Posts Tagged ‘gas shortage’

Tamra Johnson

Following a streak where the national retail average price of gasoline dropped on 54 of 55 days, pump prices have now increased on 12 of the past 17 days and each of the past six. The national average price for regular unleaded is $2.16 per gallon, which is four cents more than one week ago, but is two cents less than a month ago, 46 cents less than the same date last year, and the lowest price for this date since 2004.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_8-22-16-01

Pump prices have been driven by crude oil prices surging more than 20 percent this month and refinery issues impacting production in some regions. Higher crude oil prices have come as the U.S. dollar has weakened and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is reportedly considering production cuts to bolster prices. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is priced in U.S. dollars. As the U.S. dollar weakens, crude oil becomes relatively less expensive for those holding foreign currencies, which increases demand and puts upward pressure on oil prices. This upward momentum has been further supported by reports that OPEC members will again consider an agreement that would limit production in the face of the global glut of crude oil supplies that has more than halved prices in recent years.

Also influencing gasoline prices have been refinery issues that have exacerbated price increases in areas supplied by these facilities. This includes a number of refineries in the Gulf Coast that are undergoing unplanned maintenance as a result of flooding in Louisiana and refinery fire in Texas. Drivers in the Midwest and Central U.S. continue to see the most dramatic recent price movement as the impact of outages – including the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind. – has pushed prices higher. The facility is reported to be slowly coming back online, which could allow regional prices to drop back down.

While pump prices in the vast majority of states (42) have moved higher over the past week, domestic gasoline supplies remain high and oil prices remain relatively lower compared to recent years, meaning pump prices are likely to remain cheap through the rest of the summer and into the fall. Prices could even dip back below $2.00 per gallon once the summer driving season is complete and as many regions are allowed to transition to selling cheaper-to-produce winter-blend gasoline. However, a major market-moving event, like a hurricane or further increasing crude oil costs, could still offset this decline and temporarily drive pump prices higher.

Quick Stats

  • Gas prices in nine states are below $2.00 per gallon, three fewer than one week ago: South Carolina ($1.87), Alabama ($1.90), Mississippi ($1.93), Virginia ($1.95), Tennessee ($1.95), New Jersey ($1.96), Arkansas ($1.99), Texas ($1.99), and Louisiana ($1.997).
  • West Coast drivers are still paying the highest prices for gasoline despite featuring five of the six states with week-over-week savings. This region includes the seven highest state averages and the four states where drivers are paying an average of more than $2.50: Hawaii ($2.69), California ($2.66), Washington ($2.58), and Alaska ($2.55).

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-8-22-16-01

West Coast

The West Coast features the highest prices in the nation as has consistently been the case over the past decade. However, drivers in these same states are also among the only motorists who have seen state prices drop over the past week and many of these states feature prominently in the ranking of the largest year-over-year discounts, including three of the top four savings in the nation: Alaska (-89 cents), California (-84 cents), and Nevada (-77 cents). While weekly discounts exist in parts of the region, prices in California have moved higher due to an issue at the Valero refinery in Wilmington, Calif. that produces an estimated 87,000 barrels per day when running at capacity. Should this facility be delayed in returning to production, it could reverse the recent declines in other parts of the region.

Rockies

Pump prices in the Rocky Mountains have remained relatively stable compared to other markets due primarily to the fact that there have been few regional disruptions to production in recent months and their geographic location. Being located in the center of the country helps to insulate the region from coastal price swings. Barring unforeseen production issues, lower prices could be around the corner for drivers in the area with the nearing end to the summer driving season and the transition to winter-blend gasoline in mid-September. The changeover to winter-blend gasoline, which has a higher Reid Vapor Pressure and is cheaper to produce, is allowed to take place in many parts of the country on September 15.

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices in the Great Lakes region continue to be the most volatile in the nation. This is a product of tightening supplies compared to other regions and refinery issues that have limited production at some facilities. While prices in recent weeks have been a mixed bag of increases and decreases, regional prices over the past week have moved universally higher, with Midwestern states filling the top-five increases during this span: Indiana (+10 cents), Kentucky (+10 cents), Delaware (+9 cents), Michigan (+8 cents), and Ohio (+8 cents). This volatility has been pressured by operations at the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind. (the region’s largest facility), which has been slow to come back on line following production problems.

Prices for drivers in the Central United States remain some of the cheapest in the country, although prices have followed the national average higher over the past week. Three states in the region feature in the top-15 lowest: Tennessee ($1.95), Missouri ($2.01), and Oklahoma ($2.07).

Top10 Largest Increases 8-22-16-01

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

While still largely cheaper than one month ago, prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have moved higher over the past week due to rising crude oil prices. This has been most evident in the Mid-Atlantic, where three states feature prominently in the top-ten weekly increases in the nation: Delaware (+9 cents), Maryland (+7 cents), and Pennsylvania (+7 cents).

South and Southeast

Drivers across the South and Southeast still make up the bulk of those paying pump prices below $2 per gallon. Despite several recent production issues in the region, seven states still place in the ten cheapest states in the nation: South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina. The U.S. Gulf Coast is the largest refining region in the nation, so even with some recently reported problems, the area is less susceptible to price spikes from limited disruptions.

Oil Market Dynamics

As outlined above, a key contributing factor to the higher retail gas prices has been the increase in crude oil prices in recent weeks. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is still priced much lower than recent years, prices have increased more than 20 percent in August and are trading at the highest level since July 1. This increase has been attributed to a weaker U.S. dollar and reports that OPEC will reconsider production limits by cartel members at its next meeting in Algeria in late September. An agreement on a similar proposal failed at their last meeting, however Ecuador and Venezuela are expected to again call for measures to cut production. If OPEC members agree to limit production, rising crude oil prices could offset or even reverse any expected drop in U.S. pump prices resulting from tapering demand and cheaper seasonal blends. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX WTI was up 30 cents to settle at $48.52 per barrel.

Drivers 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
After dropping 54 of 55 days, the national average price of gasoline at the pump has held steady over the past week but has declined each of the past four days. The national average price for regular unleaded is $2.12 per gallon, which is the lowest price for this date since 2004. Today’s price is fractions of a penny more than one week ago, but is nine cents less than one month ago and 54 cents less than the same date last year.
2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_8-15-16-01

As is frequently the case, the Midwest features the most dramatic pump price movement in the nation, including the only five states posting a weekly price change of more than a nickel. This past week’s direction was not uniform as prices in Michigan and Ohio have dropped at the same time prices in Kentucky, Indiana and Minnesota have jumped. Motorists in the Midwest are used to these sorts of price swings, as low supply and the resulting sensitivity to production and distribution issues have caused sharp price increases when refineries go offline, followed by rapid decline in prices when those issues are resolved.

