Posts Tagged ‘need gas’

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, July 6, 2015) Motorists paid the lowest price at the pump for Independence Day travel since 2010, saving 90 cents per gallon compared to the 2014 holiday. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.77 per gallon, down fractions of a penny versus one week ago. The national average price remained relatively steady over the past 30 days, despite regional fluctuations in price due to refinery issues, and today’s average represents an increase of one cent per gallon versus one month ago. Pump prices remain considerably discounted year-over-year, with drivers saving 89 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.

2012-2015_Avg-Gas-Prices

During July 2014, averages fell on all but one day during the month, for a total drop of 16 cents per gallon. Despite the decline in recent weeks, the direction of pump prices in the near term is less than certain. Consumer demand for gasoline typically climbs during July and August, and the ability of supply to keep pace with growing demand can directly impact the price at the pump. Additionally, retail averages can also be impacted by Atlantic hurricanes or issues at refineries, both capable of limiting supply and putting upward pressure on prices for drivers. While these domestic factors could influence gas prices higher, the relatively low price of crude oil is expected to keep a ceiling on the price at the pump compared to recent years. AAA still expects drivers to pay averages below $3 per gallon for the rest of the year.

Pump prices west of the Rockies continue to lead the nation with the only state averages higher than $3 per gallon. For the second week in a row motorists in Alaska ($3.48) are paying the nation’s highest price for retail gasoline. The Last Frontier is followed by regional neighbors California ($3.44), Hawaii ($3.37), Nevada ($3.20) and Washington ($3.20) as the nation’s top five most expensive markets. South Carolina ($2.43) and Mississippi ($2.47) are posting the nation’s lowest averages, discounted by more than $1 per gallon from the market leader.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices-7-6-15

Weekly price comparisons reflect drivers in 36 states and Washington, D.C. experiencing savings at the pump. Of the 14 states where the price has moved higher over this same period, 12 states are posting premiums of two cents per gallon or less. On the whole, the average price for retail gasoline has remained relatively stable, week-over-week, moving +/- 3 cents per gallon in the majority of states (47) and Washington, D.C. Three states located in the midcontinent region are outside of this trend: Ohio (-10 cents), Idaho (+7 cents) and Michigan (+6 cents) – the fluctuations in price are largely attributed to supply and demand remaining out of balance within the region following refinery issues in recent months.

Top10-Largest-Monthly-Increase-7-6-15

Despite the national average remaining relatively stable over the past 30 days, the lingering effects of regional refinery issues continue to be reflected in monthly price comparisons at the state level. The price has climbed higher in 37 states and Washington D.C. month-over-month, with the largest price movements in regions previously facing issues at major refineries. A total of seven states are posting double-digit increases over this period, led by Michigan (+22 cents), Idaho (+13 cents) and Washington (+13 cents). On the other end of the spectrum, prices are down in 13 states versus one month ago. Prices in California (-18 cents) and Nevada (-7 cents) have fallen by more than one nickel per gallon over this same period due to the earlier resolution of refinery issues in California.

Nationwide, drivers are enjoying significant discounts in the price for retail gasoline versus this same date last year. Consumers in Connecticut (-$1.04) and Washington D.C. (-$1.01) are saving more than $1 per gallon at the pump, and drivers in the vast majority of states (45 and Washington, D.C.) are posting yearly discounts of more than 75 cents per gallon.

International considerations remain front and center for oil prices, due to their potential to impact both global supply and nations’ demand for crude oil on the global market. Over the weekend Greece voted ‘no’ on a referendum over debt bailout terms, which is seen as the latest signal that the country could exit the Eurozone following its recent default on loans from the International Monetary Fund. This news puts substantial pressure on the value of the Euro and subsequently adds further strength to the U.S. dollar. A stronger U.S. dollar makes crude oil (priced in U.S. dollars) relatively more expensive for those holding other currencies, which lowers demand and pressures prices lower.

The NYMEX was closed last Friday in observance of the Independence Day holiday, and on Thursday West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled down three cents at $56.93 per barrel, reaching its lowest finish since April. Losses continued when markets reopened this morning, and prices were driven lower by the results of the Greek vote over the weekend. Shortly after the open this morning WTI had dropped $2.50 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 Tile

 

 

 

 

 

(WASHINGTON, June 30, 2015)

