Posts Tagged ‘open gas stations’

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, October 26 ,2015) Falling crude oil prices supported by builds in domestic inventory have contributed to the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline moving lower over the past several weeks. The average price at the pump has fallen for 17 consecutive days, for a total savings of 12 cents per gallon. The national average currently sits at $2.20 per gallon, the lowest price since February. Motorists are enjoying lower prices at the pump, with today’s average reflecting a discount of six cents per gallon week-over-week and nine cents per gallon month-over-month. Pump prices remain significantly lower than this same date last year and the national average is down 85 cents per gallon.

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This year’s autumn refinery maintenance season has been heavier than usual due to a busy summer driving season, which caused refineries to operate at higher rates for longer periods of time. Although the planned maintenance season is well underway, regional pump prices could remain volatile due to fluctuations in supply and demand. However, ample domestic supply is expected to keep the broader national average relatively steady as the refinery maintenance season concludes. Market fundamentals continue to suggest that the national average could fall below the $2 per gallon benchmark before the end of the year for the first time since 2009, barring any unanticipated disruptions in supply or unforeseen jumps in the price of crude oil.

A total of eight states are posting averages below the $2 per gallon threshold, with consumers in South Carolina ($1.89), Alabama ($1.92) and Mississippi ($1.92) paying the lowest averages at the pump. Drivers in Hawaii ($2.89) are paying the nation’s highest average price to refuel their vehicles, and states located west of the Rockies continue to post the highest averages for retail gasoline. California ($2.85), Nevada ($2.76), Alaska ($2.53) and Washington ($2.45) round out the top five most expensive markets for retail gasoline. For the fourth consecutive week drivers in every state are paying averages below $3 per gallon.

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With the exception of Michigan (+2 cents), drivers nationwide are enjoying weekly savings at the pump. Motorists in more than half (27) of the states are saving a nickel or more per gallon week-over-week and three Midwestern states are posting double-digit savings over this same period: Indiana (-17 cents), Ohio (-16 cents) and Illinois (-11 cents). October has been reported to be a historic month for planned refinery maintenance for the Midwest and price volatility could continue to characterize the regional market leading into the winter months.

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The vast majority of drivers (45 states and Washington, D.C.) are experiencing monthly savings in the price of retail gasoline. Pump prices are down a nickel or more per gallon in 32 states and Washington, D.C., and consumers in 17 states have seen prices decline by double-digit increments month-over-month. Alaska (-52 cents), Indiana (-28 cents), Idaho (-28 cents), Colorado (-26 cents) and Utah (-26 cents) are posting the largest savings in price over this same period. Prices have moved higher in five states, although in a much less dramatic fashion. Iowa (+7 cents) is the only state where drivers are paying a monthly premium of more than nickel per gallon.

Significant yearly discounts in the price of retail gasoline persist, and drivers 45 states and Washington, D.C. are saving at least 75 cents per gallon when they refuel their vehicles. A total of six states are posting year-over-year savings of $1 or more per gallon, with the largest savings at the pump seen in Alaska (-$1.24), Hawaii (-$1.17) and Connecticut (-$1.09). Nevada (-46 cents) remains the only state where drivers are not experiencing yearly saving of at least 50 cents per gallon.

A bearish sentiment continues to prevail in the global oil market and reports are beginning to surface that current low prices for crude oil are impacting outlooks for oil companies, evidenced by announcements in cutbacks and delays in new project investments. Technical experts from both OPEC and non-OPEC countries convened last week, and many hoped action to address the market’s oversupply was on the horizon, but cuts to production were not discussed.

Market watchers to start the week are reportedly focused on a key decision on interest rates by the U.S. Federal Reserve and economic data from the U.S. The Fed has kept interest rates relatively unchanged since 2008 in effort to stimulate economic growth. An increase in the Fed interest rate typically leads to a strengthening U.S. dollar, which makes oil relatively more expensive for those holding foreign currencies. This move could further exacerbate the market’s current state and keep a ceiling on global oil prices in the near term.

Oil rigs in the U.S. fell for the eighth consecutive week, however the latest data from the U.S. Department of Energy points to an increase in domestic crude oil stocks. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell below the $45 per barrel benchmark last week for the first time since early October, and closed out Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX down 78 cents with a settlement at $44.60 per barrel.

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

Pump Prices Continue to Fall

October 19th, 2015 by AAA

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, October 19, 2015) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 10 consecutive days, reaching today’s price of $2.26 per gallon. Today’s average is a low unseen since February 2015, and represents a savings of 55 cents per gallon compared to the 2015 peak price of $2.80 (June 15).  Drivers are saving six cents per gallon week-over-week and four cents per gallon month-over-month. Significant yearly savings persist, and the national average is discounted by 86 cents per gallon from this same date last year.

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Regional volatility is relatively common at this time of year due to fluctuations in supply and demand, resulting from both planned and unplanned maintenance.  Depending on the severity, these regional fluctuations in price can impact the national average. This year’s autumn refinery maintenance season was expected to be heavier than usual due to refineries operating at higher than normal rates in order to meet demand from the busy summer driving season. However, ample domestic supply kept a ceiling on pump prices in addition to helping to keep the national average relatively steady since September 15. This factor has also been a contributing factor to prices moving lower over the past several days. Barring any unanticipated disruptions in supply, and/or spikes in the price of crude oil, the national average could fall below the $2 per gallon threshold for the first time since 2009 before the end of year.