The magnitude of price movement has been dampened somewhat this year. Last week’s Department of Energy report showed Midwestern supplies had dropped for the third consecutive week and the impact of an issue at the 430,000 barrel per day BP refinery in Whiting, Ind. is still evident. However, despite the decline resulting in a new 2016 low, gasoline stocks for the Midwest Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD 2) remain nearly ten percent higher than the same time last year. These robust year-over-year supply comparisons are evident nationwide and pave the way for the lowest pump prices for motorists in more than a decade to persist through Labor Day. Barring an unexpectedly dramatic shift over the next several weeks, national gasoline supplies are likely to end August at their highest level on record.

As of yesterday, approximately 41 percent of gas stations nationwide were selling gasoline for $2.00 per gallon or less, a slight decrease from the 43 percent last week but a sharp contrast to the tenth of a percent below this threshold on this date in 2015. Eight percent of stations nationwide are selling gasoline for more than $2.50 per gallon, down slightly from the nine percent of stations one month ago and substantially from the 56 percent one year ago.

With gasoline supplies high and oil prices still relatively low, pump prices are likely to remain cheap through the rest of the summer and into the fall and could even dip back below $2.00 per gallon once the summer driving season is complete. However, a major market-moving event, like a hurricane or increasing crude oil costs, is not out of the question and could still offset this decline and temporarily drive pump prices higher.

Quick Stats

  • Gas prices in twelve states are now below $2.00 per gallon: South Carolina ($1.82), Alabama ($1.86), Mississippi ($1.90), Tennessee ($1.90), New Jersey ($1.90), Virginia ($1.91), Arkansas ($1.94), Delaware ($1.97), Texas ($1.97), Louisiana ($1.97), Oklahoma ($1.99), and North Carolina ($1.996).
  • Despite year-over-year savings, West Coast drivers continue to pay the most for gasoline, including the seven highest state averages and the only four states where drivers are paying an average of more than $2.50: Hawaii ($2.70), California ($2.62), Washington ($2.58), and Alaska ($2.57).

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-8-15-16-01

West Coast

The West Coast features the highest prices in the nation as has consistently been the case over the past decade. However, drivers in these same states are also enjoying dramatic yearly savings, with three of the top five largest yearly drops observed in this region: California (-98 cents), Alaska (-89 cents), and Nevada (-80 cents). West Coast prices have also been leading the national slide lower over the past month with California (-24 cents) and Arizona (-20 cents) reflecting the two largest drops in the nation.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rocky Mountain region have continued 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 this spring and summer. Nevertheless, lower prices are likely on the horizon for drivers in the region with the end to the summer driving season and the transition to winter-blend gasoline rapidly approaching. The changeover to winter-blend gasoline, which has a higher Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) and is cheaper to produce, can take place in many parts of the country on September 15.

Great Lakes and Central States

Gas prices in the Great Lakes region continue to be the most volatile in the nation, with tightening supplies and refinery issues contributing to seesawing prices for motorists. The past week has featured both ends of the spectrum: Michigan (-10 cents) and Ohio (-6 cents) the largest weekly declines and Kentucky (+8 cents), Indiana (+8 cents), and Minnesota (+6 cents) the top gainers. This recent volatility has been underpinned by reported issues at the BP facility in Whiting, Ind. (the region’s largest refinery) combined with data from the Energy Information Administration showing that regional supplies, while historically robust, are dropping. Despite the recent increases in some parts, Midwestern states still feature prominently in the most dramatic year-over-year declines, with Illinois (-90 cents), Indiana (-86 cents), Ohio (-78 cents), Michigan (-78 cents), and Wisconsin (-73 cents) all among the top ten.

Prices in the Central United States continue to be among the cheapest pump prices in the country, including two of the states where prices are below $2.00 per gallon: Tennessee ($1.90) and Oklahoma ($1.99).

Top10 Most Dramatic Weekly Changes_8-15-16-01

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast continue to point lower and the region experienced some of the most dramatic declines over the past month, with seven regions in the top ten: West Virginia (-16 cents), Connecticut (-16 cents), Massachusetts (-15 cents), Rhode Island (-15 cents), the District of Columbia (-14 cents), Pennsylvania (-14 cents), and Vermont (-13 cents). These sagging prices have been the result of plentiful gasoline supplies, which remain approximately 14 million barrels higher than this time last year.

South and Southeast

Drivers across the South and Southeast are paying pump prices below $2 per gallon, and the region features six of the ten cheapest states in the nation: South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. The Gulf Coast is home to the bulk of U.S. refining capacity, and while several issues have contributed some upward pressure to prices over the past week, the approaching changeover to the production of less costly winter-blend gasoline is likely to keep prices pointed lower throughout the region.

Oil Market Dynamics

A key contributing factor to the stalling slide in retail gas prices has been the increase in crude oil prices over the past several weeks. While West Texas Intermediate crude oil is still trading substantially lower than recent years, prices have increased in August and are now trading at the highest level in a month. This increase has been attributed to reports that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reconsider production limits by cartel members at its next meeting in an effort to boost oil prices and profits by curbing supply. OPEC’s next meeting is in Algeria in late September, and while agreement on a similar proposal at their last meeting was unsuccessful, member countries Ecuador and Venezuela are expected to again call for measures to cut production. If OPEC members agree to limit production, rising crude oil prices could offset or even reverse expected downward pressure on U.S. pump prices from tapering demand and cheaper seasonal blends. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX WTI was up $1.00 to settle at $44.49 per barrel.

Drivers 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.

Average Gas Prices Holding Steady to Begin August

August 8th, 2016 by Jessica Souto

Michael Green Contact TileThe national average price of gas has held relatively steady over the past week and has declined on just one of the past four days. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.12 per gallon, which is the lowest price for this date since 2004 and 26 cents below 2016’s peak price to date of $2.40 on June 11. Today’s price is one cent less than one week ago, 12 cents less than one month ago and 48 cents less than the same date last year.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_8-8-16-01

Abundant supplies of gasoline have contributed to starkly lower gas prices across the country during this summer driving season. However, the U.S. Department of Energy last week reported the largest gasoline supply decline since April (3.3 million barrels), which was enough to at least temporarily reverse the lengthy slide in pump prices over the past several days. Gas prices dropped in 38 states and Washington, D.C. in the past week, but were largely offset by increases in several Midwestern states. Despite a weekly increase in 12 states, prices remain lower in every state versus one year ago, including discounts of 75 cents or more in three Western states.