Americans Have Saved $65 Billion on Gas During First Six Months of the Year

  • Lower prices have helped Americans save about $65 billion on gas so far this year, compared to the first six months of 2014, which is more than $530 for every U.S. household on average. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.77 per gallon, which is the lowest average for this date since 2010 and about 91 cents per gallon less than a year ago.
  • “It is much easier for a driver to take a summer road trip knowing that they have saved hundreds of dollars on gas so far this year,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “The gas savings should continue for the rest of the summer, which could help motivate millions of Americans to travel.”
  • AAA expects 41.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for Independence Day, which is the highest total since 2007. About 35.5 million people will travel by car for the holiday. Most drivers should pay the lowest gas prices for Independence Day in at least five years.
  • S. gas prices have averaged $2.45 per gallon this year, which is the cheapest average for the first six months since 2009. During the first six months of 2014, gas prices averaged $3.52 per gallon.
  • Americans are driving more this year due to lower gas prices and a stronger economy. Gasoline demand for the first six months of the year is up about three percent compared to the same period in 2014, according to initial estimates by the Energy Information Administration. Summertime demand is even higher with the current four-week average about 4.5 percent higher than a year ago.
  • Gas prices averaged $2.78 per gallon in June, which was the lowest average for the month since 2010. By comparison, the average price of gas in June 2014 was $3.67 per gallon.
  • Gas prices remained relatively steady in June with the national average finishing the month only about three cents per gallon higher than at the beginning of the month. U.S. average gas prices are about 74 cents per gallon higher than the lows in late January.
  • Average U.S. prices reached a 2015 high of $2.80 per gallon on June 15. If this remains the highest average of the year, it would be the cheapest peak price since 2009.
  • The cost of West Texas Intermediate crude oil remained stable in June with the price settling within a relatively narrow range of $58.00-$61.26 per barrel, which has helped to prevent significant changes in the national average price of gasoline.
  • The average price of diesel is only eight cents per gallon more than gasoline today. The difference between gasoline and diesel reached its most narrow point since 2009 in June, due in part to a late peak in gas prices and seasonal factors that help reduce the cost of diesel in the summer. In January, the average price of diesel was 90 cents more expensive per gallon than gasoline.
  • Gasoline costs less than in recent years because of significantly lower crude oil costs. Crude oil remains about $50 per barrel cheaper than the highs reached in summer 2014.

 

Gas Prices May Drop this Month Due to Rising Production

  • The national average price of gas is likely to remain less than $3 per gallon this year, but there is considerable uncertainty regarding the future direction of prices. It is possible that gas prices this month will drop or at least remain relatively flat in the near term as gasoline production increases to take advantage of high profit margins. Oil prices similarly should remain near current levels given that domestic, commercial supplies are about 19 percent higher than a year ago. Nevertheless, factors such as strong summertime demand or other unexpected events could send gas prices higher.
  • “Drivers are hoping that history repeats last year’s dramatic selloff in gas prices during the second half of the summer,” continued Ash. “There is real possibility that gas prices will drop this month as millions of Americans hit the roads for their summer vacation.”
  • Fuel demand is likely to be a key factor in whether gas prices drop or increase this summer. July and August are generally the two months with the highest level of U.S. driving, which could affect supplies and prices. If gasoline stocks decline due to strong demand, it is likely that gas prices will rise. Demand generally drops significantly after Labor Day, which leads to lower gas prices in the fall.
  • There are a number of unexpected factors that could send summertime gas prices even higher than today, such as increased fighting in the Middle East, unexpected problems at major refineries or strong Atlantic hurricanes that disrupt refinery production.
  • Two international events taking place this week could help lower petroleum prices this year. First, negotiators are working on an Iranian nuclear deal, which could lead to abundant supplies of Iranian crude oil entering the markets later this autumn. Second, the effects of Greece defaulting on its debts could weaken the global economy and reduce fuel demand. Similarly, problems in Europe could lead to a stronger dollar, which generally results in lower oil prices.
  • It can be relatively common for gas prices to increase in July as more Americans take long, summer road trips. For example, gas prices increased by an average of 16 cents per gallon during the month from 2011-2013.
  • Average U.S. gas prices in July 2014 dropped for 30 out of 31 days for a total of 16 cents per gallon, due to abundant petroleum supplies worldwide. This decline was the start of an eventual $1.65 per gallon drop through January.

 

Alaska Tops Most Expensive States for Gas for the First Time Since 2011

  • Alaska because the most expensive state for gas in the country on June 27 for the first time since 2011. The five most expensive state averages include: Alaska ($3.48), California ($3.44), Hawaii ($3.38), Washington ($3.20) and Nevada ($3.19).
  • The states with the lowest average gas prices include South Carolina ($2.44), Mississippi ($2.48), Alabama ($2.50), Arkansas ($2.50) and Tennessee ($2.54).
  • About 13 percent of U.S. stations are still selling gas for more than $3 per gallon. A year ago, 99.99 percent of stations were selling gas above that price. About 15 percent of U.S. stations are still selling gas for less than $2.50 per gallon, which is about half as many as a month ago.
  • The most common price in the country today is $2.599 per gallon, which compares to $3.599 per gallon a year ago.

 

One-in-Three Americans Doubt Accuracy of Fuel Economy Ratings

  • A recent AAA survey found that 1-in-3 Americans do not believe the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new-vehicle window stickers accurately reflect real-world fuel economy.
  • AAA’s comprehensive analysis of fuel economy data submitted to the EPA’s website revealed that more than 80 percent of drivers reported fuel economy higher than the combined city and highway EPA mileage rating for their vehicle.
  • AAA independently tested three vehicles that were frequently reported as failing to achieve the EPA fuel economy and determined the EPA mileage ratings were accurate.
  • AAA concludes that driving behaviors, vehicle condition, driving environment and terrain are likely responsible for most deviations from EPA ratings that consumers experience.

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.

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.

For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082, mgreen@national.aaa.com.