Motorists in South Carolina ($1.94) and New Jersey ($1.97) are paying the nation’s lowest prices at the pump, and a total of five states are posting retail averages below $2 per gallon. States west of the Rockies continue to post the highest averages at the pump, however, for the third consecutive week drivers in every state are paying averages below $3 per gallon. Hawaii ($2.90) unseated California ($2.88) as the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline and the two market leaders are joined by regional neighbors Nevada ($2.82), Alaska ($2.63) and Utah ($2.51) as the top five most expensive markets.

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Regional volatility appears to be easing, and with the exception of Hawaii (+2 cents), motorists nationwide are experiencing savings at the pump week-over-week. Pump prices have fallen by double-digit increments in nine states over this same period and averages are down by a nickel or more per gallon in a total of 17 states. The largest weekly savings are seen in the Midwestern states of Indiana (-19 cents), Ohio (-17 cents) and Michigan   (-13 cents), likely a welcome change compared to previous weeks where prices moved higher in a similar fashion.

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Monthly price comparisons continue to reflect some volatility with pump prices moving by double-digits at both ends of the spectrum. Drivers in 33 states and Washington, D.C. have seen prices move lower month-over-month, and pump prices in the majority of these states (15) are discounted by a dime or more per gallon. Consumers in Alaska (-53 cents), Idaho (-29 cents) and Colorado (-27 cents) are saving the most per gallon to refuel their vehicles and prices in all three states are down by a quarter or more per gallon month-over-month. On the other end of the spectrum, drivers in 17 states are paying monthly premiums – although averages have moved upward in a less dramatic fashion. Pump prices have moved higher by  nickel or more per gallon in seven states over this same period, and motorists in a total of three states have seen prices move higher by double-digit increments: Minnesota (+13 cents), Oklahoma (+11 cents) and Iowa (+11 cents).

Year-over-year discounts in the price of retail gasoline continue, and drivers nationwide are experiencing savings at the pump. Retail averages are discounted by $1 or more in nine states, led by: Alaska (-$1.19),

Hawaii (-$1.19), Connecticut (-$1.11) and Vermont (-$1.11). Drivers in 37 states and Washington, D.C. are saving at least 75 cents per gallon or more, and Nevada (-49 cents) is the only state where pump prices are not discounted my more than 50 cents per gallon in comparison to this same date last year.

A number of factors have the potential to shift the global price of crude oil in the weeks ahead. The Iranian nuclear deal is once again front-of-mind, as global negotiators continue to move forward, which could bring Iranian oil back to the market in as little as two months. China’s economic growth rate fell below seven percent for the first time since 2009, putting a damper on speculations that demand from this country could offset some of the market’s oversupply.

Like the global market, the domestic oil market is also characterized by oversupply and the most recent reports from the U.S. EIA show a recent build in crude oil. Refinery maintenance is ongoing, making it likely that total domestic inventories of crude oil could hit another record-high, keeping the market oversupplied. WTI opened the week falling below the mid-$40 per barrel range, despite closing the week up 88 cents and settling at $47.26 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, October 12, 2015) After 13 consecutive days of holding steady at $2.29 per gallon, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline began ticking higher last week, reaching today’s price of $2.31 per gallon. Today’s average represents an increase of two cents per gallon compared to one week ago; however prices have fallen for 46 of the past 56 days for a total of 36 cents per gallon. On the whole, pump prices remain discounted across the country, and drivers are saving an average of four cents per gallon month-over-month, and 89 cents per gallon year-over-year.

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The refinery maintenance season is reportedly nearing its peak, and the national average has been relatively stable since September 15. While national prices have been steady, pump prices in some regions have moved dramatically over this same period, largely due to fluctuations in supply and demand. Averages in the Midwest remain under pressure due to a growing list of both planned and unplanned maintenance for refineries located in the region. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Midwest refinery utilization rate fell below 80 percent for the first time since 2013, which means production was running well below capacity. Prior to the start of the fall turnaround season, the Midwest refinery utilization rate was nearly 99 percent, and this marked decline is contributing to tightening supply in the region. Ample domestic supplies are expected to temper any regional price spikes, preventing the national average from moving dramatically higher. Before the end of the year, drivers could still see the national average fall below $2 per gallon for the first time since 2009, assuming crude oil prices do not increase and there are not unexpected disruptions to supply.

For the second week in a row, retail averages are below $3 per gallon in every state. California ($2.91) remains the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline and is joined by Hawaii ($2.88), Nevada ($2.86), Alaska ($2.74) and Illinois ($2.58) in the rankings as the top five most expensive markets. Motorists in South Carolina ($1.97) and New Jersey ($1.98) are paying averages below $2 per gallon, and five additional states are within a nickel of this benchmark.

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The stable national average obscures volatility in weekly price comparisons at the state level, with averages moving by double-digit increments on both ends of the spectrum. Pump prices in the majority of states (33 and Washington, D.C.) have moved higher week-over-week and averages in eight states are up by a dime or more per gallon. The Midwestern states of Iowa (+18 cents), Nebraska (+17 cents) and Minnesota (+17) are posting the largest increases in price over this same period, and consumers in a total of 13 states are paying premiums of a nickel or more per gallon. Retail averages have fallen in 17 states versus one week ago, although in a less dramatic fashion. Alaska (-17 cents) is the only state where averages are down by more than a dime per gallon, and prices are discounted by a nickel or more per gallon in a total of five states.

