week, Michigan ($2.40) is the region’s one state to see the largest and only double-digit drop in gas prices on the week. All states are paying less on the week. Following closely behind Michigan are Indiana (-9 cents) and Ohio (-9 cents). With a two-cent decrease, North Dakota saw the region’s smallest decline.

The region’s pump price drop comes alongside a large 1.5 million bbl drop in the Great Lakes and Central states overall gasoline inventory. According to the EIA, this was the largest inventory drop of all regions in the country. At 50 million bbl, total levels are on par with inventory last year at this time.

West Coast

The West Coast features the highest prices in the nation this week with all states in the region appearing in the top ten most expensive markets: Hawaii ($3.11), California ($3.06), Alaska ($2.99), Washington ($2.95), Oregon ($2.80) and Nevada ($2.74). However, drivers in these states have seen some of most consistent prices week over week. Recent reports from the EIA show West Coast gasoline supplies are about 1 million bbl above the year ago level and refinery utilization is at 93 percent. Above average gasoline inventory and elevated refinery rates have contributed to steady prices in the region.

Rockies

States in the Rockies are seeing some of the smallest declines in the country: Idaho (-2 cents), Colorado (-2 cents), Utah (-2 cents), Montana (-1 cent) and Wyoming (-1 cent). At $2.73, Idaho is ranked as the eighth most expensive state for gas in the country, with Montana ($2.60) at 14th and Utah ($2.60) at 15th.

 

Oil market dynamics

Last week’s EIA report showed that U.S. crude oil stocks fell by 6 million bbl since the end of September with almost 2 million bbl in exports and refinery utilization down half a percentage point to 88.1 percent of total capacity. Decreasing fall demand combined with ample supply and slowed U.S. production has kept downward pressure on crude oil prices. While market watchers are keeping an eye on U.S. crude oil exports, attention is now focused on whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will extend their reduced production agreement beyond their March 2018 deadline in order to drive crude oil prices higher. Over the weekend OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said Saudi Arabia and Russia are leading discussions among cartel members about the future of their agreement and whether or not an extension is necessary to maintain market rebalancing efforts. OPEC members are scheduled to meet again in Vienna on November 30, to assess the market and discuss plans moving forward. Since late last year, efforts by OPEC to rebalance the market have had positive impacts on prices helping to buoy crude oil above the 2016 low of $26.21. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil teetered around the $50-dollar mark and just below all week, settling $1.50 lower at $49.29 per barrel at the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX.

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

At $2.55, the national gas price average is just two cents cheaper on the week and the most expensive pump price seen at start of October since 2015, when motorists where paying $2.29 for a gallon of unleaded.

“When fall arrives, motorists expect gas prices to be cheaper than they were in the summer. That’s just not the case this year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Back-to-back hurricanes packed a punch to Gulf Coast refineries’ gasoline production and inventory levels. As they play catch-up, gas prices are going to be higher than we’d like to see.”

Today, Gulf Coast refineries are building toward resuming normal operations, but it could take some longer than others to return to pre-hurricane production rates. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that Gulf Coast utilization rates are up nearly 12 percent to 85 percent of capacity since last week. As utilization rates increase and operations improve, gas prices will drop.

“While the market continues to be volatile, post-hurricanes, AAA expects gas prices to slowly, but steadily drop by up to ten cents in the coming month,” added Casselano.

Across the country, the majority of states saw prices at the pump drop as much as eight cents on the week – with Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states benefiting the most. While five Great Lakes and Central States are paying up to 11 cents more for gas. Today, motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 56 percent of gas stations in the country.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly changes are: Indiana (+11 cents), Ohio (+9 cents), Michigan (+9 cents), Delaware (-8 cents), Illinois (+7 cents), New Jersey (-6 cents), Maryland (-6 cents), Georgia (-6 cents), Florida (-6 cents) and Maine (-6 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($3.11), California ($3.10), Alaska ($2.99),Washington ($2.99),Oregon ($2.83), Connecticut ($2.78), Nevada ($2.77), Washington, D.C. ($2.77), Pennsylvania ($2.76) and Idaho ($2.76).

South and Southeast

Gas prices continue to get cheaper by the week by as much as six cents in many states, including: Georgia (-6 cents), Florida (-6 cents), South Carolina (-5 cents), Alabama (-5 cents) and Tennessee (-5 cents). Four states land on this week’s top ten least expensive markets in the country: Oklahoma ($2.62), Arkansas ($2.32), Louisiana ($2.34) and Mississippi ($2.38).