As of yesterday, some 44 percent of gas stations nationwide were selling gasoline for $2.00 per gallon or less, compared to fewer than one in 1,000 on this same date last year. Less than one percent of stations nationwide are selling gasoline for more than $3.00 per gallon, compared to 11 percent of stations one year ago.

With gasoline supplies high and oil prices low, pump prices are likely to remain relatively cheap through the remainder of the summer and into the fall. This comes even as U.S. drivers are on track to shatter the all-time record for total miles driven in a year. Provided the next month does not bring a major market-moving event, like a major hurricane or escalating geopolitical tensions overseas, pump prices are likely to remain at relatively low levels. It is even possible that the national average price of gas may dip below $2.00 per gallon after the summer driving season ends and refineries switch over to less expensive winter-blend gasoline on September 15.

Quick Stats

  • Gas prices in fifteen states are now below $2.00 per gallon: South Carolina ($1.81), Alabama ($1.86), Tennessee ($1.89), Mississippi ($1.89), New Jersey ($1.90), Virginia ($1.91), Arkansas ($1.92), Delaware ($1.94), Louisiana ($1.95), Texas ($1.98), Missouri ($1.97), Oklahoma ($1.97), Georgia ($1.98), Kentucky ($1.98) and North Carolina ($1.97).
  • Despite year-over-year savings, the West Coast remains the most expensive market for gasoline, including the only four states where drivers are paying an average of more than $2.50: Hawaii ($2.73), California ($2.66), Washington ($2.62), and Alaska ($2.59).

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-8-8-16-01

West Coast

West Coast pumps feature both the highest prices in the country and the most dramatic yearly savings. The largest year-over-year declines in the nation are seen in California (-95 cents), Alaska (-85 cents), and Nevada (-76 cents). Contributing to these substantial yearly savings is the fact that there have been relatively few refinery issues this summer compared to a number of regional issues in the summer of 2015.

Top10 Largest Yearly Savings-8-8-16-01

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rocky Mountains continue to be among the most stable in the nation, due to their insulated status in the center of the nation and minimal disruptions to regional production this spring and summer. Barring any refinery issues at those facilities supplying the region or a sudden increase in crude oil prices, pump prices in these states are likely to remain relatively flat through Labor Day.

Great Lakes and Central States

As has been a regular refrain in recent years, gas prices in the Great Lakes region continue to be the most volatile in the nation, with tightening supplies and refinery issues temporarily sending prices sharply higher. The past week has been a microcosm of this effect as the region has featured the three most dramatic increases in the nation (Michigan +14 cents, Illinois +7 cents, and Ohio +7 cents) as well as the largest decrease (Indiana -7 cents). In last week’s AAA Gas Price Report, Indiana featured the largest weekly increase (+10 cents). Wholesale gasoline prices in the Great Lakes region spiked last week following reported issues at the BP facility in Whiting, Ind. (the region’s largest refinery), which built on recent data from the Energy Information Administration showing that regional supplies, while still robust, are tightening. Much of these gains were reversed on Friday when outlets reported that the refinery issue had been resolved, so it is likely next week’s report will once again feature the region as experiencing significant declines.

Prices in the Central United States are not immune to volatility of those in the Great Lakes, however drivers in the Central region continue to pay among the cheapest pump prices in the country, including four states where prices are now below $2.00: Tennessee ($1.89), Missouri ($1.97), and Oklahoma ($1.97).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast continue to drop at a steady rate, with prices across the region falling a couple of cents over the past week. No state in the region is in the top-ten prices in the nation and three other states in the region (New Jersey, Virginia, and Delaware) are now below $2 per gallon.

South and Southeast

While drivers across much of the South and Southeast are enjoying pump prices below $2 per gallon, a reported 3.3-million-barrel decline in regional gasoline stocks has caused wholesale prices to rise over the past week, which could contribute to an uptick in retail prices paid by motorists. Motorists in South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas are enjoying pump prices among the top ten lowest in the nation. The Gulf Coast is home to the bulk of U.S. refining capacity, which should keep prices relatively low for drivers, barring a hurricane or other unexpected event.

Oil Market Dynamics

Strong global oil production and a strengthening U.S. dollar have contributed to West Texas Intermediate crude oil trading near lows not seen since Spring. One item market-watchers are considering this morning is the news that OPEC may again consider production limits by cartel members in an effort to boost oil prices by curbing supply. OPEC will hold an informal meeting in Algeria in late September, where member countries Ecuador and Venezuela will call for measures to cut production. Similar efforts earlier this year were unsuccessful, as members opted to preserve market share by maintaining production, which has preserved the global state of oversupply and resulted in low oil prices. If OPEC members agree to limit production, crude oil prices could again rise as demand moves into balance with supply. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX WTI was down 13 cents to settle at $41.80 per barrel.

Drivers 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 Lowest Mark in 100 Days

August 1st, 2016 by Jessica Souto

Michael Green Contact TileNational pump prices have fallen 50 of the past 51 days for a total of 25 cents per gallon. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has declined to $2.13 per gallon, which is the lowest level in the past 100 days and the lowest price for this date since 2004. Today’s price is three cents less than one week ago, 15 cents less than one month ago and 52 cents less than the same date last year.

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Gas prices across most of the country continue to slide during the peak road-trip season due to abundant supplies. Gas prices dropped in 45 states and Washington, D.C. over the past week, though several states did post increases (Indiana +9 cents, Utah +3 cents, Ohio +3 cents, Missouri +1 cent, and Idaho up fractions of a penny). This sort of dramatic price change will come as no surprise to Midwestern drivers as pump prices regularly move significantly from week to week. Despite the recent uptick in several states, prices in every state are lower than both one month ago and one year ago.

As of yesterday, more than 40 percent of gas stations nationwide were selling gasoline for $2.00 per gallon or less, compared to just a handful on this same date last year. Fewer than one percent of stations nationwide are selling gasoline for more than $3.00 per gallon, compared to 13 percent of stations one year ago.

With gasoline supplies high and oil prices low, pump prices are likely to remain relatively cheap through the remainder of the summer and into the fall. While a record number of American motorists have hit the road for summer travel, sharply lower gas prices have not triggered the sharply higher gasoline demand that many analysts had anticipated. This was evident in last week’s Energy Information Administration report, which revised the mark for U.S. gasoline demand in May lower by 213,000 barrels per day to 9.436 million. While lower than first reported, this demand number was still the highest total on record for the month of May.

