Posts Tagged ‘Monthly Gas Prices’

Gas Prices Fall Nine Cents in One Week

October 13th, 2014 by AAA

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, October 13, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 18 straight days, reaching today’s price of $3.20 per gallon. This price represents a new 2014 low and is the lowest average for the Columbus Day holiday since 2010 when gas averaged $2.81 per gallon. Today’s average price is nine cents less than one week ago, 20 cents less than one month ago and 15 cents less than one year ago.

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Drivers in six states are paying an average price below three dollars per gallon to refuel their vehicles with eight additional states posting prices within a nickel of this mark. Motorists in Missouri saw the average price fall below the $3.00 threshold this past Tuesday, and for the second week in a row are paying the nation’s lowest average price per gallon ($2.90).  Although the average price in Hawaii has fallen by four cents over the past seven days, it continues to lead the market with an average retail price above $4.00 per gallon ($4.13). Californians still pay the highest average ($3.60) in the continental U.S. followed by New Yorkers and Oregonians who are both paying $3.52 per gallon.

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The average price is down in every state and Washington, D.C. in both week-over-week and month-over-month comparisons. Week-over-week the retail price has dropped by a dime or more in 13 states with drivers in the Midwestern states of Minnesota (-16 cents), Michigan (-15 cents) and Kentucky (-14 cents) saving the most per gallon. Motorists in 46 states and Washington, D.C. are saving a nickel or more over this same period.  Even larger drops in the price at the pump are reflected over the past month. Michigan (-40 cents), Delaware (-35 cents), Washington (-33 cents) and Oregon (-32 cents) are registering the largest discounts in price over this period, followed by 10 other states where the average price is down by a quarter or more. State averages have fallen by a dime or more in every state but Florida, where prices have fallen only nine cents.

Year-over-year the average price for retail gas is lower in every state but Alaska (where prices are up less than a penny), and consumers in 48 states and Washington, D.C. are saving a nickel or more per gallon. The price has dropped by a dime or more in 38 states with consumers in Michigan (-30 cents), Minnesota (-30), Ohio (-27 cents) and Delaware (-25) saving a quarter or more per gallon to refuel their vehicles.

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Low demand combined with abundant supply has kept downward pressure on global oil prices. The impact of falling prices is currently front of mind for many in the market, and attention is now focused on whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will alter production in order to influence prices higher. OPEC members are scheduled to meet at the end of November and will reportedly not hold an emergency meeting before then based on current prices, which has supported the bearish sentiment for crude oil. Additionally, while violence continues in Iraq, market watchers still assess the threat to oil production to be relatively limited. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled eight cents lower at $85.74 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX. This is fifth consecutive settlement below $90 per barrel and the lowest price since December 2012.

Gas Prices Near 2014 Low

October 6th, 2014 by AAA

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, October 6, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.29 per gallon. This price is the least expensive daily average since February 9, it is just two cents above the low for 2014 ($3.27 on February 7), and it is the lowest price for this calendar day since 2010 ($2.75). Today’s average is a nickel less than one week ago, 15 cents less than one month ago, and six cents less than one year ago. The national average has fallen for each of the past 11 days and could drop as low as $3.10-$3.20 per gallon before the end of the year.

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For the fourth consecutive week, Hawaii ($4.17) remains the only state with an average price above four dollars per gallon. The western United States continues to lead the market posting the highest prices per gallon, with Alaska ($3.89), California ($3.68), Oregon ($3.63), and Washington ($3.62) following Hawaii as the nation’s most expensive markets. As the national average continues to decline, a few states are registering averages approaching the three dollar mark. Drivers in Missouri are paying the lowest average per gallon ($3.01), followed by South Carolina ($3.06) and Mississippi ($3.07).  No state has registered a daily average of less than $3.00 per gallon since January 23 when Missouri was last below this threshold. Given relatively inexpensive crude prices, adequate supplies and cheaper winter-blend fuel, and barring any unexpected market-moving news, drivers in as many as 20 states could enjoy an average price of less than three dollars per gallon before the end of the year.