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Regional volatility is also apparent in month-over-month price comparisons. Averages are down in 31 states and Washington, D.C., and consumers in the majority of these states (22 states) are benefiting from double-digit discounts at the pump. Six states located west of the Rockies are posting savings of more than a quarter per gallon, led by Alaska (-57 cents), Oregon (-31 cents) and Washington (-30 cents). Drivers in 19 states are paying more to refuel their vehicles versus one month ago, and the price is up by a dime or more in six states. The largest monthly premiums are seen in the Midwestern states of Indiana (+30 cents), Ohio (+23 cents) and Minnesota (+22 cents).

Despite the regional fluctuations in price, year-over-year discounts persist in every state and Washington, D.C. Pump prices are down in 36 states and Washington, D.C. by 75 cents per gallon or more, and motorists in 18 states are saving $1 or more compared to this same date last year. Drivers in Hawaii (-$1.25), Connecticut (-$1.17) and Vermont (-$1.16) are saving the most per gallon over this period.

The global oil market remains in flux and speculation about the future direction of the market continues to be focused on questions of supply and demand. Both crude oil benchmarks, West Texas Intermediate and Brent, posted weekly gains, but there is uncertainty of the direction that prices will move in the months ahead. The general secretary for OPEC has provided little insight about the cartel’s plans for future production, however he did state the belief that market fundamentals are contributing to non-OPEC countries reducing their output. Geopolitical instability in the Middle East and Russia’s plans for production are also font of mind, and prices are expected to remain volatile in the near term.

Domestic oil prices had an end-of-week boost driven by a weakening U.S. dollar and news that U.S. oil rigs were down by nine from the week prior. WTI closed out Friday’s formal trading session up 20 cents, settling at $49.63 per barrel. This represents a week-over-week gain of approximately $4 per barrel, marking the largest weekly increase since mid-July.

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, October 5, 2015) Pump prices remain relatively stable, with today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline holding at $2.29 per gallon for the 12th consecutive day. Today’s average price is up by fractions of a penny compared to one week ago, but has moved lower for 43 of the past 49 days, providing drivers with a savings of 12 cents per gallon month-over-month. Significant yearly discounts remain with drivers saving $1.01 per gallon on average, largely attributed to cheaper crude oil and ample gasoline supplies.

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Retail averages have declined 51 cents per gallon since reaching the 2015 peak price of $2.80 per gallon on June 15. The national average tends to move lower during the autumn and winter months due to seasonal declines in both driving and gasoline demand, and pump prices have fallen during the month of October for three years in a row. Despite refineries going offline to conduct scheduled maintenance, there should still be more than enough gasoline to meet demand because people tend to drive less this time of year. Barring any major disruptions in supply, the national average is expected to move lower by the end of the year, and for the first time since 2009, could fall below the $2 per gallon benchmark.

Drivers in every state are paying an average price at the pump below $3 per gallon for the first time since 2009. Averages on the West Coast remain some of the highest in the nation, and California ($2.94) unseated Alaska ($2.91) as the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline. Nevada ($2.90), Hawaii ($2.88) and Utah ($2.64) round out the top five most expensive markets for fuel; however, prices have fallen in all of these states week-over-week.  Consumers in New Jersey ($1.96) and South Carolina ($1.96) are paying the nation’s lowest averages at the pump, and a total of four states have retail averages below $2 per gallon.

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Drivers in the majority of states (29 and Washington, D.C.) are paying less at the pump week-over-week, although some volatility remains. Retail averages are down by a nickel or more in eight states over this same period, with the largest discounts experienced by drivers in Alaska (-13 cents), Idaho (-8 cents), Colorado (-7 cents) and Oregon (-7 cents). Weekly comparisons reveal that prices have moved higher in 21 states, although in a slightly less dramatic fashion. Consumers in four states are paying weekly increases of a nickel or more per gallon: Michigan (+9 cents), Ohio (+5 cents), Kansas (+5 cents), and Minnesota (+5 cents).

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With the exception of three states in the Midwest: Ohio (+17 cents), Michigan (+14 cents) and Indiana (+9 cents), motorists nationwide are benefitting from monthly saving in the price of retail gasoline. Averages in the Midwest have been under pressure, due to both planned and unplanned maintenance, at some of the region’s major refineries, and prices should remain relatively volatile as the maintenance continues. Prices have moved lower on the month in 47 states, and drivers in 37 states and Washington, D.C. are experiencing double-digit savings at the pump during that time. Pump prices are discounted by a quarter or more per gallon in seven states, all located west of the Rockies, led by: Alaska (-46 cents), California (-35 cents), Oregon (-34 cents) and Washington (-33 cents).

Drivers nationwide continue to experience significant yearly savings in the price of retail gasoline. The average price at the pump is discounted by more than $1 per gallon in 30 states and Washington D.C. year-over-year, and consumers in Hawaii (-$1.30) and Connecticut (-$1.22) are saving the most per gallon over this same period. Regional neighbors Nevada (-58 cents) and California (-75 cents) are the only states where drivers are not saving more than 75 cents per gallon in comparison to one year ago.

The balance between global supply and demand remains front of mind, and a number of factors are expected to influence global oil prices in the months ahead. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of petroleum and the swing member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, announced plans to further cut prices to Asia in an effort to protect its market share. Russia is reportedly ready to enter talks with OPEC and other producing countries about possible reductions in output, and the country’s actions in Syria continue to make headlines that influence the geopolitical instability in the region.