Despite the lowest seasonal prices in more than a decade, unexpected events could trigger higher prices. Rising crude oil costs due to a disruption in supply, stronger than expected economic growth or geopolitical tensions overseas could lead to higher pump prices nationwide, or regional prices could increase due to refinery problems, production cuts, stronger than anticipated demand, or hurricanes that impact distribution and production, which has happened in several Midwestern states over the past week.

Quick Stats

  • Gas prices in three more states have dropped below $2.00 per gallon over the past week, bringing the total to fourteen states: South Carolina ($1.84), Alabama ($1.88), Tennessee ($1.89), Mississippi ($1.91), Arkansas ($1.92), Oklahoma ($1.92), Missouri ($1.93), Virginia ($1.93), New Jersey ($1.93), Louisiana ($1.95), Delaware ($1.96), Kentucky ($1.98), Texas ($1.98), and Georgia ($1.99).
  • Gas prices are dropping on the West Coast, but it remains the most expensive market for gasoline, including the only four states where drivers are paying more than $2.50 on average: Hawaii ($2.76), California ($2.73), Washington ($2.62), and Alaska ($2.62).

Top10 Largest One-Week Declines-8-1-16-01

West Coast

West Coast pump prices remain the highest in the country, but drivers in this region will find some solace in the substantial savings from one year ago. Led by California (-$1.03), the only state in the nation where drivers are saving a dollar or more year-over-year, West Coast states are seeing some of the largest yearly discounts, including California, Alaska (-86 cents), and Nevada (-77 cents). Last year, following a number of unexpected refinery issues in California, gas prices surged during the peak driving season across the region. This year there have been relatively few refinery issues, which has helped prices follow the national trend lower.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rocky Mountains continue to be among the most stable in the nation. Barring any regional refinery issues, prices for drivers in the Rocky Mountain states are likely to remain relatively flat through Labor Day and may decline even further once the summer driving season has concluded.

Great Lakes and Central States

Gas prices in the Great Lakes region continue to be among the most volatile in the nation, as refinery outages and declining supplies have put upward pressure on prices. This includes the most dramatic overnight change (Michigan, +3 cents), weekly change (Indiana, +10 cents) and monthly change (Illinois, -27 cents). The recent refinery outages include planned maintenance at Phillips 66’s Wood River, Illinois refinery and unplanned issues at CVR Energy’s Coffeeville, Kansas plant; BP’s Toledo, Ohio refinery; Husky’s Lima, Ohio, refinery; and CITGO’s Lemont, Illinois refinery. While production at these facilities has been impacted and regional gasoline stocks have dropped by 10 million barrels from early February, overall production for the region was reported by the EIA to have remained strong at 2.723 million barrels per day.

While prices in the Central United States are not immune to the volatility of their Great Lakes neighbors, motorists in the Central region continue to pay some of the cheapest gas prices in the country with Oklahoma ($1.92) and Missouri ($1.93) each featuring in the top-ten least expensive state averages.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast continue to drop, and while New York, Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine appear in the top-20 state averages, three other states in the region (Virginia, New Jersey, and Delaware) are now below $2 per gallon. These lower prices come even as some traders are watching announcements of planned reductions in production from refineries supplying the region as profit margins have narrowed.

South and Southeast

Gas prices across much of the South and Southeast are at or below $2 per gallon. Motorists in South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas are enjoying pump prices among the top five cheapest in the nation. The bulk of America’s refining capacity is in the Southeastern United States, and abundant production in the region should keep prices relatively low barring a hurricane or other unexpected event.

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-8-1-16-01

Oil Market Dynamics

Ample domestic oil supplies and a strengthening U.S. dollar have contributed to West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices testing lows not seen since Spring. WTI is priced in U.S. dollars, so as the dollar strengthens, the price of oil becomes relatively more expensive for those holding foreign currencies. This makes oil a less attractive investment and helps reduce prices. If this trend continues, WTI could drop below $40 per barrel for the first time since April 18. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI had recovered slightly from Thursday’s multi-month low to settle 46 cents higher at $41.60 per barrel.

Drivers 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 Fall to Lowest Price Since April

July 25th, 2016 by Jessica Souto

Michael Green Contact TileNational pump prices have fallen for 43 of the past 44 days, dropping 22 cents during this span. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline sits at $2.16 per gallon, which is the lowest mark since April and the lowest price for this date since 2004. Today’s price is five cents less than one week ago, 15 cents less than one month ago, and 56 cents less than the same date last year.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_7-25-16-01

With abundant fuel supplies across the nation and declining crude oil costs, gas prices dropped in 47 states over the past week, led by double digit drops in several Midwestern states. Gas prices have dropped in 48 states during the previous month with prices down by at least 25 cents per gallon in Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan. Prices are substantially lower than one year ago in every state, headlined by California, where prices are more than a dollar cheaper than this time last year.

Today’s most common price in the country is $1.999 per gallon, and more than one-third of gas stations nationwide are selling gasoline for $2.00 per gallon or less. This is substantially higher than the seven percent of stations at or below this threshold a month ago and the fractions of percent that broke this mark a year ago.

Gas prices are likely to remain low for the remainder of the summer compared to recent years. U.S. crude oil supplies are at their highest level for this time of year in 86 years, although domestic oil production has ticked lower each of the past nine months. While oil production has slowed slightly, fuel production has continued to rise. This is supported by data from the American Petroleum Institute, which last week reported fuel deliveries for June were three percent higher than 2015 and the highest number in nine years. Overall, domestic deliveries are 1.7 percent higher during the first half of 2016 than the same period last year, which is in line with AAA reports of travelers taking advantage of lower gas prices and hitting the roads in record numbers this year.

Despite the lowest seasonal prices in 12 years, it’s important to note the possibility that unexpected events could trigger higher prices later this summer. For example, crude oil costs could rise due to disruptions in supply, stronger than expected economic growth or geopolitical tensions overseas. In addition, regional prices could increase due to refinery problems, production cuts, stronger than anticipated demand, or hurricanes that impact distribution and production.

Quick Stats

  • Gas prices in four more states have dropped below $2.00 per gallon over the past week, bringing the total to eleven states: South Carolina ($1.85), Missouri ($1.92), Tennessee ($1.93), Alabama ($1.93), Oklahoma ($1.94), Mississippi ($1.94), Arkansas ($1.95), Virginia ($1.97), New Jersey ($1.97), Kentucky ($1.99), and Louisiana ($1.99).
  • While gas prices are dropping on the West Coast, it continues to be the most expensive market for gasoline, including the only six states where drivers are paying more than $2.50 on average: Hawaii ($2.80), California ($2.80), Washington ($2.66), Alaska ($2.64), Oregon ($2.52), and Nevada ($2.51).
  • Less than one percent of U.S. stations is selling gas for more than $3.00 per gallon today compared to 14 percent on this date last year.