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After operating at reduced rates for two weeks, ExxonMobil successfully restarted a crude distillation unit over the weekend at its Torrance, California refinery. The unit was initially down due to an issue with the heater, and earlier attempts to restart the unit were delayed due to a leak on process equipment. Refinery issues were also resolved in the Gulf Coast where two refineries returned to service, after the combination of planned and unplanned maintenance to the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit challenged operations. This caused motor gasoline production in the region to slow to its lowest level in over a year, however with supply returning to normal levels motorists near the Gulf Coast should see pump prices point lower again.

Week-over-week, the average price for retail gasoline is down in 48 states and Washington, D.C. Drivers in 19 states are saving a nickel or more per gallon over this same period, with consumers in the Midwest experiencing the largest savings: Michigan (-14 cents), Ohio (-12 cents) and Indiana (-12 cents). On the other side of this trend, the retail average is up in Louisiana (+2 cents) and Florida (fractions of a penny) over the past seven days.

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On the whole, motorists continue to pay less per gallon to refuel their vehicles. Month-over-month the average price has fallen in every state and Washington, D.C., led by the Midwestern states of Indiana (-37 cents), Michigan (-37 cents) and Ohio (-28 cents). Although the magnitude of monthly savings per gallon does vary from state to state, consumers in 41 states are saving a dime or more per gallon at the pump.

Year-over-year the average price is down in 45 states and Washington, D.C. Eighteen states are registering savings of a dime or more per gallon, with motorists in California  (-18 cents), Rhode Island (-17 cents) and Connecticut (-17 cents) experiencing the largest savings at the pump. Of the five states where the price has increased in comparison to this date last year, Georgia (+5 cents) is the only state where the increment is more than fractions of a penny.

Global oil prices have continued to slide as supplies have outpaced demand and markets remain relatively unmoved by geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, Europe and Africa. WTI did settle 60 cents higher at $90.34 per barrel at the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, but remains near the low-price for the year. On Friday, for the first time in 17 months, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled below $90 per barrel, breaking a streak of 365 consecutive settlements above this threshold.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, September 29, 2014) Less than one week into the autumn driving season, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $3.34 per gallon, the lowest price since February, after falling for 20 of the past 23 days. Today’s average is fractions of a penny less than one week ago, ten cents less than one month ago and seven cents less than one year ago.

Decreased demand, relatively lower crude prices and the cost savings associated with producing winter-blend fuel will likely keep downward pressure on the price for retail gasoline.  Barring any major disruptions in supply, drivers are expected to see some of the lowest autumn prices since 2010.

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Drivers on the West Coast continue to pay some of the nation’s highest prices at the pump, led by Hawaii ($4.21), Alaska ($3.92), Washington ($3.70), California ($3.70) and Oregon ($3.69). Although the average price has fallen in each of the top ten most expensive markets over the past month, Hawaii remains the only state where the average price is above four dollars per gallon.

The West Coast continues to be challenged by incidents at local refineries and terminals, which could lead to higher prices at the pump in the coming weeks. Last week, a fire at the Port of Los Angeles caused the closure of 11 terminals, including three terminals at the neighboring Port of Long Beach — all terminals were reported operable a few days after the incident. Additionally, after several attempts to resume operations, the ExxonMobil refinery remains unable to fully restart a crude distillation unit at its Torrance California refinery, which has put upward pressure on wholesale prices in the region. While gas prices east of the Rockies may continue to drift lower in the coming days, regional prices may move higher for those areas supplied by the Torrance refinery until the facility is back online and supply concerns are alleviated.

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Motorists in 34 states and Washington, D.C. are currently experiencing week-over-week savings, led by the West Coast and Rocky Mountain region: Oregon (-7 cents), Washington (-7 cents), Idaho (-6 cents), Colorado (-6 cents) and Nevada (-5 cents). During this same period, of the 16 states where the average price has increased, only Ohio (+10 cents) has seen a jump of more than a nickel.  The average price at the pump has dropped in every state and Washington, D.C. over a two week period, with drivers in seven states saving a dime or more per gallon.