Gas Prices Ease Approaching July 4 Holiday

June 29th, 2015 by Amanda Shapiro

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, June 29, 2015) Despite rising prices over the past several months, drivers are poised to pay the lowest prices at the pump over the Fourth of July holiday weekend in at least five years. Today’s average price of $2.77 per gallon is down two cents versus one week ago and down three cents from the peak price to date for 2015, which was set on June 15. While pump prices are down on the week, they are up four cents per gallon month-over-month, largely due to regional refinery issues that put upward pressure on the national average over the last 30 days. Gas prices continue to reflect considerable yearly discounts with drivers saving an average of 90 cents per gallon versus this same date last year.

2012-2015_Avg Gas Prices

Pump prices often fall leading up to the Independence Day holiday. However, a seasonal decline in the national average this year has been offset by supply shortages due to localized refinery issues and global crude prices that have recovered from multi-year lows this spring.

Drivers in the Pacific Northwest are paying some of the nation’s highest prices for retail gasoline. After 16 consecutive weeks, Alaska ($3.47) has unseated California ($3.45) as the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline and is followed by regional neighbors – Hawaii ($3.37), Washington ($3.19) and Nevada ($3.19) – as the five most expensive markets. A total of seven states are registering averages above $3 per gallon. Consumers in South Carolina ($2.45) are paying the lowest averages at the pump.

Top10 Highest Average Gas Prices-6-29-15

State level gas prices have been relatively stable over the past week, moving by +/- 3 cents in 45 states and Washington, D.C. Drivers in 39 states are experiencing weekly savings in the price at the pump, led by Illinois (-7 cents), Delaware (-6 cents) and Minnesota (-6 cents). Pump prices are up in 11 states and Washington, D.C., with the largest increases in price seen in the Midwestern state of Ohio (+8 cents).

The majority of drivers (44 states and Washington, D.C.) are paying more at the pump than one month ago, primarily due to the lingering effects of localized refinery issues. Retail averages are up by double-digits in ten states, led by the Midwestern states of Michigan (+21 cents) and Ohio (+18). On the other end of the spectrum, monthly comparisons reflect discounts in the price of retail gasoline in six states. Prices on the West Coast are recovering from a string of refinery issues, and motorists in California (-26 cents) and Nevada (-11 cents) are finally experiencing some price relief as production returns to normal.

Top10 Largest Yearly Savings-6-29-15

Drivers nationwide are paying considerably less at the pump to refuel their vehicles compared to a year ago. Retail averages are discounted by more than $1 in three states: Kentucky (-$1.02), Connecticut (-$1.02) and Michigan (-$1.01), and motorists in 45 states and Washington D.C. are saving more than 75 cents per gallon year-over-year.

Concerns of oversupply continue to characterize the global oil market. The pending June 30 deadline for an Iranian nuclear deal could contribute further to the market’s oversupply if current sanctions are removed and Iranian oil returns to the global market. However, a string of attacks in France, Tunisia, and Kuwait have been closely watched for any impact on geopolitical instability in crude-producing regions in the Middle East and North Africa. Escalating tensions in these regions have the potential to cause supply disruptions, which could contribute to price volatility in the near term.

Market watchers are also paying close attention the European Union, where Greece may default on its debt obligations this week. This sets up a Greek referendum for this coming weekend on whether the country should accept a bailout deal offered by international creditors. This news sent global oil prices lower this morning on worries of reduced global demand and the potential for instability in global financial markets.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI was down seven cents and settled at $59.63 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.

Average U.S. Gas Prices Holding Steady Near 2015 High

June 22nd, 2015 by Amanda Shapiro

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, June 22, 2015) After reaching a new high for 2015 last week ($2.80), the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has dropped slightly to $2.79 per gallon. Today’s price is five cents higher than one month ago and remains significantly discounted from this time last year with drivers saving an average of 89 cents per gallon year-over-year.

2012-2015_Avg-Gas-Prices-2

Pump prices in recent days have stabilized or even dropped in many areas as refineries solve productions issues. For example, ExxonMobil’s refinery in Joliet, Ill. and PBF Energy’s refinery in Toledo, Ohio are reportedly operating at normal rates following recent malfunctions, which should further support the region’s gasoline supplies. Gasoline production typically increases this time of year in anticipation of summer demand, and high profit margins should incentivize refineries to produce more gasoline in the near future, which may help lower gas prices.

Drivers in California ($3.49) are paying the nation’s highest averages for retail gasoline, though prices have dropped significantly as refineries increase production and the supply situation in the region improves. The Golden State is joined by its regional neighbors: Alaska ($3.44), Hawaii ($3.36), Nevada ($3.21) and Washington ($3.18) as the nation’s top five most expensive markets for retail gasoline. A total of seven states are posting averages above $3 per gallon. Consumers in South Carolina ($2.48) are paying the lowest price at the pump, and are saving more than $1 per gallon compared to California.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices-6-22-15

Retail averages were relatively stable week-over-week, moving by +/- 3 cents per gallon in 40 states and Washington, D.C. Motorists in 21 states are experiencing weekly savings at the pump, with the largest savings in the Midwest: Indiana (-15 cents), Ohio (-10 cents) and Michigan (-9 cents), largely due to refineries coming back online following production issues. On the other end of the spectrum, averages in 29 states and Washington D.C. climbed higher over this same period, although in a less dramatic fashion. The price is up by more than a nickel per gallon in four states: Washington (+8 cents), Oregon (+8 cents), Alaska (+6 cents) and Delaware (+6 cents).