Top10 Highest Average Gas Price Template_7-25-16-01

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast remain the highest in the country. Fortunately for drivers in this region, prices are much less than a year ago: California (-$1.03), Alaska (-83 cents), Nevada (-75 cents), Oregon (-61 cents), Washington (-54 cents), and Hawaii (-51 cents). Last year, following a number of unexpected refinery issues in California, gas prices surged during the peak driving season across the region. This year there have been relatively few refinery issues, which has helped prices remain low versus a year ago.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rocky Mountain region continue to be insulated from refinery issues and are among the most stable prices in the nation. Over the past week prices have moved by a penny or less in five states: Wyoming, North Dakota, Idaho, Utah, and Montana. Even over the past month, prices in these states have remained flat with prices dropping only a few cents per gallon over this span.

Great Lakes and Central States

As is often the case, gas prices in the Great Lakes region are the most volatile in the nation. At the moment drivers are enjoying this distinction, as prices are dropping on abundant supplies and limited disruption to production. This region includes the five states registering the largest declines in the nation over the past week: Indiana (-15 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), and Missouri (-8 cents). Midwestern declines are also featured in the top month-over-month comparisons, with every U.S. state that is posting a decline of 20 cents or more in this region: Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Missouri. On top of these weekly and monthly savings, drivers in the Central United States continues to pay some of the cheapest gas prices in the country with Oklahoma ($1.94), Tennessee ($1.93), and Missouri ($1.92) all featured in the top five cheapest state averages.

Top10 Largest Monthly Declines-7-25-16-01

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast continue to drop, and average prices in both Virginia and New Jersey are now below $2 per gallon and could be joined by Delaware before the week is over. Washington, D.C. ($2.42), New York ($2.36), Connecticut ($2.33), and Pennsylvania ($2.29) have the most expensive averages in the region, though average prices in these states are also substantially cheaper than a year ago.

South and Southeast

Gas prices in much of the South and Southeast remain near or below $2 per gallon. Motorists in South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana are already enjoying an average price below this threshold, and drivers in Georgia and Texas could join this list in the next several days. The bulk of America’s refining capacity is in the Southeastern United States, and abundant production should keep prices relatively low unless there is an unexpected disruption to supply, such as a major hurricane.

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-7-25-16-01

Oil Market Dynamics

With domestic supplies at their highest seasonal levels in decades, a stronger U.S. dollar, and an uptick in the number of U.S. oil rigs, West Texas Intermediate crude oil is trading at its lowest price since early May. Many analysts have predicted oil prices could drop even further later this year, which would likely lead to lower gas prices for consumers heading into the fall. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 56 cents to settle at $44.19 per barrel.

Drivers 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 Drop to 12-Year Low for July

July 18th, 2016 by Jessica Souto

Michael Green Contact TileThe national average for regular, unleaded gasoline has fallen for 35 out of 36 days to $2.21 per gallon and sits at the lowest mark for this time of year since 2004. Gas prices continue to drop in most parts of the country due to abundant fuel supplies and declining crude oil costs. Average prices are about 55 cents less than a year ago, which is motivating millions of Americans to take advantage of cheap gas by taking long road trips this summer.

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The best news for consumers is that gas prices have once again dropped below $2 per gallon in many parts of the country, which is something that drivers have not seen during the summer in more than a decade. About 1 in 4 U.S. stations are selling gas for less than $2 per gallon today, and consumers can find at least one station selling gas for less than $2 per gallon in 36 states.

Gas prices likely will remain relatively low compared to recent years for the remainder of the summer. U.S. crude oil supplies are about 13 percent higher than a year ago, while gasoline stocks have increased to 240 million barrels as refineries produce significant quantities of fuel. This is the highest ever mark for gasoline supplies during the month of July, according to Department of Energy records.

Despite paying the lowest seasonal prices in 12 years, there is always the possibility that unexpected events could lead to higher prices later this summer. For example, crude oil costs could rise due to disruptions in supply, stronger than expected economic growth or geopolitical tensions overseas. In addition, regional prices could increase due to refinery problems, production cuts, stronger than anticipated demand or hurricanes that impact distribution and production.

Quick Stats

  • The national average price of gas is down a fraction of a cent for the day, three cents for the week, 13 cents for the month and 55 cents compared to a year ago.
  • Average gas prices are below $2 per gallon in seven states today including: South Carolina ($1.88), Mississippi ($1.97), Oklahoma ($1.97), Tennessee ($1.97), Alabama ($1.97), Arkansas ($1.98) and Missouri ($1.996).
  • The West Coast continues to be the most expensive market for gasoline, including the only six states in the nation where drivers are paying more than $2.50 on average: California ($2.85), Hawaii ($2.82), Washington ($2.67), Alaska ($2.65), Nevada ($2.55) and Oregon ($2.53).
  • Only 12 percent of U.S. stations are selling gas for more than $2.50 per gallon today.

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-7-18-16-01-01

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast remain the highest in the country. Fortunately for consumers, West Coast prices are much less than a year ago, and drivers in California are saving more than $1 per gallon on average compared to that time: California (-$1.03), Alaska (-82 cents), Nevada (-71 cents), Oregon (-61 cents), Hawaii (-53 cents) and Washington (-53 cents). Last year, California refineries were suffering from a number of unexpected problems, which led to higher gas prices during the peak driving season. Refineries are running more smoothly this summer, which has helped prices remain cheaper than a year ago.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rockies region have remained relatively stable over the past week with averages dropping by only two cents per gallon or less in states. Even over the past month, the region has experienced little change with prices generally moving only a few cents per gallon.

Great Lakes and Central States

This Great Lakes region has the only three states in the nation that have seen prices increase over the past week: Michigan (+$10 cents), Ohio (+9 cents) and Indiana (+2 cents). The Great Lakes is often the most volatile area in the country for gas prices, and it is not uncommon for prices to move significantly from day to day. At the moment, it looks like average prices are heading downwards yet again. Despite the recent increases, average prices in the region have posted among the largest drops in the country over the past month: Ohio (-36 cents), Illinois (-32 cents), Indiana (-31 cents), Michigan (-27 cents) and Wisconsin (-22 cents). The Central United States meanwhile continues to have some of the cheapest gas prices in the country with averages in both Oklahoma ($1.97) and Missouri ($1.996) below $2 per gallon.

Top10 Month-Over-Month Declines-7-18-16-01

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices across much of the region continue to drop, and average prices in both Virginia and New Jersey likely will fall below $2 per gallon this week. Washington, D.C. ($2.47), New York ($2.38) and Connecticut ($2.36) have the most expensive averages in the region, though average prices generally are more than 50 cents per gallon cheaper than a year ago.