Motorists in every state and Washington, D.C. continue to pay less for retail gasoline than one month ago. The average price at the pump is down by a dime or more in 22 states, with the largest monthly drops in Nevada (-22 cents), Indiana (-22 cents), Michigan (-21 cents) and Oregon (-19 cents). Year-over-year comparisons reflect overall savings for nearly all consumers, with motorists in 47 states and Washington, D.C. paying less to refuel their vehicles. Consumers in 17 states are saving a dime or more per gallon, with the largest discounts in California (-23 cents), South Dakota (-18 cents), Connecticut (-18 cents), Kansas (-18 cents) and Rhode Island (-17 cents). Over this same period, the price has ticked upward in Kentucky (+7 cents), Georgia (+4 cents) and Oregon (+3 cents).

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Geopolitical events remain front of mind for market watchers, but in recent months have not translated into upward pressure on global oil markets. The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil did settle $1.03 higher at $94.57 per barrel at the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, but prices remain near the 17-month low of $91.52 per barrel that was registered last Monday.

Gas Prices Drop to Seven-Month Low

September 22nd, 2014 by AAA

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, September 22, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 16 consecutive days, reaching today’s average of $3.34 per gallon. Today’s average price is a nickel less than one week ago, a dime less than one month ago and 14 cents less than a year ago. Today’s national average is the lowest in more than seven months.

One week past the start of the seasonal fuel switch in many parts of the country, the national average continues to decline. This is due to decreased demand, cheaper crude oil and the cost savings associated with producing winter-blend fuel. Winter-blend gasoline is less expensive to produce, which can translate to lower prices at the pump. During the transition to this less stringent standard, and barring an unexpected disruption to production or distribution, the national average often posts steady seasonal declines.

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Western states continue to post the highest average gas prices in the nation, led by: Hawaii ($4.23), Alaska ($3.94), Washington ($3.76), Oregon ($3.76) and California ($3.74). For the second week in a row, Hawaii is the only state where drivers are paying an average price above four dollars per gallon. Consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are experiencing week-over-week savings at the pump, with the average price in 17 states reflecting savings of a nickel or more. Topping the list of falling prices over the past week, the average price at the pump has fallen by a dime or more in Indiana (-13 cents), Michigan (-13 cents), Ohio (-12 cents) and Delaware (-11 cents). One item to watch for West Coast drivers is a reported issue at ExxonMobil’s refinery in Torrance, California. Problems at the refinery were reported last week and a restart of the affected units at the facility was apparently unsuccessful over the weekend. While a spokesperson for ExxonMobil indicated that there has been no impact on production to date, retail prices in areas supplied by this refinery could see prices jump in the coming days if the unit remains offline and output is impacted.

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Drivers in every state are paying less than one month ago and those in nearly half of states (24) are experiencing month-over-month relief at the pump of a dime or more. The largest monthly drops are seen in Ohio (-24 cents), Nevada (-18 cents) and New Mexico (-18 cents). The year-over-year comparisons show widely lower prices across the country, including four states where prices are more than a quarter less. Motorists in a handful of states are paying slightly more to fill their car: Oregon (+6 cents), Washington (+2 cents), Colorado (+1 cent) and Nevada (+.08 cents)

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The latest round of U.S. sanctions on Russia and the recent eruption of violence in Libya leading to the shutdown of oil fields remain of interest to commodities market watchers. Despite these geopolitical tensions, global oil prices continue to test multi-year lows. At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 89 cents lower at $91.52 per barrel. This marks not just a new 2014 low, but it is the cheapest settlement price dating back to May 1, 2013.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, September 15, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.39 per gallon, which is the lowest price for this date since 2010 when gas averaged $2.73. Today’s national average is a nickel lower than week ago, seven cents less than one month ago and 13 cents less than one year ago. The five-cent decline is the steepest one-week drop since July. The average price at the pump typically falls during this time of year due to decreased demand and the transition to winter-blend gasoline, which is cheaper to produce. AAA expects the national average to fall another 10-20 cents by the end of October.