Top10-Largest-Monthly-Increase-6-22-15

Motorists in the majority of states (45 and Washington, D.C.) are paying more than a month ago for gasoline. The average price per gallon is up by a nickel or more in 40 states and Washington, D.C. and by a dime more per gallon in 17 states and Washington, D.C. over this same period. Month-over-month, the largest increases in price have been in Montana (+19 cents), Alaska (+17 cents), North Dakota (+17 cents) and South Dakota (+13 cents). Outside of this trend, averages are down in five states versus one month ago. Consumers in California (-28 cents), Nevada (-10 cents) and Arizona (-6 cents) are saving the most per gallon.

Yearly price comparisons continue to reflect significant discounts for motorists nationwide. Four states are posting savings of $1 or more per gallon: Ohio (-$1.02), Kentucky (-$1.02), Connecticut (-$1.01) and Michigan (-$1.00). Drivers in a total of 45 states and Washington D.C. are saving more than 75 cents per gallon at the pumps.

Crude oil prices moved lower late last week due to a stronger U.S. dollar amid concerns about Greece’s financial instability. Eurozone leaders are continuing to negotiate in hopes of preventing a Greek default. A default or Greece’s exit from the Euro group would likely impact financial markets and could reduce global energy demand. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported its largest production levels since October 2012, and the U.S. also continues to produce at record levels. This means the global market is likely to remain oversupplied in the near term and any reductions in demand are expected to put downward pressure on price and exacerbate the current dynamic of oversupply.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI was down 84 cents and settled at $59.61 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.

Gas Prices Make Unexpected Jump

June 15th, 2015 by Amanda Shapiro

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, June 15, 2015) Pump prices have climbed higher during the previous week, even though many market experts continue to believe that gas prices are nearing a seasonal high due to the completion of seasonal refinery maintenance and abundant crude oil supplies.  The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline moved higher each of the past six days reaching today’s average of $2.80 per gallon. Today’s average price represents a new 2015 high, and the national average is five cents more than one week ago and 10 cents more than one month ago. Gas prices unexpectedly have jumped in many areas over the previous week due to a decline in gasoline stocks caused by high fuel demand and persistent refinery problems, which has limited gasoline production. Despite the rise in pump prices, drivers continue to experience significant year-over-year savings with today’s average price about 86 cents per gallon less than the same date last year.

2012-2015_Avg-Gas-Prices1

California ($3.53) is one of four states where motorists are experiencing weekly savings at the pump, yet it remains the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline. The Golden State is followed by Alaska ($3.37), Hawaii ($3.34) and Nevada ($3.23). A total of eight states are posting averages above $3 per gallon. The West Coast continues be the nation’s most expensive region for gasoline, but is closely followed by the Midwest, where  a drawdown in gasoline stocks and issues at regional refineries have combined to push prices dramatically higher.  Drivers in South Carolina ($2.49) and Mississippi ($2.52) are paying the lowest averages at the pump.

On the whole, pump prices are trending higher week-over-week. Averages have moved higher in 46 states and Washington, D.C. over this same period, and drivers in 19 states and Washington, D.C. are paying a nickel or more per gallon to refuel their vehicles. The largest jumps in price were in the Midwestern states of Indiana (+28 cents), Michigan (+25 cents) and Ohio (+13 cents). The only states with weekly declines include California (-8 cents), Nevada (-3 cents) and Arizona (-2 cents) and New Mexico (fractions of a penny).

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices-6-15-151

Monthly price comparisons also reflect higher averages for American drivers. Consumers in 47 states and Washington, D.C., are paying more at the pump, and the price is up by a nickel or more in 45 states and Washington, D.C. The states posting the most dramatic month-over-month increases in price include: Michigan (+33 cents), Illinois (+25 cents), Montana (+24 cents), Indiana (+21 cents) and Ohio (+21 cents). Drivers in a total of 34 states and Washington, D.C. are paying monthly premiums of a dime or more per gallon. The only three states where the price has moved lower over this same period are the Western states of California (-28 cents), Nevada (-6 cents) and Arizona (-4 cents).

Retail averages remain significantly discounted year-over-year, with the majority of drivers (45 states and Washington, D.C.) saving more than 75 cents per gallon. The largest discounts in the price at the pump are in Ohio (-$1.04), Hawaii (-$1.02) and Kentucky (-$1.01).

Top10-Largest-Weekly-Increase-6-15-151

Even though regional refinery issues have driven the recent increase in the national average for retail gasoline, the cost of crude oil remains the underlying factor in the price motorists pay at the pump. Market analysts continue to suggest that ample crude oil supply will outpace global demand and characterize oil markets in the near term. Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading crude exporter, is reportedly prepared to increase its production to meet strong demand, which likely would keep a ceiling on the price of crude. Domestic production also remains elevated and is expected to remain at or near current levels, despite the reduction in U.S. oil rig counts.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI was down 81 cents and settled at $59.96 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 Tile(WASHINGTON, June 8, 2015) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has remained steady over the past week and continues to hover near at what many expect to be the highest average of the year. Today’s price of $2.75 per gallon is fractions of a penny higher than a week ago and is nine cents per gallon higher than one month ago. While pump prices across the country have increased since April, consumers are saving 90 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.