Gulf Coast and Southeast

Gas prices in many parts of the Southeast have recently dropped near or below $2 per gallon. In South Carolina for example, nearly 90 percent of gas stations are selling fuel for under $2 per gallon today. The bulk of America’s refining capacity is in the Southeastern United States, and abundant production should keep prices relatively low unless there is an unexpected event, such as a major hurricane.

Oil Market Dynamics

WTI oil prices have dipped below $45 per barrel over the past couple of weeks to the lowest levels since late April. Oil continues to drop due to the potential for steady production and abundant supplies. Many analysts have predicted that oil prices could drop even further later this year, which would likely lead to lower gas prices. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 27 cents to settle at $45.95 per barrel. Prices this morning had headed lower and were briefly below $45 per barrel.

Drivers 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 Extend Slide to 30 Days

July 11th, 2016 by Jessica Souto

Michael Green Contact TilePump prices have now fallen for 30 straight days—the longest streak since August/September of last year—and are at their lowest mark for this date since 2004. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.23 per gallon, which is four cents per gallon less than a week ago, fifteen cents less than a month ago and 53 cents less than one year ago. Prices for some drivers are even lower with some 25,000 gas stations (approximately a quarter of stations) nationwide now selling gasoline for less than $2.00.

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Gasoline prices are poised to continue their slide this week as both crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices turned lower last week. West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude were each down more than 7% last week, with WTI, the primary U.S. benchmark, falling from $48.99 to $45.41 (-7.9%) over the course of the holiday-shortened trading week. The price of oil currently reflects slightly more than half the price of gasoline at the pump, so lower oil prices are expected to result in lower retail gas prices for drivers. Additionally, the most recent Department of Energy report cited domestic gasoline production as just 100,000 barrels per day short of the all-time record, lending further momentum to falling prices.

While retail gas prices may continue to slide through the month of July, there are a number of factors that could cause prices to rise again. This includes an increase in the global price of crude oil due to disruption in supply, stronger than expected economic indicators or geopolitical tensions overseas; as well as domestic factors like refinery issues, production cuts due to lower prices, stronger than anticipated demand or hurricanes that impact distribution and production.

Quick Stats
• The West Coast remains the most expensive region to by gasoline in the country, led by California ($2.88), Hawaii ($2.83), Washington ($2.67), Alaska ($2.66) and Nevada ($2.57).
• The nation’s least expensive markets are South Carolina ($1.93), Oklahoma ($2.00) Mississippi ($2.00), Missouri ($2.01) and Alabama ($2.02).

Top10 Highest Average Gas Price Template_7-11-16-01

West Coast

As is often the case drivers on the West Coast continue to pay the most expensive gas prices in the nation; however, these same motorists are also experiencing the most substantial yearly savings at the pump. Each of the top-five largest year-over-year savings is in this region: Alaska (-81 cents), California (-71 cents), Nevada (-67 cents), Utah (-64 cents) and Oregon (-61 cents). While West Coast drivers are benefiting from these lofty discounts, these motorists are all too familiar with the impact of refinery glitches that could quickly reverse this trend. While gasoline supplies in the region remain comfortable, the Department of Energy did report a decline of 400,000 barrels to 27.9 million for the week ending July 1, in part credited to motorists filling their tanks in advance of travel for the July 4 holiday weekend. Regional production also increased during this same period, although not enough to offset the higher demand.

Rockies

Gas prices for motorists in the Rocky Mountain region have been among the most stable in the nation as supply and demand have kept prices largely in balance. This includes four states in the region among the top-five most stable over the past month: Wyoming (down fractions of a penny), Idaho (-1 cent), New Mexico (-1 cent) and Arizona (+2 cents).

Great Lakes and Central States

Drivers in the Great Lakes Region have been no stranger to dramatic fluctuations in the price they pay at the pump as regional refinery and distribution issues have regularly sent prices sharply higher only to drop again once the issue has been resolved. The past month has been no different and four states in the region top the list of largest declines: Ohio (-60 cents), Michigan (-50 cents), Indiana (-49 cents) and Illinois (-35 cents). While declines in Central States have not been as pronounced, they are still substantial with Missouri (-20 cents) and Tennessee (-17 cents) both ranking in the top-ten and Oklahoma (-16 cents) just missing the cut at number 11.

Top10 Largest Monthly Declines-7-11-16-01

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have also seen prices fall over the past month, although the discounts registered have been substantially less severe than those in the Great Lakes region. Limiting some of the retail price decline in the region have been reports that refineries supplying the region are reducing production in the face of narrow profit margins. Lower production would be expected to exert some upward pressure on prices, although to date it has not been enough to offset the combined downward pressure from lower oil prices and few unexpected refinery issues.

Gulf Coast and Southeast

Drivers in the southeastern quadrant of the U.S. continue to enjoy some of the cheapest prices in the nation, due to the advantageous proximity to major Gulf Coast refineries and some of the lowest state gasoline taxes in the country. Five states in the region rank in the top-ten lowest prices nationwide: South Carolina ($1.93), Mississippi ($2.00), Alabama ($2.02), Arkansas ($2.02) and Louisiana ($2.05).

Oil Market Dynamics

Global oil prices have continued to sag thanks largely to indications of increased supply. This includes reports that June production by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries rose to more than 32.5 million barrels per day, as Nigerian production ramped up following disruptions. While these reports have pressured global prices lower, the region remains volatile and an incident that impacts production or heightens geopolitical concerns could send prices higher again. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 27 cents to settle at $45.41 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.

Michael Green Contact TilePump prices have now fallen for 24 straight days and registered their lowest price for yesterday’s Independence Day holiday since 2005. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.27 per gallon, which represents a savings of three cents per gallon on the week and nine cents per gallon on the month. Year-over-year drivers continue to benefit from noticeable discounts at the price to refuel their vehicles and prices are down 50 cents per gallon versus this same date last year.

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With a AAA-estimated record 43 million drivers hitting the road this Fourth of July holiday weekend, this year continues to see Americans hitting the road in record numbers. A rebounding economy and gas prices across the country that reflect substantial yearly savings are contributing to gasoline demand and vehicle miles traveled that are both on track to set all-time highs for 2016. Higher demand puts upward pressure on prices, as evidenced this spring when prices increased on 84 of 104 days beginning at the end of February and jumped more than 65 cents during this span. As is often the case leading up to the changeover from winter- to summer-blend gasoline, this year’s increase was exacerbated by regional refinery issues that sent prices temporarily higher in some markets. While prices may continue to slide through the month of July, further refinery issues, stronger than anticipated economic growth, geopolitical tensions overseas or hurricanes here at home that impact distribution and production all have the potential to reverse this trend and see prices again turn higher again.