Avg Gas Prices 2011-2014

Today marks the beginning of the yearly transition to winter-blended fuel. Starting on September 15, retailers can begin selling a blend of gasoline that is less expensive to produce because does not have to meet the same federal emissions reduction requirements that are required during warmer summer months. During the lead up to this change the price at the pump does sometimes move slightly higher as refineries reduce their inventories during the switchover, but on the whole, consumers typically experience savings at the pump during the fall driving season, as we are seeing this year.

Although the majority of drivers are paying less at the pump, the magnitude of the savings does vary by geographic location. Over the past seven days the average price in 49 states and Washington D.C. has declined, with motorists in three Midwestern states saving more than a dime: Indiana (-14 cents), Michigan (-13 cents) and Ohio (-12 cents). The only state where prices are up on the week is Montana and the increase is fractions of a penny. Consumers in Hawaii ($4.26), Alaska ($3.97), Oregon ($3.83) and Washington ($3.83) continue to pay some of the nation’s highest averages per gallon, however prices in each of these states has fallen over the last week.

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Drivers in 49 states and Washington D.C. are experiencing month-over-month discounts at the pump. The retail price per gallon is down by a nickel or more in 36 states and Washington DC, with the largest savings seen in:  New Mexico (-16 cents), Missouri (-16 cents), Nevada (-13 cents) and Alaska (-12 cents).

Compared to this same date last year, drivers in 46 states and Washington D.C. are paying less at the pump. The retail price of gasoline is down by dime or more in 34 states and Washington D.C., and consumers in Iowa (-32 cents), Kansas (-31 cents), Nebraska (-27 cents), Minnesota (-26 cents) and Oklahoma (-25 cents) are saving a quarter or more per gallon. The price at the pump reflects a premium in four states over this same period, due to regional supply issues in the Western states of Oregon (+13 cents), Washington (+9 cents), Nevada (+8 cents) and Colorado (+3 cents).

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Late last week, the United States issued another round of sanctions targeting Russia’s energy, defense and financial sectors. This latest round of sanctions are in response to Russia’s continued activity in Ukraine, and are designed to impact that nation’s deepwater, Arctic and shale oil production plans. Similar action was taken by the European Union, and in combination could impact US oil companies that produce oil with Russia. Market watchers will continue to monitor this situation and its impact on global markets.

Despite the geopolitical tensions and continued unrest in northern Iraq, global oil prices continue to point lower. Brent crude (the traditional European benchmark) today traded at its lowest mark ($96.65 per barrel) since 2012, and while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil eked out gains on the day, it remains near its cheapest price of the year. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX WTI settled up 65 cents at $92.92 per barrel. This price is less than a dollar above last Wednesday’s settlement ($91.67) which was a penny higher than the January 9 low for 2014. The last time WTI settled below $90 per barrel was April 2013.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, September 8, 2014) With just one week remaining before many parts of the country will begin the switch to cheaper winter-blend fuel, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.44 per gallon. Today’s national average is fractions of a penny more than one week ago, but it is four cents less than one month ago and 13 cents less than  the same date last year.

The national average price for retail gasoline historically declines in the weeks after Labor Day, due to the end of the summer driving season and ample supply. September also marks the start of refineries beginning their yearly transition to producing a winter-blend of gasoline. This blend is cheaper to make because it does not need to meet emissions requirements that are in place in many areas to prevent pollution when temperatures are warmer. Motorists usually enjoy cost savings during this period; however geopolitical instability, hurricanes or events that disrupt production could still cause temporary spikes in regional prices in the coming months.

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Hawaii ($4.27), Alaska ($4.02) and Washington ($3.86) continue to lead the market with the nation’s highest prices per gallon, followed by Oregon ($3.86) and California ($3.82). The western region of the United States represents the majority of nation’s most expensive markets, due to lingering effects from issues at local refineries. On the other end of the spectrum, motorists in the southern states of South Carolina ($3.16), Mississippi ($3.17), Virginia ($3.18) and Arkansas ($3.20) are paying the least per gallon at the pump – reflecting a savings of more than one dollar, in contrast to the nation’s most expensive state (Hawaii).