2012-2015-Average-Gas-Prices

Gas prices likely are poised for a seasonal decline given that refineries generally complete maintenance by this time of year and gear up production for the busy summer driving season. In addition, the cost of crude oil is unlikely to rise significantly in the near term given that OPEC decided not to cut production at its most recent meeting. Nevertheless, a number of factors could cause prices to inch higher during the summer driving season, such as geopolitical issues in the Middle East, unexpected problems at major refineries or a major hurricane that disrupts production, refining and distribution.

Pump prices in the Midwest recently surged due to a series of a refinery issues in the region that have limited production. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, gasoline production in the Midwest during the most recent week fell to its lowest levels since late March. Meanwhile, prices on the West Coast are stabilizing due to a surge in imports that have helped to offset supply issues stemming from refinery problems.

California ($3.61) remains the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline. A total of seven states, all located in the Western United States, have averages above $3 per gallon, including Alaska ($3.37), Hawaii ($3.31), Nevada ($3.26), Washington ($3.06), Utah ($3.02) and Oregon ($3.02). The nation’s least expensive markets for retail gasoline are South Carolina ($2.45), Mississippi ($2.47) and Arkansas ($2.50).

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices-6-8-15

Week-over-week prices have been relatively stable, moving just +/- 3 cents in more than half of the states (31). Consumers in 37 states and Washington, D.C. are paying more at the pump versus one week ago, with averages in eight states reflecting increases of a nickel or more per gallon. The largest increases in price over this period were in Minnesota (+8 cents), Alaska (+7 cents) and Montana (+7 cents). Prices moved lower in 13 states versus one week ago, and the largest savings in the price at the pump were in Indiana (-10 cents), Ohio (-9 cents) and California (-9 cents).

Top10-Largest-Monthly-Increase-6-8-15

The majority of drivers nationwide (49 states and Washington, D.C.) are paying more per gallon than one month ago. Averages moved higher by a nickel or more per gallon in 43 states and Washington, D.C., and drivers in 19 states and Washington D.C. are paying a dime or more per gallon month-over-month. Drivers in Montana (+27 cents), Alaska (+21 cents), Wyoming (+21 cents) and Illinois (+20 cents) have seen prices move dramatically higher over this same period, largely due to regional refinery issues. California is the only state outside of this trend, and motorists in the state are seeing monthly savings of 11 cents per gallon as prices have retreated following a substantial run-up.

Pump prices continue to be significantly discounted versus one year ago and motorists are poised to pay the lowest prices during the summer driving season since 2009. Retail averages are down in every state and Washington, D.C., with consumers 45 states and Washington, D.C. saving at least 75 cents per gallon year-over-year. The Midwestern states of Indiana (-$1.25) and Michigan (-$1.24) are posting the largest savings over this same period, and the price at the pump is down by $1 or more in a total of nine states.

As expected, OPEC opted to maintain its current production levels during its June 5 meeting in Vienna, and the global oil market is likely to remain oversupplied in the near term. The oil cartel explained its decision by citing expectations of increased demand from emerging economies and the fact that recent increases in the global price have made the market favorable for both producers and consumers. OPEC plans to continue to monitor developments in the coming months and could reassess their decision at their next meeting scheduled for December 4.

At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX on Friday, West Texas Intermediate crude oil increased $1.13, settling at $59.13 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.

Cheapest Summer Gas Prices since 2009 on the Way

June 1st, 2015 by Amanda Shapiro

Michael Green Contact Tile

Lower Gas Prices Inspiring Summer Road Trips

  • Today’s national average price of gas is $2.75 per gallon, which is the highest average of the year. There is a good chance that average U.S. gas prices will drop soon due to stabilizing crude oil costs and as refineries complete seasonal maintenance, which would result in the cheapest summertime gas prices since 2009.
  • “This could be the year of the summer road trip with lower gas prices motivating millions of people to travel,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “Many drivers are likely to save hundreds of dollars this summer as gas prices remain more affordable than in recent years.”
  • Summer travel is expected to be busy, in part due to lower gas prices. About 6 in 10 Americans say they are more likely to take a road trip of 50 miles or more in 2015 if gas prices remain near recent levels, according to a AAA survey. AAA forecast that 33 million people would drive for Memorial Day weekend, which was the highest total in a decade.
  • The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently estimated that gasoline demand for the week leading up to Memorial Day was the highest weekly total since August 2007, which may also indicate that many people are taking advantage of lower gas prices to travel.
  • Supplies of both oil and gasoline remain abundant, which should help keep gas prices much lower than in recent years. U.S. commercial crude oil stocks are about 22 percent higher than a year ago, while gasoline stocks are about four percent higher than last year, according to the EIA.
  • Gas prices often drop or remain flat in June as refineries complete seasonal maintenance and gear up production for the busy summer driving season. Gas prices have declined by an average of 12 cents per gallon in June over the past five years. This production trend likely will continue this year, which means gasoline supplies could soon grow even more plentiful.
  • S. oil production may have reached a balance in supply and demand given that many producers reportedly can break even with oil at $50-$60 per barrel. Domestic oil prices may not rise significantly in the near term because any further increase in price could lead to a rise in production, which likely would return prices lower.
  • OPEC is scheduled to meet on June 5 to determine production quotas going forward. Most analysts do not expect the organization to announce major changes during the meeting, but any surprises could have a significant impact on gas prices.
  • Despite expectations for lower prices, there are a number of factors that could send summertime gas prices even higher than today, such as increased fighting in the Middle East, unexpected problems at major refineries or strong Atlantic hurricanes.