Now that Hurricane Joaquin is no longer an imminent threat, market watchers are focusing their attention on domestic supply and demand in light of falling rig counts and the potential impacts of this year’s refinery maintenance season. The number of rigs operating in the U.S. fell by 26 last week, its largest drop since April, which reportedly is a reaction to sustained low oil prices.

WTI opened the Monday trading session posting gains for a second consecutive session, after closing out the Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX up 80 cents and settling at $45.54 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

Americans Saving Nearly $350 Million a Day on Lower Gas Prices

  • The national average price of gas in September was $2.34 per gallon, which was the lowest monthly average since February 2015. By comparison, the average price of gas in September 2014 was $3.39 per gallon. AAA estimates that American consumers are spending nearly $350 million less on gasoline per day compared to a year ago.
  • “Drivers continue to enjoy substantial savings at the pump, but even bigger savings could be in store,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesperson. “Barring any major supply disruptions, the national average could even test the $2 per gallon benchmark before the end of the year for the first time since 2009.”
  • Today’s national average price of gas is $2.29 per gallon, which is the cheapest average for this time of year since 2004. Today’s average is about $1.04 per gallon less than a year ago and 19 cents less than a month ago. Gas prices are significantly cheaper than in previous years due to the relatively low cost of crude oil.
  • Average U.S. gas prices have declined about 52 cents per gallon since hitting a 2015 peak price of $2.80 per gallon on June 15. The national average declined 26 out of 30 days in September for a total savings of 19 cents per gallon. Gas prices have dropped during the previous few weeks due to declining fuel demand and the switchover to less expensive winter-blend gasoline.
  • Many Americans drive less after Labor Day and the end of the summer driving season, which reduces gasoline demand. This decline in driving can lead to increased fuel supplies in autumn and winter, which ultimately results in cheaper gas prices for drivers.
  • Gas stations in many parts of the country switched over to less expensive winter-blend gasoline on September 16. As outside temperatures cool in the autumn, gasoline is less likely to evaporate and contribute to air quality issues. Producers can blend relatively inexpensive butane into the fuel to meet octane requirements this time of year, and some of these savings are passed on to consumers. Butane is more likely to evaporate in hot temperatures and is not used in summer-blend gasoline.
  • Gas prices remain relatively inexpensive compared to recent years due to the low cost of crude oil. WTI oil prices remained relatively steady in September and closed yesterday at $45.09 per barrel. By comparison, the cost of oil a year ago was about twice as high at $90.73 per barrel.
  • Oil prices have dropped in recent months due to abundant oil production and a weaker global economy, particularly in China. China is the world’s largest oil importer, and the downturn in its economy has raised questions about the country’s future oil demand. Oil supplies also remain abundant in the United States with commercial stocks about 28 percent higher than a year ago.
  • Despite a bearish sentiment prevailing in the oil market, gas prices remain relatively high compared to the cost of crude oil, in part due to record-high levels of driving this year. Total U.S. driving topped 1.82 trillion miles during the first seven months of the year, beating the previous record of 1.77 trillion set during the first seven months of 2007, according to the latest estimates by the Federal Highway Administration. Driving is expected to remain relatively high through the end of the year, which means 2015 could go down as the busiest driving year of all time.

Gas Prices May Drop More Slowly in October as Refineries Conduct Maintenance

  • The national average price of gas has remained relatively unchanged over the past week, and this trend may continue well into October as refineries conduct seasonal maintenance. Nevertheless, a seasonal decline in driving this winter should help push gas prices below $2 per gallon in most parts of the country by the end of the year as long as crude oil costs remain steady.
  • “This autumn’s refinery maintenance season is expected to be heavier than in years past because refineries ran at such high rates during the summer,” continued Ash. “Retail averages in some regions temporarily could rise during this maintenance period, yet we would expect prices in most areas to remain relatively low compared to recent years.”
  • Refineries typically conduct maintenance in the autumn and spring when demand for gasoline, diesel and heating oil is relatively low. More refineries than typical have scheduled maintenance for the next few weeks, but much of this maintenance should wrap up by December, which would allow a steady decline in gas prices later in the year.
  • The national average price of gas has fallen in October for three years in a row. Gas prices typically drop in October due to a seasonal decline in both driving and fuel demand. While driving is expected to remain relatively strong because of low gas prices, we would expect driving to decline from summertime highs through the end of the year based on typical seasonal trends.
  • Hurricane Joaquin may impact regional gas prices in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast next week. Hurricanes have the potential to disrupt refinery production, pipeline transportation, wholesale deliveries and gas station operations. Small hurricanes on the East Coast generally have a very limited and brief impact on prices, while larger storms, such as Hurricane Sandy, can disrupt regional fuel supplies and distribution for a number of weeks. AAA recommends that drivers in the affected areas fill their vehicle’s gas tanks in advance of the storm in case there are any distribution problems.
  • Crude oil remains the primary wildcard in determining future gas prices. If OPEC cuts production, the Chinese economy grows stronger or if Iranian oil is unable to enter the market, then oil prices could rise and push up the cost of gasoline. There also is a possibility that oil prices could drop significantly in the coming months given the weaknesses in the global economy and because refineries conducting maintenance will need less crude oil.

More than One in Five U.S. Stations Selling Gas for Less than $2 per Gallon

  • More than one in five U.S. gas stations (21 percent) are selling gas for less than $2 per gallon today.
  • Five states have average gas prices below $2 per gallon, including South Carolina ($1.96), New Jersey ($1.97), Mississippi ($1.98) and Alabama ($1.99). An additional five states have average prices within a dime of $2 per gallon, including Tennessee ($2.00), Louisiana ($2.03), Virginia ($2.03), Texas ($2.05) and Arkansas ($2.06).
  • Average gas prices this week dropped below $3 per gallon in every state for the first time since June 2009. The five most expensive state averages include: Alaska ($2.96), California ($2.96), Nevada ($2.92), Hawaii ($2.89) and Utah ($2.66).
  • Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at 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, trjohnson@national.aaa.com.