Despite a two million bbl drop on the week in gasoline inventory, the South and Southeast tout the highest inventory level of any region in the U.S. However, sitting at 74.2 million bbl, the region’s gasoline inventories are at the lowest level for the region since November 2015, according to EIA data. As Gulf Coast refineries come back online and inventory levels build, gas prices will continue to drop, possibly bringing the lowest pump price by year-end.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Four Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states top this week’s 10 states list with the biggest decreases: Delaware (-8 cents), New Jersey (-6 cents), Maryland (-6 cents) and Maine (-6 cents). Despite a five-cent drop in price on the week, Pennsylvania ($2.77) is selling some of the most expensive gas in the country and region alongside Connecticut ($2.78) and Washington, D.C. ($2.77). All three are on this week’s top ten most expensive markets.

After five weeks of straight gasoline inventory drops, the EIA reports a 2.4 million bbl build in the region. The increase brings levels to 55.8 million bbl, which is just 400,000 bbl less than this time last year.

Great Lakes and Central

Unlike any other region in the country, five Great Lakes and Central states are paying more for a gallon of gasoline on the week: Indiana (+11 cents), Ohio (+9 cents), Michigan (+9 cents), Illinois (+7 cents) and Wisconsin (+2 cent). Of note, last week Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois saw gas prices drop almost as much as they increased this week. As stated in previous reports, the region often sees volatile drops and increases from week to week. All other states in the region are paying five to one cents less at the pump compared to one week ago.

Gasoline inventories took a small drop, about 500,000 bbl, on the week. The South and Southeast was the only other region to see levels drop, according to the EIA.

West Coast

Six West Coast states are selling some of the most expensive gasoline in the country: Hawaii ($3.11), California ($3.10), Alaska ($2.99), Washington ($2.99), Oregon ($2.83) and Nevada ($2.77). While Hawaii and Alaska gas prices saw no change on the week, all other states are paying less for a gallon of gas, by two cents, on average.

According to the EIA, West Coast gasoline inventories have steadily climbed for one month. The last week added 1 million bbl, bringing the total to 28.7 million bbl and above levels this time last year.

Rockies

Gas prices are dropping steadily, but slowly in the region on the week: Wyoming (-2 cents), Utah (-2 cents), Idaho (-2 cents), Colorado (-1 cent) and Montana (-1 cent). Idaho ($2.76) continues to lead the region with the most expensive gas price, which is 18 cents more expensive than the cheapest state Colorado ($2.49).

With a 300,000 bbl build, gasoline inventories sit at 6.6 million bbl, which is the highest levels seen since mid-July for the region. The Rockies often carry low inventory levels throughout the summer due to significant seasonal tourism.  

Oil market dynamics

At the close of the NYMEX on Friday, WTI was up 11 cents to settle at $51.67/bbl, having fluctuated but made strong gains on the week. When the price per barrel of oil is above the $50 benchmark, which has happened a few times this year, it can be a key factor in driving up oil prices which, not surprisingly, benefits oil producers. Moving into this week, the market may stay above the $50 mark if there are further indications that production is tightening, which will likely lead to reduced global inventories, while demand for products refined from oil is strong. Increased rig counts and more oil production are other key indicators we track for their impact on the market. As the week progresses, other factors, such as less production by OPEC countries, will be reviewed by market watchers and assessed for impact on prices.

On the production front, indicators from last week show that oil production may still be increasing. For example, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., active oil rigs in the U.S. increased by six. This brings the total oil rig number to 750, which is 325 more than this time last year and an increase after seven weeks of decline. According to another indicator, found in last week’s EIA report, total U.S. crude oil production is running roughly 1 million b/d higher than a year ago. An increase in both indicators has signaled to the market that production from the U.S. is not slowing and could mean that global efforts by OPEC to reduce supply have stalled, curtailing additional oil price increases in the market. An increase in U.S. production means that the U.S. could export to countries with growing demand or replenish global and domestic inventories that continue to remain high. Ultimately, this could stall global efforts by OPEC to reduce supply, curtailing additional oil price increases in the market.

On the supply front, total gasoline output is strong. According to last week’s EIA report, output registered at 9.679 million b/d, an increase of 139,000 b/d from last week. For the market, this could be a sign that oil demand is holding strong — especially after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused disruptions to energy delivery systems in the U.S. – and can be an indicator that global inventories will continue declining (because of steady demand). However, overall fall gasoline demand may not be enough to drain high U.S. oil inventories.