Quick Stats

  • The West Coast continues to post the nation’s highest prices at the pump, led by: California ($2.91), Hawaii ($2.82), Washington ($2.67), Alaska ($2.65) and Nevada ($2.57).
  • The nation’s least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($1.96), Mississippi ($2.02), Alabama ($2.05), Arkansas ($2.05) and Oklahoma ($2.05).

Top10-Least-Expensive-Average-Gas-Prices_7-5-16

West Coast
Drivers on the West Coast continue to pay some of the most expensive prices in the nation, this includes market-leader California, where prices continue to inch back toward the $3 per gallon benchmark. Despite these high prices, drivers many of these same states are enjoying some of the most dramatic year-over-year declines in the country. Alaska (-82 cents) has the highest yearly discount, while Utah (-65 cents) Nevada (-63 cents), Oregon (-61 cents), Idaho (-57 cents) and Hawaii (-55 cents) all register in the top ten.

Top10-Largest-Weekly-Declines-7-5-16

Oil Market Dynamics

Global oil prices continue to point lower thanks largely to indications of increased supply. This includes the recent return of production from the Canadian Oil Sands and reports of strong output from OPEC member countries. Adding to this news over the weekend were reports that June production by OPEC had reached multi-year highs. This includes an increase in production in Nigeria where production reportedly increase by 150,000 barrels per day during the month. While these recent production reports have pointed to increased production the region remains volatile and an incident with the potential to impact production and send prices higher is always a consideration.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 66 cents to settle at $48.99 per barrel; however, prices were trading sharply lower in pre-market trading this morning.

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.

Michael Green Contact TilePump prices are holding relatively steady and remain at their lowest levels for this time of year since 2005. Today’s price of $2.31 per gallon represents a savings of three cents per gallon on the week and two cents per gallon on the month. Year-over-year drivers continue to benefit from noticeable discounts in the price to refuel their vehicles, and prices are down 47 cents per gallon versus this same date last year.

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This year’s summer driving season is likely to set new records for both gasoline demand and vehicle miles traveled, and the latest data from the U.S. EIA shows that gasoline demand is currently at an all-time high. Strong demand can put additional pressure on refineries, and their ability to sustain output and keep gasoline flowing to markets directly impacts the price consumers pay at the pump. However, refineries are reportedly increasing output and gasoline supply has more than kept pace with growing demand. In fact, the refinery utilization rates reached its highest level since April and gasoline inventories posted an increase in the face of these record numbers. Gas prices have fallen for 16 consecutive days, and if the market can remain adequately supplied drivers are likely to continue paying prices unseen for the summer months in more than a decade.

Quick Stats

  • The West Coast leads the market and is posting some of the nation’s highest prices at the pump, led by: California ($2.90), Hawaii ($2.79), Alaska ($2.66), Washington ($2.65) and Nevada ($2.55)
  • The nation’s least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.00), Mississippi ($2.06), Arkansas ($2.07), Alabama ($2.09) and Oklahoma ($2.09).

West Coast
Gas prices on the West Coast remain some of the highest in the nation, with nearly every state in the region represented in the rankings of the nation’s top 10 most expensive markets. Prices have moved higher on the week in almost every state in the region, and averages in the market’s leader California ($2.90) are within a dime of the $3 per gallon benchmark. Despite this trend of increasing averages, the region continues to lead the market posting some of the largest year-over-year savings, thanks to lower crude oil prices and comparatively more supply. Drivers in every state located in the region are saving at least 50 cents per gallon on the year, with the largest discounts in price experienced by drivers in Alaska (-80 cents), Nevada (-65 cents), Oregon (-62 cents) and Hawaii (-58 cents).

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According to the U.S. EIA, gasoline production on the West Coast is at a two-year high and refineries overall are keeping up with growing demand. Issues that could potentially impact the ability of refineries to continue to supply the market were reported late in the week, and pump prices may fluctuate in the near term as a result. A natural gas storage facility in Southern California was shut down due to a leak. Refineries rely on natural gas to produce transportation fuels, and this reduction could impact the region’s gasoline supply. Additionally, an intrastate crude oil pipeline that is connected to nearly every local crude oil production site and to six Los Angeles area refineries also reported a leak. The pipeline was already operating at a reduced rate when the spill was reported, and although clean-up, mitigation and recovery efforts are currently underway this too may also impact pump prices in the region.

Rockies
Pump prices are down on the week in the Rocky Mountain states and averages remain below the $2.50 per gallon benchmark. Consumers in Utah (-65 cents) are benefitting from yearly savings of more than 50 cents per gallon and gas prices are expected to hold relatively steady during the summer months.

Great Lakes
Drivers in the Great Lake states are experiencing a bit of relief at the pump, following a string of issues that caused prices to move noticeably higher in the region over the past few weeks. Illinois ($2.48) and Michigan ($2.46) are the only two states in the region ranked in the nation’s top 10 most expensive markets; however, averages in both states are down on the week. Gasoline supplies are reportedly recovering in the region, which is also home to states posting the nation’s largest weekly savings, led by: Indiana (-16 cents), Ohio (-16 cents), and Michigan (-13 cents).

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Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
Retail averages held relatively steady week-over-week in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern region, moving by +/- 2 cents per gallon over this period. Washington, D.C. ($2.55) is the only state located in this region with an average price above $2.50 per gallon and prices on the whole remain moderate. Consumers in Delaware (-53 cents), New York (-52 cents), Connecticut (-51 cents) and New Jersey (-50 cents) are all saving 50 cents or more per gallon year-over-year. Gasoline supplies fell on the week, but the market remains well supplied, and prices are expected to remain moderately priced this summer, barring any major disruptions in supply.

Southeast
Southeastern states continue to dominate the rankings of the nation’s least expensive markets for gas. South Carolina ($2.00) is the nation’s least expensive market for retail gasoline, is followed by regional neighbors Mississippi ($2.06), Arkansas ($2.07), and Alabama ($2.09) in the rankings. Gas prices have moved by +/- 3 cents per gallon in the region week-over-week and are expected to remain on the lower end of the spectrum in the near term. A wildcard for gas prices in the region is the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Prices could become volatile due to severe weather which could impact both production and distribution.