Average Gas Prices Jump at Fastest Seasonal Pace in Three Years

  • Average U.S. prices have increased by 71 cents per gallon since late January, which is the largest seasonal increase since 2012. Average prices increased 26 out of 31 days in May for a total of 17 cents per gallon, making it the largest increase for the month since 2009.
  • “Gas prices have jumped much faster this spring than we typically see because of seasonal refinery issues and rising oil costs,” continued Ash. “The pain has been less costly than in the past though because gasoline remains a relative bargain in most areas compared to recent years.”
  • Gas prices have increased since January due to a combination of rising crude oil costs, seasonal refinery maintenance, unexpected refinery problems and the switchover to summer-blend gasoline.
  • The cost of crude oil has increased by about $15 per barrel since reaching a six-year low in the middle of March. Oil is the primary cost associated with producing gasoline and any increase in the cost of oil generally leads to higher gas prices. Crude oil prices have increased this spring primarily due to slowing U.S. production and continued risks associated with conflict in the Middle East.
  • Many refineries conduct maintenance in the spring to prepare equipment for production during the busy summer driving season. Refineries conducting maintenance generally produce less gasoline, which can lead to tighter supplies and higher prices. In addition, unexpected refinery problems at this time of year can make the supply situation even worse and lead to a surge in regional prices.
  • Gas stations in many parts of the country switch to summer-blend gasoline by June 1. This blend reduces smog and improves air quality at higher temperatures, but it costs slightly more to produce.
  • The average price of gas in May was $2.69 per gallon, which was the lowest average for the month since 2009. By comparison, the average price of gas in May 2014 was nearly $1 per gallon more expensive at $3.66 per gallon.
  • Gasoline costs less than in recent years because of significantly lower crude oil costs. Despite recent increases, crude oil remains about $50 per barrel cheaper than the highs reached in summer 2014. Crude oil prices dropped during the second half of 2014 due to abundant global supplies and production. The most recent settlement price for WTI crude was $60.30 per barrel.
  • Gas prices on the West Coast continue to be the highest in the nation due to regional refinery problems. California’s average has been the most expensive in the country for almost every day since February 26, when California’s average climbed above Hawaii for the first time since October 2012. California’s prices began to jump in February following an explosion at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, Calif., which has helped limit fuel production across the region. The region likely will continue paying among the highest prices in the country this summer, though California’s average has dropped about 12 cents per gallon since the middle of May.

$3 per Gallon Gasoline Far Too Common in the Western United States

  • The only states in the country with average gas prices above $3 per gallon are in the western United States. The states with average prices above $3 per gallon include: California ($3.70), Hawaii ($3.30), Nevada ($3.30), Alaska ($3.30), Washington ($3.06), Oregon ($3.03) and Utah ($3.03).
  • In the central and southeastern United States it is still relatively common to find gas for under $2.50 per gallon. The states with average prices below $2.50 per gallon include: Mississippi ($2.44), South Carolina ($2.44), Oklahoma ($2.46), Arkansas ($2.47), Louisiana ($2.48), Missouri ($2.48), Tennessee ($2.49) and Alabama ($2.49).
  • About 87 percent of U.S. stations are still selling gas for less than $3 per gallon. A year ago, 99.99 percent of stations were selling gas above that price. About 25 percent of U.S. stations are still selling gas for less than $2.50 per gallon.
  • The most common price in the country today is $2.599 per gallon, which compares to $3.599 per gallon a year ago.

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.

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082, mgreen@national.aaa.com.

National Pump Prices Likely Near a Seasonal Peak

June 1st, 2015 by Amanda Shapiro

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, June 1, 2015) After a steady increase in recent months, it is possible that national pump prices may be near a seasonal peak. Gas prices surged this spring due to a rally in crude oil prices from multi-year lows, seasonal refinery maintenance, the changeover to summer-blend gasoline and domestic refinery issues that have impacted regional production. Today’s national average of $2.75 per gallon is fractions of a penny higher than one week ago and 14 cents more per gallon than one month ago.

While pump prices have been rising, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline remains significantly discounted versus this same date last year (-92 cents) and consumers are on target to pay the lowest prices at the pump during the summer driving season since 2009. Relatively low prices at the pump, combined with a recovering economy, have contributed to drivers traveling more during the first quarter of the year than any other year on record.

There is the possibility that some consumers could see prices temporarily climb higher later this summer if severe weather impacts refinery production. The Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway and spans from June 1-November 30.  This year’s season is expected to be below-normal, meaning between three to six tropical storms have a 70 percent chance of becoming hurricanes. These storms have the potential to disrupt production, refining and distribution. Shortages in supply could lead to regional price spikes and/or shortages in select markets should any tropical storms or hurricanes make landfall.