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.

One month after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, motorists are finally seeing consistent declines in gas prices. At $2.57, today’s national average is five cents less than a week ago, 22 cents more expensive than a month ago and 36 cents more than a year ago.

“Gas prices are getting cheaper by the day,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Pump prices may not be dropping as fast as motorists would like, but with the switchover to winter-blend gasoline, consumer demand beginning to slow and Gulf Coast refineries getting closer to normal operations, consumers can expect gas prices to continue to be less expensive through October.”

For a second straight week, the Great Lakes and Central states are seeing the largest drops on the week: Indiana (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cent), Kentucky (-11 cents) and Ohio (-10 cents).

The South and Southeast states are still feeling the lingering pain of Hurricane Harvey. Gas prices are at least 30 cents more expensive than a month ago in Georgia (+44 cents), South Carolina (+39 cents), Alabama (+37 cents), Florida (+36 cents), Mississippi (+32 cents) and Texas (+31 cents).

According to the Department of Energy, Gulf Coast refinery operations were up nearly 10 percent for the week ending September 15. Overall, 10 refineries are operating at reduced rates, while three remain shutdown. In addition, the Colonial Pipeline remains on about a seven-day gasoline delivery delay, but they estimate that by the end of the month the pipeline will be returning to normal deliveries.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s largest monthly increases are: Georgia (+44 cents), South Carolina (+39 cents), Tennessee (+37 cents), Alabama (+37 cents), North Carolina (+36 cents), Florida (+36 cents), Rhode Island (+35 cents), Massachusetts (+35 cents), Connecticut (+34 cents) and New Hampshire (+33 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Ohio ($2.27), Missouri ($2.27), Oklahoma ($2.29), Indiana ($2.29), Arkansas ($2.35), Kansas ($2.36), Louisiana ($2.36), Kentucky ($2.40), Michigan ($2.41) and Mississippi ($2.42).

South and Southeast

Gas prices are cheaper on the week in all South and Southeast states with a five-cent drop in Florida ($2.67). With more than 4 million bbl of gasoline delivered in response to Hurricane Irma, the majority of Florida gas stations are operating with sufficient supply, according to OPIS.

Georgia ($2.67), Tennessee ($2.51), South Carolina ($2.47) and Alabama ($2.45) are seeing the largest drops. While Oklahoma ($2.29), Arkansas ($2.35) and Louisiana ($2.36) land on this week’s top 10 states with the cheapest gas prices. Traditionally South Carolina leads the country with the cheapest gas, but lost this claim four weeks ago when Harvey hit.

In the region, gas prices are 30 cents more expensive compared to one month ago. However, continued positive refinery news is expected to drive down gas prices in the coming weeks, easing the higher-than-normal gas prices South and Southeast motorists have been paying since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma made landfall.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Four Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states land on this week’s top 10 states with the biggest decreases: Delaware (-12 cents), Maine (-10 cents), Maryland (-9 cents) and New Jersey (-8 cents). All states in the region are paying less for a gallon of gasoline than a week ago with Washington, D.C. and Rhode Island seeing the smallest decrease (-3 cents). Conversely, as compared to one month ago, Rhode Islanders are paying 35 cents more on the gallon, followed by Massachusetts (+35 cent), Connecticut (+34 cents) and New Hampshire (+33 cents).

Compared to the prior week’s 5.7 million bbl drop, gasoline inventories took a small decrease of only 1.4 million bbl on the week, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). As demands slow with the onset of fall, gas prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast will continue to decrease in the coming weeks.

Great Lakes and Central

For a second straight week, the Midwest and Central states are seeing some of the largest declines in gas prices and some of the cheapest gas in the country.

  • Six states land on this week’s top 10 states with the largest drops: Indiana (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cent), Kentucky (-11 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Illinois (-9 cents) and Missouri (-7 cents).
  • Six states land on this week’s top 10 states with the least expensive gas: Ohio ($2.27), Missouri ($2.27), Indiana ($2.29), Kansas ($2.36), Kentucky ($2.40) and Michigan ($2.41).

Compared to one month ago, Indiana (-12 cents), Michigan (-7 cents) and Ohio (-3 cents) are the only three states in the country paying less at the pump. This year, the Great Lakes and Central states have been very volatile – experiencing large jumps one week followed by large decrease the following week. This trend in mind, it is not surprising to see three states are paying less than pre-Harvey gas prices.