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Although the national average has ticked upward over the past seven days, drivers in 32 states and Washington, D.C. are paying a bit less at the pump versus one week ago.  The largest drop in retail prices have been in Ohio (-7 cents), Nevada (-3 cents) and New Mexico (-3 cents), compared to four states where prices have jumped by a nickel or more: Illinois (+8 cents), West Virginia (+5 cents), Kentucky (+5 cents) and Indiana (+5 cents).

Most consumers are experiencing month-over-month savings for retail gasoline. The price at the pump is lower in 44 states and Washington, D.C. during this span with drivers in 26 states saving a nickel or more per gallon. The largest declines have been in New Mexico (-11 cents), Washington, D.C. (-10 cents), Connecticut (-10 cents), Arizona (-10 cents), New York (-10 cents) and Pennsylvania (-10 cents).

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Year-over-year comparisons reveal a similar picture. Motorists in 44 states and Washington, D.C. are saving money at the pump. The price per gallon is discounted by a dime or more in 35 states and Washington, D.C., and consumers in seven states are saving a quarter or more per gallon. Drivers in the Midcontinent states of Iowa (-33 cents), Kansas (-32 cents), Nebraska (-29 cents) and Minnesota (-28 cents) are experiencing the largest savings in the retail price for gasoline, largely reflecting a run up in prices at the end of last year’s summer driving season.

Global markets have kept a wary eye on geopolitical unrest, particularly in Ukraine and Iraq. However, these developments have had little impact on supply and subsequently the retail price of gasoline. News on Friday of a possible ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine put further downward pressure on oil prices. Despite some reports of violence over the weekend and the announcement today of additional European sanctions on Russia, global oil prices continue to slide. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 63 cents lower at $92.66 per barrel. This marks the lowest settlement for WTI since January 14.

Gas Prices Likely to Decline in September

September 3rd, 2014 by AAA

Michael Green

 

 

 

 

 

Reduced Driving and Switch to Winter-Blend Gasoline Should Bring Lower Prices

  • Gasoline demand and prices generally fall in September through the end of the year as people drive less and because refineries can produce less expensive winter-blend gasoline. AAA expects gas prices nationally could decline another 10-20 cents per gallon by the end of October.
  • “The big crunch in summer travel is done and most of us can look forward to lower gas prices during the next few months,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “If we can get through September without any major refinery or overseas problems, we should see more gas stations drop below $3.00 per gallon this fall.”
  • Last year, U.S. driving declined nearly 10 percent in September compared to August, according to the Federal Highway Administration. The decline in driving during cooler months helps to reduce gasoline demand. In addition, refineries will begin to sell less expensive winter-blend gasoline in many parts of the country on September 15, which should further push prices down.
  • Refineries in many regions are required to produce more expensive summer-blend gasoline during warm-weather months to prevent air pollution and smog. As the weather grows cooler, this gasoline blend is no longer required. In the days leading up to September 15, supplies of summer-blend gasoline occasionally can tighten before the deadline, which could lead to very short-term and localized price increases around the middle of the month.
  • The price of gas in September has declined four out of the five previous years for an average of eight cents per gallon. Last year, national average gas prices fell by 19 cents per gallon in September.
  • The Atlantic hurricane season reaches a peak around September 10. Major hurricanes can disrupt oil production, refinery facilities and pipelines, which can lead to significantly higher gas prices. In 2012 for example, Hurricane Isaac struck Louisiana and the brief closure of refineries helped increase the national average price of gas price by 11 cents per gallon over nine days.