Midwestern drivers continue to face higher prices as a result of supply issues in the region. Another major refinery located in Toledo, Ohio is expected to be offline for two to three weeks while the fluid catalytic cracking unit is replaced, and prices in surrounding states will likely be impacted. This latest outage is in addition to ExxonMobil’s Joliet, Ill. refinery and Citgo’s refinery in Lemont, Ill., which are both running at reduced rates.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices-6-1-15

While Midwest prices are pointed higher, West Coast prices continue to lead the market by posting the nation’s highest averages for retail gasoline. California ($3.69) leads the market and is approximately 40 cents more per gallon than second place Hawaii ($3.30). Nevada ($3.30), Alaska ($3.30) and Washington ($3.06) round out the nation’s top five most expensive markets. On the other end of the spectrum, pump prices in the coastal states of Mississippi and South Carolina are the lowest in the nation, both at $2.44 per gallon.

Pump prices are relatively stable week-over-week, with averages moving by +/- 3 cents per gallon in 44 states and Washington, D.C. Weekly comparisons show that drivers in 37 states and Washington, D.C. are paying more to refuel their vehicles; however the increases were less dramatic than recent Fuel Gauge Reports. The average price is up by a nickel or more per gallon in four states: Ohio (+8 cents), Montana (+6 cents), Delaware (+6 cents) and Georgia (+5 cents). Of the 13 states where the price has fallen since one week ago, California (-7 cents) is the only state posting a discount at the pump of more than a nickel per gallon.

Consumers nationwide are paying more to refuel their vehicles month-over-month, and with the exception of California (+1 cent), the price has climbed by a nickel or more per gallon in every state. Retail averages have jumped by more than a dime per gallon in 36 states and Washington, D.C. over this same period, with the largest premiums per gallon paid by consumers in Ohio (+36 cents), and Illinois (+30 cents).

Yearly price comparisons continue to reflect significant discounts in the price at the pump and drivers in 48 states and Washington, D.C. are saving more than 50 cents per gallon. The only two states outside of this trend are the West Coast states of California (-43 cents) and Nevada (-50 cents) where the price for retail gasoline has recently climbed due to regional refinery issues. Averages are down by $1 or more in 12 states and Washington, D.C. versus this same date last year, with motorists in Michigan (-$1.16), Indiana (-$1.16) and Ohio (-$1.15) saving the most per gallon.

Top10-Largest-Yearly-Savings-6-1-15

Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices rallied to close out this past week, following reports of violence in Saudi Arabia and weekly U.S. rig counts falling by double-digits. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, domestic gasoline demand is trending higher than in previous years but the impact of this increase on retail gasoline prices is uncertain. Additionally, it is generally expected that OPEC will sustain its current output levels when it meets on June 5 in Vienna, keeping the global market oversupplied in the near term and placing a ceiling on how high crude prices could move.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled $2.62 higher at $60.30 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.

Memorial Day Gas Prices Highest of the Year

May 26th, 2015 by Amanda Shapiro

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, May 26, 2015) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline reached its highest price of the year on Memorial Day ($2.74) after rising for 39 of 41 days. Today’s average price of $2.74 per gallon is fractions of a penny less than yesterday. Drivers are paying three cents more than one week ago, eight cents more than two-weeks ago and 21 cents more than one month ago to refuel their vehicles. Despite the overall trend of rising averages, consumers paid the lowest prices at the pump for the holiday since 2010. Significant yearly discounts remain, due to relatively low prices for crude oil, with today’s national average representing a savings of 92 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.

2012-2015_Avg Gas Prices

Pump prices have recently trended higher due to an increase in the price of global crude and localized refinery issues, particularly in the Midwest and on the West Coast. Although West Coast states continue to post the nation’s highest state averages, the most dramatic weekly increases have been in the Midwest, largely attributed to production issues in that market. ExxonMobil’s Joliet, Ill. refinery is continuing to operate at reduced production levels, and CITGO’s refinery in Lemont, Ill. is reportedly scheduled to conduct maintenance work in the coming days, which could also add additional volatility to the regional market. Motorists on the West Coast are not completely out of the woods, and the residual impacts of reduced supply could keep prices high in the coming weeks.

California ($3.76), Nevada ($3.32), Hawaii ($3.28), Alaska ($3.27) and Washington ($3.05) are the five most expensive markets for retail gasoline. A total of seven states, all in the western region, are posting averages above $3 per gallon. Drivers in South Carolina ($2.43), Mississippi ($2.44) and Oklahoma ($2.45) are paying the lowest prices at the pump, and their prices are discounted by more than $1.25 per gallon compared to California.

Top10 Highest Average Gas Prices-5-26-15

The impact of refinery issues is seen in both weekly and bi-weekly price comparisons. Week-over-week, the average price for retail gasoline has moved higher in 47 states and Washington, D.C. The Midwestern states of Illinois (+13 cents) and Ohio (+10 cents), are the only two posting double-digit increases over this period and the price is up by a nickel or more in a total of 10 states. California (-5 cents), the nation’s most expensive market, is outside of this trend and is joined by Oklahoma and Arizona where the price has fallen by fractions of a penny since one week ago. Two-week price comparisons also reflect this trend of rising prices. The average price for retail gasoline has increased in every state and Washington D.C., over this same period, and the most dramatic increases in price are Ohio (+23 cents), Illinois (+21 cents) and Michigan (+20 cents).