 

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, September 28, 2015) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has remained relatively stable over the past week, reaching today’s price of $2.29 per gallon, following a decline of 37 consecutive days. Although today’s average is up by fractions of a penny compared to one week ago, pump prices have fallen for 26 of the past 30 days for a total monthly savings of 20 cents per gallon. This decline has been driven by relatively low crude oil prices, declining domestic demand for gasoline following the end of the summer driving season, and the switch to cheaper-to-produce winter-blend gasoline on September 16 in many parts of the country. Crude oil prices remain under downward pressure due to ample supply and seasonal declines in demand, and drivers continue to experience significant yearly savings in the price of retail gasoline. Pump prices are discounted by an average of $1.05 year-over-year and are at their lowest point for this date since 2004.

National Averages

Falling averages are often the trend at this time of year due to a decline in driving and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline. Unlike previous years, refinery maintenance season this autumn is expected to be heavier than usual due to refineries operating at higher than normal rates for longer periods over the summer months.  As the refinery maintenance season continues to ramp-up, gas price declines could slow and temporarily change direction. However, the market’s current oversupply is expected to keep prices relatively low, and barring any unexpected price spikes, consumers should continue to experience significant yearly savings at the pump approaching the end of the year.

Motorists in a total of five states are paying averages below the $2 per gallon benchmark.  Drivers in South Carolina ($1.96) are paying the nation’s lowest averages at the pump, followed by:  Mississippi ($1.96), New Jersey ($1.98), Alabama ($1.98) and Tennessee ($1.99).  Alaska ($3.04) leads the market with highest price in the nation, and is the only state with an average price above $3 per gallon.  Regional neighbors California ($2.99), Nevada ($2.94), Hawaii ($2.90) and Utah ($2.70) are the nation’s top five most expensive markets for gasoline.

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Weekly price comparisons reveal a bit of volatility, with state averages moving by double-digit increments at both ends of the spectrum.  Despite this fluctuation, overall savings persist and motorists in the majority of states (30 and Washington, D.C.) are experiencing weekly savings in the price to refuel their vehicles. Pump prices are discounted by a nickel or more per gallon in a total of 10 states, and the largest weekly savings in the price at the pump are seen in Alaska (-10 cents), Idaho (-8 cents) and Colorado (-8 cents). On the other end of the spectrum, averages have climbed higher in 20 states over this same period. The largest weekly increases in price are seen in the Midwestern states of Indiana (+13 cents), Kentucky (+9 cents) and Michigan (+9 cents).

Consumers nationwide are experiencing monthly savings at the pump, and prices in the majority of states (46 and Washington, D.C.) have fallen by double-digit increments over this same period.  Drivers in a total of 10 states are benefitting from monthly savings of a quarter or more per gallon, with the largest savings at the pump seen in the West Coast states of Alaska (-38 cents), California (-37 cents), Oregon (-35 cents) and Washington (-34 cents).

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Yearly price comparisons continue to reflect significant discounts in the price of retail gasoline.  Averages are down year-over-year in every state and Washington D.C., and consumers in 33 states and Washington, D.C., are saving a $1.00 or more per gallon. Hawaii ($1.31), Connecticut ($1.23) and Vermont ($1.22) are posting the largest savings over this same period, and prices in 48 states and Washington, D.C., are discounted by at least 75 cents per gallon.

Uncertainty about global oil demand is reportedly impacting the price of crude, and both major benchmarks—Brent and West Texas Intermediate—opened Monday’s trading session with losses.  China, which accounts for approximately 12 percent of the world’s total oil demand and frequently ranks as a top importer, announced plans to implement a national cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions. Although the impacts of the program on the crude oil market are unknown, a reduction in the country’s demand could further exacerbate the market’s current oversupply and put a ceiling on global oil prices.

The domestic oil market also remains in question, and the balance between supply and demand is expected to heavily influence North American oil prices. Domestic oil rig counts have reportedly fallen for the fourth week in a row, and according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, sustained low oil prices could mark the beginning of a reduction in investment in exploration and production activities.

WTI closed out Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX up 79 cents, settling at $45.70 per barrel, but was last reported to be nearly a dollar lower this morning in early trading.

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.

Lowest Seasonal Gas Prices Since 2004

September 21st, 2015 by AAA

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, September 21, 2015) Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline marks the lowest price for this date since 2004, and prices continue to march lower. The national average has dropped for 35 consecutive days for a total savings of 38 cents per gallon over this span. Today’s average price of $2.29 per gallon represents a weekly savings of four cents per gallon and a monthly savings of 33 cents per gallon. Motorists are saving $1.05 per gallon compared to one year ago, largely due to the relatively low price of crude oil and abundant petroleum supplies.

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In addition to the seasonal switchover to less expensive winter-blend gasoline, the fall months are also a time when refineries go offline to conduct seasonal maintenance. This is intentionally scheduled during the months when demand for gasoline and heating oil is relatively low, and it is not uncommon for pump prices to decline during this time of year due to decreased driving demand and the cost savings associated with winter-blend gasoline.