Summer Driving Season Ends as Fourth Most Expensive on Record

  • The national average price of gas over the summer driving season was $3.58 per gallon, which was the fourth most expensive on record and fractions of a cent less than a year ago. The summer driving season runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and is the busiest time of the year for driving. The summer driving season average for the previous few years was $3.58 (2013), $3.55 (2012), $3.65 (2011), $2.73 (2010), $2.59 (2009) and $3.95 (2008).
  • “It was truly a summer of contrasts with consumers paying the highest seasonal prices in years to begin the summer, but ending with the lowest prices since 2010,” continued Ash. “Many drivers lucked out with it costing significantly less to fill up the car during the busiest part of the summer.”
  • Gas prices nationally averaged $3.46 per gallon in August, which was the least expensive average for the month since 2010. This average compares to $3.57 (2013), $3.69 (2012) and $3.62 (2011) in recent years. The national average price of gas was $3.60 per gallon in July and $3.67 per gallon in June.
  • Gas prices in most parts of the country have fallen significantly during the second half of the summer with the national average price of gas down about 25 cents per gallon since June 28. Gas prices unexpectedly increased in June as rebels intensified attacks in Iraq, but prices began to stabilize as the threat to Iraqi oil production diminished.
  • Domestic refinery and crude oil production has more than kept pace with high demand this summer, which has helped gas prices decline. In addition, oil prices have fallen despite multiple crises overseas because global production has not been significantly affected and domestic production remains strong. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil dropped to $92.88 per barrel to close yesterday. This settlement price was the lowest since January 14 and marked a $10 per barrel decline since early July. Approximately two-thirds of the cost of gasoline can be attributed to the price of crude oil.

Gas Prices Reach Six-Month Low to Begin September

  • Today’s national average price of gas is $3.43 per gallon. Consumers this week are paying the lowest average prices since late February. Today’s average is about 16 cents per gallon cheaper than a year ago and the lowest average for this day since 2010. The national average has remained under $3.50 per gallon for 31 consecutive days.
  • Gas prices this year generally have averaged less than in recent years due to an increase in domestic petroleum production. The national average price of gas through the first eight months of the year is $3.52 per gallon, which is the lowest average through the same period since 2010. Last year the national average through August 31 was $3.57 per gallon.
  • The five states with the highest average prices today include: Hawaii ($4.28), Alaska ($4.02), Washington ($3.88), Oregon ($3.87) and California ($3.84). The five states with the lowest gas prices today include: South Carolina ($3.17), Mississippi ($3.18), Virginia ($3.18), Alabama ($3.20) and Tennessee ($3.21).
  • About one-fourth of U.S. stations are selling gas for less than $3.25 per gallon today, while nearly seven-in-ten stations are selling gas for less than $3.50 per gallon. The most common price in the United States is $3.299 per gallon.

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, July 7, 2014) The national average price of gas has fallen for ten straight days, but remains the highest price for this calendar date since 2008.  Yesterday, for the first time since June 11, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline reflected a month-over-month discount.  Today’s average is $3.65 per gallon. This price is two cents less than one week ago and fractions of a penny less than one month ago, but it remains 18 cents more than this date in 2013.

National Average Gas Price Comparison 2011-2014 July 7 2014

With Independence Day in the books, this year’s holiday registered the highest price since 2008 at $3.66.  This surpassed the price per gallon for the holiday from each of the previous five years: 2013 ($3.48); 2012 ($3.34); 2011 ($3.57); 2010 ($2.74); and 2009 ($2.62), but was still well below the all-time-high for the date of $4.10 in 2008.

The pump price in four states continues register above $4.00 per gallon: Hawaii ($4.33), Alaska ($4.22), California ($4.14) and Washington State ($4.01). While prices in all but three states (Idaho, Wyoming and Utah) are higher than the same date last year, prices in 38 states have dropped over the past week, led by a handful of Midwestern states: Michigan (-10 cents), Ohio (-7 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Illinois   (-5 cents) and Minnesota (-4 cents).  Prices over the past two weeks have been more evenly split.  Prices in 23 states and Washington, DC have increased – led by Alaska (+7 cents), Utah (+6 cents) and Idaho (+5 cents) – while prices in 27 states have fallen – led by Ohio (-17 cents), Indiana (-12 cents) and Illinois (-12 cents). With high wholesale gasoline prices beginning to subside in many parts of the country, AAA expects pump prices for many US motorists to continue to tick lower over the coming week.