Additionally, gasoline inventories jumped 1.3 million bbl in the Great Lakes and Central states – the largest of any region in the country – which contributes to the drop in gas prices. The only other region to see a build on the week was the West Coast, according to the EIA.

West Coast

Gasoline is $3/gallon or more in California ($3.12), Hawaii ($3.11), Washington ($3.03) and Alaska ($3.00). These states along with Oregon ($2.87) and Nevada ($2.79) land on the top 10 states with the most expensive gas in the country this week. Alaska was the only state to hold gas prices steady on the week, all of the other states saw gas prices drop, on average two cents.

The West Coast was one of only two regions that saw gasoline inventories build on the week. With an addition of 600,000 bbl, total inventories register at 27.7 million bbl – about one million less than a year ago.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rockies are one to three cents cheaper on the week: Colorado (-3 cents), Utah (-1 cent), Wyoming (-1 cent) and Idaho (-1 cent). Montana saw no change. Idaho ($2.77) leads the region with the most expensive gas price and Colorado carries the cheapest ($2.50).

With a 200,000 bbl drop, gasoline inventories sit at 6.3 million bbl, which is about a half a million less than this time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 11 cents to settle at $50.66. Moving into Monday, the price per barrel is poised to stay above $50 as the market looks for signs that the global crude glut is continuing to shrink, which is not the first time this year it has made that move. One important indicator of the crude supply decline is that the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. is reducing. According to Baker Hughes, Inc., the number of active rigs dropped by five to total 744 last week, signaling that drilling operations are reducing in the U.S. and could mean that the U.S. market may tighten in the months ahead. The trend has been continuing for the last few weeks. As the impact of Harvey and Irma continues to subside, this week’s EIA report may provide more accurate information on the current state of draws from oil inventories and give the market more signs of less supply available for the production of refined products like gasoline. 

Last week, the price per barrel moved above the $50 per barrel mark after the market watched OPEC’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting in Vienna. The JMMC is charged with monitoring the agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cut global production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd). The JMMC’s analysis showed that compliance in August was 116 percent of their pledged oil output cuts, which is up from 94 percent in July. According to OPEC, the cartel’s strategy is working and is helping global crude inventories to move closer to their five-year average. This move has led the price per barrel of oil to continue moving upward, as it has since issuance of this report last Monday. OPEC’s next formal meeting will be held on November 30 in Vienna, where parties that are a part of the production reduction agreement may decide to deepen and extend the current agreement beyond March 2018.

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.

 

As South and Southeast states recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, motorists in 45 U.S. states are paying less for a gallon of gas on the week. At $2.62, today’s national gas price average is the cheapest in 14 days and five cents less than last week.

“Gas prices are dropping as the situation with refineries, pipelines and gasoline deliveries is positively progressing,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “It looks like pump prices will continue on this declining trend into the coming weeks as the regions affected by Irma and Harvey resume normal operations.”

Midwest motorists are benefiting the most with a few states – Indiana, Michigan and Ohio – seeing gas prices plummet by the double-digits inside of seven days. Meanwhile, some states in the West Coast and Rockies are seeing gas prices increase.

As gas prices drop for the majority of the country, so does the nation’s gasoline inventory. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report identifies the latest draw of 8.4 million bbl as the highest on record, much of which can be attributed to motorist fueling up in the droves in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.

“Next week’s EIA report may bring another record-demand level as a continued result of Irma, but demand is expected to sharply decline across the country by the end of September,” added Casselano.

Florida Gas Supply & Gulf Coast Refineries

Last week, at $2.73, Florida’s saw its highest gas prices since December 2014. The spike came as many gas stations faced outages as power was down and roads impassable. The good news is that in the last seven days, the state’s average has shaved off one cent. In addition, ports are open and receiving steady streams of tanker shipments as state officials continue to work with gasoline trucker and shippers to ensure timely delivery of product to retail stations. Reports indicate that the gas station gasoline outage situation is improving as stations receive deliveries.

Similarly, positive progress is being seen in the Gulf Coast. According to the Department of Energy, a total of six Gulf Coast refineries are operating at reduced rates, which is one more refinery than last week. These six facilities make-up 13 percent of refining capacity in the U.S. Five refineries continue to operate at reduced rates and three remain shut down, which represents a total of 10 percent of U.S. refining capacity.