This past summer was characterized by relatively high driving demand and refineries operated at higher capacities for longer periods of time. As a result, many are expecting the fall maintenance season to be heavier-than-usual. Barring any unexpected spikes in the price of crude, retail averages are not expected to climb this fall due to the market’s current oversupply.

The majority of consumers nationwide are continuing to see falling prices at the pump. Alaska ($3.13), California ($3.06) and Nevada ($3.00) are the market leaders and the only three states with averages above $3 per gallon. On the other end of the spectrum, a total of five states are posting averages below $2 per gallon: South Carolina ($1.90), Mississippi ($1.93), Alabama ($1.95), Tennessee ($1.99) and Louisiana ($1.99).

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Pump prices are down in 47 states and Washington, D.C. in comparison to one week ago, with the motorists in the majority of these states (34 and Washington, D.C.) saving at least a nickel per gallon. Drivers in six states are benefitting from double-digit savings in the price of retail gasoline, with the largest discounts over this period seen in Alaska (-15 cents), South Dakota (-11 cents) and California (-11 cents).  The Midwestern states of Indiana (+10 cents), Michigan (+ 8 cents) and Ohio (+7 cents) are the only three states outside of this trend, and prices have moved higher week-over-week. Prices in the Midwest have consistently been among the most volatile in the nation over the past several years, and while prices are up on the week, these same three states are among those posting the largest declines over the weeks prior.

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With the exception of Utah (-4 cents), retail averages are discounted by double-digit increments in every state and Washington, D.C. month-over-month. The largest savings at the pump are seen in states where averages continue to move lower following the resolution of localized refinery issues : Illinois (-62 cents), Indiana (-56 cents), Michigan (-54 cents) and Wisconsin (-52 cents). Consumers in 33 states are saving a quarter or more per gallon to refuel their vehicles.

Year-over-year savings in the price of retail gasoline continue to widen nationwide, and motorists in 36 states and Washington, D.C. are saving at least a $1 per gallon. Consumers in Hawaii (-$1.32) and Connecticut ($1.21) are saving the most per gallon over this same period and 22 states are posting yearly savings of $1.10 or more per gallon. Nevada (-57 cents) and California (-68 cents), the only two contiguous states with averages above $3 per gallon, are also the only two states where drivers are not experiencing yearly savings of at least 75 cents or more at the pump.

The global oil market appears to be holding steady, following the Federal Reserve’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged.  The Fed has kept interest rates near zero since 2008 in an effort to help stimulate economic growth. Raising U.S. interest rates often causes the U.S. dollar to gain strength, which makes oil more expensive for countries holding other currencies.

Oversupply characterizes the domestic oil market and attention remains focused on oil inventories and reports of production declines and falling oil rig counts. WTI closed out Friday’s formal trading session down $2.22, settling at $44.68 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, September 14, 2015) Falling gas prices continue to benefit motorists with three southern states posting averages below $2 per gallon: South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama. This is the first time that three states have had averages below $2 since February. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 28 consecutive days, reaching today’s price of $2.33 per gallon. Drivers are saving six cents per gallon compared to one week ago and 33 cents versus one month ago. Gas prices remain much cheaper than last year due to the relatively low price of crude oil with drivers saving an average of $1.06 per gallon compared to a year ago.

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Barring any unexpected disruptions in supply or spikes in the price of crude oil, the national average is expected to keep moving lower as we head into the fall. Pump prices typically decline during this time of year due to lower driving demand after the busy summer driving season and the changeover to cheaper to produce winter-blend gasoline, which takes place in many parts of the country starting on September 16. U.S. drivers continue to benefit from an oversupplied market and consumers could experience even lower prices at the pump if the price of crude oil remains relatively low and refineries are able to conduct planned seasonal maintenance without issue.

On the whole, retail averages are down nationwide, including the three states — South Carolina ($1.94), Mississippi ($1.99), and Alabama ($1.99) — where averages are back below $2 per gallon. The most expensive markets for retail gasoline are west of the Rockies, with drivers in Alaska ($3.28) continuing to pay the highest averages at the pump. Regional neighbors California ($3.17), Nevada ($3.06), Hawaii ($2.97) and Idaho ($2.81) are the top five most expensive markets for gasoline.

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With just one exception, motorists in every state are experiencing savings in the price of retail gasoline week-over-week. Averages are down by a nickel or more in 30 states and Washington, D.C., and pump prices in Indiana (-14 cents), Illinois (-13 cents), California (-10 cents) and Michigan (-10 cents) have dropped by double-digit increments over this same period. Outside of this trend is Ohio, where prices have climbed higher by three cents per gallon versus one week ago.

Monthly price comparisons show consumers nationwide are paying less to refuel their vehicles. With the exception of Utah (-2 cents), drivers across the nation are saving more than a dime per gallon at the pump month-over-month and prices are discounted by a quarter or more per gallon in more than half (26) of the states. The largest discounts in price over this same period have been in the Midwestern states of Indiana (-81 cents), Michigan (-75 cents), Ohio (-66 cents) and Illinois (-62 cents), where prices continue to retreat following the resolution of localized refinery issues.

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Yearly discounts are widening even further, with drivers in the majority of states (35) saving at least $1 per gallon at the pump. The largest yearly savings are in Hawaii (-$1.30), Indiana (-$1.27), and Michigan (-$1.24), and prices are down 75 cents or more in 47 states and Washington, D.C.  Market leaders Nevada (-58 cents), California (-62 cents) and Alaska (-69 cents) are outside of this trend.