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Violence in Iraq continues to impact global oil prices, but as production in the south of the country remains unaffected, the fear of a disruption to supply has abated. Market watchers are keeping a close eye on the situation, but the risk premium that had pushed oil prices to 2014 highs has subsided in recent trading sessions. These elevated oil prices have meant stubbornly high pump prices for motorists, but as oil prices have eased retail gas prices have finally started to follow suit.

At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 53 cents lower at $103.53.

Michael Green

 

 

 

 

 

AAA Monthly Gas Price Report
(WASHINGTON, June 30, 2014)

Drivers Stuck Paying Highest Gas Prices in Six Years for Independence Day

  • U.S. drivers will pay the most expensive Independence Day gas prices since 2008, primarily because Iraqi violence has increased global petroleum costs. AAA predicts that 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more by car during the holiday weekend despite high gas prices.
  • “Most drivers are paying about 15-20 cents more per gallon than expected heading into the busy Independence Day weekend due to market fear about Iraq,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “It is frustrating that events overseas will make it more expensive to celebrate Fourth of July here at home.”
  • With Independence Day only a few days away, today’s national average price of gas is $3.68 per gallon. This average is considerably more expensive than recent years for the holiday. The national average on July 4 in previous years was: $3.48 (2013); $3.34 (2012); $3.57 (2011); $2.74 (2010); $2.62 (2009); and $4.10 (2008).
  • AAA does not believe that high gas prices will have a significant impact on the number of people traveling, but it could result in some consumers cutting back on dining, shopping or other trip activities. AAA’s full Independence Day forecast can be found here.
  • The monthly average price of gas in June was $3.67 per gallon, which was the most expensive for June since 2011, and it was the highest average for any month since March 2013. Last year gas prices averaged $3.60 per gallon in June.
  • Gas prices often decline in June as refineries complete maintenance and increase gasoline production in anticipation of the summer driving season. During the previous three years, the national average price of gas declined in June by an average of 21 cents per gallon. A month ago, AAA predicted the national average could decline 10-15 cents per gallon in June, but this did not happen due to the unexpected events in Iraq.
  • On June 10, insurgents known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), captured Mosul, which is Iraq’s second largest city. Following this attack, there were concerns in the market that the rebels would take Baghdad or disrupt the southern oil producing regions of the country. These concerns helped drive up global oil prices, which made it more expensive to produce gasoline. Iraq is the second largest oil producer in OPEC, and any decline in exports could impact global oil supplies.

Gas Prices to Remain Expensive During Summer Driving Season

  • Gas prices this July likely will remain expensive due to high crude oil costs and rising summertime demand. AAA expects the national average price of gas in July will range from $3.60-$3.70 per gallon, though prices could climb higher if there are new developments in Iraq or a major hurricane. Last year gas prices averaged $3.58 per gallon nationally in July.
  • “It is shaping up to be a hot and expensive summer for gas prices, and we have not even hit the busiest time of the year yet,” continued Ash. “It is clear that most drivers will pay high prices as they fill up for their summer road trips.”
  • AAA expects the national average price of gas likely will remain relatively flat in the near future and could even decline a few cents as the situation stabilizes in Iraq. Price increases from recent ISIL attacks in Iraq already are reflected in current prices, and it would take major new developments, such as ISIL moving into southern oil producing regions, for prices to rise significantly higher in the days ahead.
  • Gas prices have increased by an average of 16 cents per gallon in July during the previous three years as strong summer demand pushed up prices. July is typically the second busiest month of the year on the roads behind August. Last year Americans drove a total of 263.2 billion miles in July.
  • From Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2013, gas prices nationally averaged $3.58 per gallon. The most expensive summer driving period was in 2008 when prices averaged $3.95 per gallon. Gas prices have averaged $3.67 per gallon so far this summer.