It will likely be a few more weeks before the regions affected by Irma and Harvey are back to normal operations. Not a threat to make landfall, Hurricane Jose, a Category 1, is well off the shore of North Carolina. Currently, Hurricane Maria is closing in on the Leeward Islands and is expected to affect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by mid-week, according to the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane season ends on November 30.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s largest weekly decreases: Indiana (-18 cents), Michigan (-15 cents), Delaware (-12 cents), Ohio (-11 cents), Illinois(-10 cents), Kentucky (-10 cents), Maryland (-8 cents), Missouri (-7 cents), Wisconsin (-7 cents) and New Jersey (-5 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($2.31), Missouri ($2.34), Ohio ($2.37), Arkansas ($2.38), Louisiana($2.39), Kansas ($2.40), Indiana ($2.41), Arizona ($2.43), Mississippi ($2.45) and Minnesota ($2.45).

South and Southeast

All states are selling cheaper gasoline with Oklahoma (-5 cents), South Carolina (-4 cents), Texas (-4 cents) and Georgia (-4 cents) leading the region with the biggest declines in pump prices on the week. At $2.31, Oklahoma has the lowest price of the 10 states while at $2.71, Florida is the most expensive, which is expected given the tightened gasoline supply caused by both Irma and Harvey.

As recovery in Texas moves forward, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week granted a waiver extension for federal reformulated gasoline requirements in the state. The waiver will allow stocks of “winter blend” gasoline to be used to meet demand. The EPA also waived requirements for Texas Low Emissions Diesel through October 1.

The Gulf Coast saw one of the largest gasoline inventory drops on the week – 3.7 million bbl, according to EIA data. Massive-buying in Florida and other southeast states ahead of Irma’s lent to the multi-million bbl draw. Overall, refinery utilization was down, which is understandable as refineries in the region are operating at about 61 percent of capacity, as reported by OPIS.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

With a 12-cent state gas price average decrease, Delaware had the largest price drop in the region, followed by Maryland (-8 cents), New Jersey (-5 cents), Virginia (-5 cents) and Maine (-4 cents). All states are selling cheaper gas on the week while Pennsylvania ($2.87), Connecticut ($2.85), the District of Columbia ($2.85) and New York ($2.81) land on this week’s top 10 states with the most expensive gas.

At 5.7 million bbl, the region saw the country’s largest draw in gasoline supplies, according to an EIA report. It can be assumed that a portion of the draw accounts for supply shipments directed to the south in response to tightened supplies caused by Irma and Harvey.

Midwest and Central

The Midwest and Central states are seeing some of the largest declines in gas prices: Indiana (-18 cents), Michigan (-15 cent), Ohio (-11 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), Kentucky (-10 cents), Missouri (-7 cents) and Wisconsin (-7 cents). The region is also selling some of the cheapest gas in the country: Missouri ($2.34), Ohio ($2.37), Kansas ($2.40) and Indiana ($2.41). Parts of the region saw gas prices spike alongside Harvey hitting the Gulf Coast. However, with pipelines resuming operations as of late, motorists are seeing gas prices tumble. As we move into fall and gasoline demand drops-off, gas prices could reach the lowest of 2017.

West Coast

Gas prices are volatile and increasing for half of the West Coast states: Alaska (+4 cents), Arizona (+1 cent) and Hawaii (+1 cent). On the week Oregon, Nevada and California’s gas price fell by one cent, while Washington remained stable. Unlike regions east of the Mississippi, the West Coast region saw an increase in gasoline inventory by a moderate 750,000 bbl.

Rockies

Similar to the West Coast, gas prices in the Rockies are unstable. Motorists Colorado (-4 cents), Utah (-1 cent) and Wyoming (-1 cent) are paying less at the pump, while Idaho gas prices remained stable on the week and Montana (+4 cents) is paying more than seven days ago.

Oil market dynamics

Last week, the price per barrel of WTI closed at $49.89. U.S. crude prices remained below $50 per barrel as of Monday morning. Since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit the U.S., oil prices have not spiked like gasoline prices did despite a quarter of the refining capacity in the country being offline due to Harvey.

As refineries work to reach pre-storm capacity levels, oil inventories may decline in the coming weeks as refineries turn to storage tanks to meet demand needs. Given that the fall driving season tends to be less demand-driven, any declines in inventories are likely to keep pace with demand.

As expected, EIA’s report last week showed a drop in crude input flows to 14.4 million b/d, illustrating that refineries affected by Harvey are taking in less oil as they resume normal operations. Any indication that the U.S. supply appears to be tightening could lead oil prices to rise. Moreover, falling by seven rigs last week, Baker Hughes reports that active oil rigs in the U.S. sit at 749.

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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