The global oil market remains volatile and the overall sentiment continues to swing between bulls and bears in response to recent reports. The International Energy Agency is predicting that production from non-OPEC countries will fall by its largest increment in 24 years, and the organization attributes this decrease to the success of OPEC’s strategy to protect its market share by sustaining production despite the relatively low price of crude oil. Also according to IEA, global oil demand is expected to increase in 2016. The combination of lower production and higher demand is reportedly contributing to the sentiment that a bullish market could be on the longer-term horizon.

In what is being described as its latest play to remain influential over global oil markets, OPEC welcomed Indonesia back into the cartel, making the Southeast Asian nation the only member country that is not a net exporter. Indonesia was a member of the cartel for 47 years and suspended its membership in 2009 when its balance between consumption and production shifted. OPEC is next scheduled to meet in December in Vienna, and during this meeting the country will officially rejoin as a member. At present, the oil cartel does not plan to convene prior to the December meeting to discuss strategy, and the global oil market is likely to remain bearish in the near term.

The domestic oil market remains oversupplied, and according to the most recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, oil inventories continue to build despite domestic production declines. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the traditional U.S. benchmark, is expected to remain relatively low as seasonal refinery maintenance gets underway and demand for gasoline decreases as we enter the fall.

WTI closed out Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX down $1.29, capping a loss of nearly three percent for the week, and settled at $44.63 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.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, September 8, 2015) The 2015 summer driving season ended with the national average at its lowest point for the Labor Day holiday in more than a decade. Motorists paid an average price of $2.40 per gallon at the pump yesterday, a savings of $1.04 per gallon in comparison to last year’s holiday. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen 22 consecutive days for a total of 28 cents per gallon, reaching today’s average of $2.39 per gallon. Drivers are saving seven cents per gallon versus one week ago and 20 cents versus one month ago.  Yearly price comparisons continue to reflect savings of more than $1 per gallon, with today’s price discounted by $1.05 versus this same date last year.

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Motorists have enjoyed lower prices at the pump throughout this summer, with an average savings of 89 cents per gallon compared to last year’s summer driving season, which typically runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. These lower prices have encouraged motorists to hit the road in record numbers and meant some of highest demand numbers over the first eight months of 2015. Prices are expected to continue to slide as driving demand experiences a seasonal decrease heading into the fall, provided the price of crude remains relatively low and refineries are able to conduct routine maintenance without issues. According to the U.S Energy Information Administration, refineries reported higher than normal utilization rates and more maintenance is scheduled for this year compared to previous years. This could slow the rate of anticipated declines in the price at the pump; however, it is not expected to cause a reversal of direction.

The conclusion of the summer driving season also signals the start of the seasonal switchover to winter-blend gasoline in many parts of the country on September 16. The Environmental Protection Agency requires certain areas to use a specified blend of gasoline, commonly referred to as summer-blend gasoline, in order to address air quality issues during the summer months. This more expensive summer-blend gasoline is not required during the winter months and prices tend to fall following the completion of this seasonal switchover.

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The highest retail averages are found in states west of the Rockies, and drivers in Alaska ($3.35) are paying the most per gallon at the pump. A total of four states are posting averages above $3 per gallon, and regional neighbors California ($3.26), Nevada ($3.10), Hawaii ($3.03), and Washington ($2.88) round out the top five most expensive markets for gasoline. Pump prices slipped below $2 per gallon in South Carolina, the nation’s least expensive market for gasoline, over the weekend and drivers are currently paying an average price of $1.97 per gallon.

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With the exception of Delaware (+4 cents) and Utah (fractions of a penny), retail averages are down in every state and Washington, D.C. week-over-week. Weekly price comparisons reveal that motorists in more than half of the country (26 states) are saving a nickel or more per gallon at the pump and prices are discounted by double-digits in five states. The largest savings over this same period are seen in states previously impacted by the Whiting, Indiana refinery outage and where prices are now falling as production at the facility has restarted: Indiana (-17 cents), Ohio (-15 cents), Illinois (-14 cents) and Michigan (-12 cents).

Consumers nationwide are paying less per gallon to refuel their vehicles versus one month ago. Retail averages are down by a dime or more per gallon in 43 states and Washington, D.C. over this same period, and motorists in eight states are saving a quarter or more per gallon at the pump. The most significant monthly discounts in price are seen in California (-33 cents), Oregon (-29 cents) and New Jersey (-27 cents).

Prices remain markedly lower year-over-year in every state, and averages are discounted by at least 75 cents per gallon in 47 states and Washington, D.C. Market leaders Alaska (-67 cents), California (-56 cents) and Nevada (-59 cents) are the only states to buck this trend. Pump prices are discounted by $1 or more per gallon in 33 states, with the largest savings over this same period reflected in the Midwestern states of Indiana (-$1.28), Michigan (-$1.26) and Ohio (-$1.26).

While prices have been volatile in recent weeks, a long-term bearish sentiment continues to underscore the global oil market as speculation about the balance between supply and demand from emerging economies remain front of mind. A small group of oil ministers from both OPEC member countries and non-OPEC member counties located in the Persian Gulf are scheduled to meet this week, and although oil prices are not officially on the agenda, the market will closely monitor developments for any clues about OPEC’s plans for production.

The domestic oil market has been described as bullish in recent trading sessions, after posting gains upwards of 20 percent following a multi-year low of $38.60 per barrel (August 26). Despite this recent jump, the price of WTI is likely to face downward pressure due to seasonal declines in demand and reduced crude oil purchases by refineries, both capable of further exacerbating the imbalance between supply and demand.