Central States
Oklahoma ($2.09), Tennessee ($2.10) and Missouri ($2.11) are ranked in the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets, and prices in the Central States are expected to remain relatively lower. On the whole, weekly and monthly price comparisons show that prices are holding steady and with a few exceptions have moved by +/- 2 cents per gallon over these periods.

Oil Market Dynamics
The United Kingdom’s decision to exit the European Union, also known as the “Brexit,” reportedly contributed to WTI closing out the week at its steepest one-day loss since October. The global oil market has been characterized by extreme oversupply for the better part of the year, but the tide appeared to be turning thanks to record gasoline demand from the U.S. and expectations that demand from other nations would also grow. The Brexit put a damper on these speculations because it contributed to the U.S. dollar gaining strength. A strong dollar makes crude oil more expensive for countries holding other currencies, which limits purchasing power, and could reduce global crude oil demand. The full impact of the Brexit remains unknown and both benchmarks opened the week trading lower.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down $2.47 and settled at $47.64 per barrel – this represents a loss of 34 cents per barrel on the week.

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.

Michael Green Contact TileThe national average price of gas reached a new 2016 high over the weekend, and today’s average of $2.38 per gallon is the most expensive average since September 2015.  Gas prices have moved higher by two cents per gallon on the week and 16 cents per gallon on the month. Although pump prices have increased for 28 of the past 33 days, consumers continue to benefit from yearly savings and prices are down 42 cents per gallon compared to a year ago.

National-Average-Comparison_6-13-16

 

The cost of crude oil has moved higher over the past few weeks, which has made gasoline more expensive to start the summer driving season. Crude oil prices have increased due to unexpected disruptions in places like Canada and Nigeria, while questions continue to mount over future production in Venezuela. Since early April, the cost of crude oil has increased by more than $13 per barrel to the highest levels since 2015. With all other factors being equal, a $1 per barrel change in the price of crude oil can increase gas prices by 2.4 cents per gallon. Prices may continue to fluctuate on the heels of news related to global oil supply and the U.S. dollar, which could have a major impact on what drivers pay for gasoline this summer.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top five most expensive markets are: California ($2.86), Michigan ($2.74), Hawaii ($2.73), Ohio ($2.68) and Alaska ($2.67).
  • The nation’s top five least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.08), Mississippi ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.12), New Jersey ($2.14) and Louisiana ($2.15).
  • Despite increasing for 28 of the past 33 days, the national average remains at its lowest price for this same date since 2005.
  • Gas prices in the Midwest are rivaling averages typically experienced by drivers on West Coast due to planned and unplanned refinery maintenance, combined with healthy demand for gasoline.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices_6-13-16

 

West Coast

Retail averages on the West Coast are relatively steady and have moved by three cents or less over the past week. California ($2.86) is the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline, and regional neighbors Hawaii ($2.73) and Alaska ($2.67) are the only two states in the region also ranked in the nation’s top five most expensive markets. Consumers in the region continue to benefit from the largest yearly savings, with pump prices in nearly every state in the region discounted by more than 50 cents per gallon.  In fact, the largest year-over-year savings in the price of gas are seen in the West Coast states of: Nevada (-71 cents), Alaska (-71 cents) and California (-68 cents).

Conditions at the ExxonMobil Torrance, CA refinery are reportedly improving and two units previously offline are scheduled to be restarted this week. The latest data from the U.S. EIA points to gasoline inventories shrinking in the region, however, gasoline production is growing which could help balance the scale and keep gas prices relatively steady over the near term.

Great Lakes

Pump prices in the Great Lakes states continue to climb higher due to tightening supply and healthy demand for gasoline. Michigan ($2.74) is the nation’s second most expensive market for gas, and the Great Lakes states of Ohio ($2.68), Illinois ($2.66) and Indiana ($2.61) join in the rankings of the nation’s top 10 most expensive markets. The nation’s largest price increases over the past few weeks have occurred in states located in this region. Gas prices are up double digits in Michigan (+23 cents), Ohio (+21 cents), Illinois (+18 cents), Indiana (+17 cents) and Wisconsin (+13 cents) versus two weeks ago.

Headlining the supply challenges in the region is the recent shutdown of a segment of the West Shore pipeline, located in Wisconsin. This segment is reportedly undergoing repair and inspections and may be offline for several weeks while the work is being completed. Operational challenges are also being reported at Marathon’s Detroit, MI refinery and ExxonMobil’s Joliet, IL plant.

Despite these supply issues, refinery production has increased over the past few weeks, while supplies are still about nine percent higher than a year ago. In response to recent distribution issues, both Michigan and Wisconsin’s governors took action extending the hours that drivers transporting fuel are permitted to stay on the road. In the near term, gas prices may remain volatile with summertime driving fueling high demand.

Top10-Largest-Two-Week-Increases_6-13-16

 

Central States

Pump prices in the region remain some of the cheapest nationwide with Oklahoma’s average at $2.15, Missouri at $2.19 and Kansas at $2.19 per gallon. Magellan is reporting that a segment of its pipeline, located in Kansas, was taken offline due to heavy rainfall, which caused a portion of the pipeline to be exposed. Service is likely to be suspended for several weeks while the pipeline undergoes repair. Supply in the region is reportedly ample and is believed to be capable of offsetting any shortages resulting from this incident.

 

Gulf Coast

Despite experiencing severe weather, which can sometimes cause prices to move higher due to supply disruptions, gas prices in the Gulf Coast remain relatively low. Every state in the region is represented in the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets, and Mississippi ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.12) and Louisiana ($2.15) are ranked in the nation’s top-five least expensive markets.

The Magellan Midstream Partner’s pipeline is reportedly under repair, following being shut down last week due to flooding in Texas. The pipeline delivers product to a number of markets in the region and its outage might impact regional fuel distribution. Gas prices in the region appear to be unaffected by the outage and are down on the week in every state located in the Gulf Coast. Best estimates suggest that the pipeline will return to operation before the end of the month, and in the interim the company is attempting to address any shortages by altering its delivery schedule.

Southeast

The Southeast is home to the nation’s least expensive market, South Carolina ($2.08). Tropical Storm Colin brought heavy rains and tropical-storm-force winds to the region last week, yet gas prices held steady over this period. Contrary to common expectations, with the exception of West Virginia (+ fractions of a penny), prices fell in every state located in the region week-over-week.

Oil Market Dynamics

After reaching new 2016 highs, crude oil prices retreated to close out the week due to news of a strengthening U.S. dollar and data showing an uptick in the number of U.S. drilling rigs in operation. Both benchmarks opened the week by extending this trend of sliding prices, as concerns of revived production out of the U.S. and global demand concerns begin to resurface. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI closed down $1.49 and settled at $49.07 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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