National Average Price of Gas Has Remained Flat This Week

  • Today’s national average price of gas is $3.68 per gallon, which is the same as a week ago. Gas prices nationally have stopped increasing and have remained relatively flat in recent days as the situation stabilizes in Iraq. The conflict in Iraq is unlikely to send gas prices significantly higher unless there are major developments in Baghdad or in the southern oil producing regions.
  • The five states with the highest average prices today include: Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($4.22), California ($4.13), Washington ($4.00) and Oregon ($3.98). The five states with the lowest average prices include: South Carolina ($3.39), Alabama ($3.42), Mississippi ($3.45), Tennessee ($3.46) and Arkansas ($3.48).
  • Despite high gas prices in most parts of the country, drivers in four states are paying less than a year ago. These four states include Utah (-8 cents), Idaho (-6 cents), Montana (-1 cent) and Colorado (-0.1 cents). The states with the largest price increases compared to a year ago include Michigan (42 cents), Kentucky (37 cents) and Ohio (32 cents).
  • The most expensive metro area in the continental United States is San Luis Obispo-Atascadero-Paso Robles, Calif. at $4.24 per gallon. The least expensive metro area in the United States is Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, S.C. at $3.33 per gallon.

Michael Green( WASHINGTON, June 30, 2014) The national average price of gas has stopped increasing as we approach the Independence Day holiday, though prices remains at a six-year high for this time of year. Today’s national average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.68 per gallon. The price has remained relatively stable over the past seven days, and the current price is just a penny more than one month ago.

Consumers have seen little fluctuation in the national average for the month of June; however the current price at the pump is 19 cents more than at this time last year ($3.49). In comparison to previous Independence Day holidays, motorists will face prices that are the highest since 2008, with today’s average ($3.68) surpassing the holiday’s price per gallon from: 2013 ($3.48); 2012 ($3.34); 2011 ($3.57); 2010 ($2.74); and 2009 ($2.62).

The situation in Iraq continues to put pressure on global oil prices, as markets weigh the potential for supply disruptions from OPEC’s second largest producer. These elevated oil prices have ultimately meant stubbornly high retail gasoline prices for motorists.

Avg Gas Prices 2011-2014

This past Friday (June 27), the price at the pump reached the $4.00 mark in the state of Washington ($4.00 today) for the first time since 2013 (May 24). The Evergreen State joins Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($4.21) and California ($4.13) with prices at or above $4.00 per gallon. Prices have remained relatively stable (+/- 2 cents) over the last week in 43 states and Washington, D.C.,  and consumers in just four states have seen prices either rise or fall more than a nickel over this same period: Alaska (+7 cents), Illinois (- 6 cents), Ohio (-10 cents) and Indiana (-11 cents). Prices over the last 30 days have been more universally volatile with consumers in 31 states and Washington, D.C. posting averages that have moved either up or down over a nickel, led by Alaska (+21 cents), Ohio (-23 cents) and Indiana (-25 cents).

10 Most Expensive Avg Gas Prices-6-30

Regardless of geographic location, motorists in nearly every state are paying more at the pump than one year ago. Motorists in 40 states and Washington, D.C., are experiencing a bit of sticker shock, with prices up a dime or more compared to this time last year. This largest increases are in Michigan (+42 cents), Kentucky (+37 cents) and Ohio (+30 cents). However, four states are outside of this trend and have posted year-over-year declines: Colorado (-0.1 cent), Montana (-1 cent), Idaho (-6 cents) and Utah (-8 cents).

Top10 Monthly Increases-6-30

Energy market analysts continue to monitor the situation in Iraq and the movements of the group ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).  After capturing Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, it was rumored that ISIL would enter Baghdad or the country’s southern oil producing. These concerns caused global prices to rise, but, many analysts now see this action as unlikely in the near term barring a major offensive move by ISIL.

The conversation regarding domestic production was revived this week when two Texas energy companies received permission to export ultra-light oil to foreign buyers. The decision relates to a decades long ban on crude exports, enacted in response to the 1973 OPEC oil embargo and the historic gasoline shortages of the 1970s.  The move falls short of relaxing the ban on oil exports, which oil producers have called for, and will remain a topic of discussion in the coming months.

At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 37 cents lower at $105.37.

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