Top10 Monthly Savings-12-01-14

Monthly comparisons also reflect overall increases in the price of retail gasoline. With the exception of Florida (+9 cents), pump prices are up by a dime or more per gallon nationwide. The largest jumps in price are on the West Coast where refinery issues have impacted prices over a longer stretch, and drivers in Nevada (+39 cents), California (+38 cents) and Utah (+33) are paying the largest month-over-month premiums.

Compared to this same date last year, drivers nationwide are paying significantly less at the pump. The magnitude of savings has narrowed somewhat due to rising prices, and motorists in just 11 states and Washington, D.C. are now saving $1 or more per gallon – down 10 states since last week’s report. Ohio (-$1.13), Kentucky (-$1.12) and Michigan (-$1.12) are saving the most per gallon at the pump, while California (-37 cents) and Nevada (-46 cents) are the only two states with discounts below 50 cents per gallon.

Volatility is expected to continue to characterize global oil prices, with a number of variables potentially impacting the sensitive balance between supply and demand.  Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East are persisting, largely due to violence by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which adds a level of risk to regional oil production. At the same time, the strength of the U.S. dollar is improving on the heels of improved inflation data. A stronger dollar makes crude oil relatively more expensive for those overseas, which puts downward pressure on prices. Both factors are likely to influence the global price in the near term and market watchers are closely monitoring the ultimate impact on the global price of crude.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled $1 lower at $59.72 per barrel.

Pump Prices Surge Approaching Memorial Day Weekend

May 18th, 2015 by Amanda Shapiro

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, May 18, 2015) One week from the Memorial Day holiday, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has increased on 32 of the past 34 days, reaching today’s price $2.71 per gallon. Consumers are paying a nickel per gallon more than one week ago and 26 cents more per gallon than one month ago. Despite the national average continuing to register new highs for 2015, drivers are still experiencing significant yearly savings at the pump and today’s price is discounted by 94 cents year-over-year, making it the lowest average for this date since 2009.

2012-2015_Avg-Gas-Prices1

Pump prices have moved higher nationwide in recent months, largely due to the global rally in crude prices. While consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. have felt the impact of more expensive crude oil, gas prices in several regions have seen more dramatic increases due to refinery problems.  The West Coast continues to lead the market with some of the nation’s highest averages for retail gasoline due to localized refinery issues over the past several months, which have kept supplies tight and prices tilted higher. This region is relatively isolated from other markets and is more dependent on in-region production, making it harder for the market to adjust to supply disruptions.

While West Coast prices have surged higher for weeks, prices across the Midwest have posted among the most dramatic jumps in the past week. The Midwestern increase has been due to regional production issues, including a problem at ExxonMobil’s 248,000 barrel per day Joliet refinery in Channahon, Ill. While reports of reduced output from the facility sparked sharp increases at the pump for Midwestern drivers, wholesale gasoline prices were more stable today, though the refinery may operate at reduced rates for about two weeks.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices-5-18-15

For the 12th consecutive week, California ($3.81) leads the market with drivers paying an average price that is more than $1 per gallon above the national average. Nevada ($3.30), Hawaii ($3.25), Alaska ($3.21), Oregon ($3.02) and Washington ($3.02) round out the most expensive markets and are the only states posting averages above $3 per gallon. Motorists in South Carolina ($2.38), Mississippi ($2.42) and Louisiana ($2.43) are paying the least to fill their tanks.

With the exception of Pennsylvania, where the price has moved lower by fractions of a penny, consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are paying more at the pump week-over-week. Ohio (+12 cents) and Michigan (+11 cents) are both posting double-digit increases over this same period, and 17 states are registering premiums of a nickel or more per gallon versus one week ago.

Top10-Largest-Monthly-Increase-5-18-15

Monthly comparisons reflect sizable movement in pump prices nationwide. The price at the pump has jumped by a quarter or more per gallon in 13 states, with the largest increases in California (+68 cents), Nevada (+50 cents), Arizona (+41 cents) and Utah (+37 cents).

Contrary to weekly and monthly price comparisons, motorists nationwide are paying less to refuel their vehicles year-over-year. The price is discounted by $1 or more in 21 states and Washington, D.C., with the largest savings in Michigan (-$1.13), Kentucky (-$1.13) and Indiana (-$1.12), despite the recent price spike in the Midwest.

The global oil market remains oversupplied, but market watchers are closely monitoring U.S. production and the recent outbreak of violence in the Middle East for any impact that could shift this balance. Volatility will likely continue to characterize the global market in the near term as traders closely watch the balance between supply and demand. In particular, more expensive crude could lead to an increase in production and supply, which could put a ceiling on the current rally in price.  Speculators are also interpreting the latest action by the so-called Islamic State, who seized control of the city of Ramadi, Iraq, as a reminder of regional instability in the near term.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI was down 19 cents and settled at $59.69 per barrel.

Podcasts

B-Roll

YouTube Videos

AAA Senior Driver Expos

NewsRoom Video Gallery

Media: Find and Download AAA Videos and B Roll.