WTI opened today’s trading session down approximately 60 cents per barrel, after closing Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX down 70 cents, settling at $46.05 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 Under $2 on the Way

September 3rd, 2015 by AAA

Michael Green Contact Tile


AAA Monthly Gas Price Report: Sept. 3, 2015

Americans to Pay Lowest Labor Day Gas Prices Since 2004

  • Most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest gas prices since 2004 for the busy Labor Day weekend. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.44 per gallon, which is 99 cents per gallon less than a year ago. U.S. consumers should save more than $1 billion on gasoline over the holiday weekend compared to 2014, with many drivers saving about $15-$25 on every trip to the gas station.
  • “Americans should find good deals on gas prices in most parts of the country heading into the busy Labor Day weekend,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “It is unbelievable that drivers are ending their summer vacations with the lowest gas prices for this time of year in more than a decade.”
  • Average U.S. gas prices have dropped about 37 cents per gallon since hitting a 2015 peak price of $2.80 on June 15. Average gas prices have dropped due to lower crude oil costs and abundant petroleum supplies.
  • Gas prices averaged $2.60 per gallon in August, which was the lowest average for the month since 2005. The average price in August was about 15 cents per gallon less than in July.
  • Gas prices remain relatively high compared to the cost of crude oil. WTI oil prices closed at $46.25 per barrel yesterday, which was similar to the cost of oil in January. Nevertheless, average gas prices are about 41 cents per gallon more expensive than the lowest daily average in January. Gas prices are higher than would otherwise be expected due to high demand and ongoing refinery problems, along with the higher cost to produce summer-blend gasoline that is required in many areas. When the market is running smoothly, gas prices generally drop about 2.4 cents per gallon for every $1 per barrel change in the cost of crude oil.
  • Summer is the busiest time of the year for driving and millions of Americans are taking advantage of lower gas prices to travel more this year. New estimates by the Federal Highway Administration showed that U.S. driving topped 1.54 trillion miles in the first half of 2015, which was an all-time high. Increased driving results in higher fuel demand, which can lead to higher gas prices.
  • A number of major refineries have experienced production problems this year, which has led to significantly higher regional prices when combined with high fuel demand. In August, BP’s refinery in Whiting, Ind. was forced to shut its largest crude distillation unit temporarily. Gas prices across the Midwest jumped in response with averages in some Great Lakes states up more than 50 cents per gallon in less than a week. BP was able to repair the facility faster than expected, and prices have returned nearly all of those gains, though at a much slower pace than the initial price spike.
  • Gas prices remain relatively high on the West Coast, in part because ExxonMobil’s refinery in Torrance, Calif. is still not operating at normal levels. The refinery experienced an explosion in the spring that sent gas prices in parts of California above $4 per gallon. Gas prices have since declined as supplies enter the market form other areas, yet gas prices in California and neighboring states remain near or above $3 per gallon. The refinery reportedly will ramp up in production in October as it completes repairs.
  • Oil prices have experienced dramatic price swings in recent weeks. The cost of West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed at a high for the year of $61.43 per barrel on June 10. On August 24, the cost of crude oil dropped to $38.24 per barrel, which was the lowest closing price since early 2009. Oil prices have since moved upwards on updated domestic production data and rumors that OPEC may curtail production.
  • Oil remains much cheaper than in recent years because of abundant supplies. Growing concerns about the Chinese economy, the likelihood of Iranian oil entering the market and strong domestic production have helped lower oil prices since June. The dramatic growth in the Chinese economy helped drive commodity prices higher in recent years, while the recent economic slowdown has helped to lower prices. Iran promises to unleash as much as a million barrel per day of oil into the market if economic sanctions on the country are lifted. Meanwhile, domestic crude oil production remains nearly 13 percent higher than a year ago, and U.S. commercial supplies are about 27 percent higher than a year ago.
  • The average price of diesel was cheaper than gasoline for six days in August for the first time since 2009, due to seasonal factors and the elevated cost of gasoline. Today’s average price of diesel is $2.57 per gallon.

Gas Prices Could Fall Below $2 per Gallon by Christmas

  • “Gas prices in many parts of the country could fall below $2 per gallon by Christmas if the cost of crude oil remains low,” continued Ash. “There is good reason to believe that cheaper oil costs, a seasonal decline in driving and the switchover to less costly winter-blend gasoline will continue to push down prices through the end of the year.”
  • Gas prices generally drop after Labor Day, which is considered the end of the summer driving season. People typically drive less in the autumn and winter, which is when gas prices usually reach a low for the year.
  • Refinery maintenance this autumn could slow, but not stop a decline in gas prices. Refineries typically conduct maintenance in the autumn and spring when demand for gasoline, diesel and heating oil is relatively low. Even as refineries conduct maintenance, gasoline supplies should continue to outstrip demand unless there are unexpected problems.
  • Many parts of the country can switch over to less expensive, winter-blend gasoline on September 16. The EPA requires that parts of the country use summer-blend gasoline during hot-weather months to improve air quality, but this fuel is unnecessary once temperatures begin to cool. Occasionally, gas prices can increase temporarily in the days leading up the switchover deadline as supplies of remaining summer-blend gasoline tighten.
  • Crude oil remains the primary wildcard in determining future gas prices. If OPEC cuts production, the Chinese economy grows stronger or if Iranian oil is unable to enter the market, then oil prices could rise and push up the cost of gasoline. There also is a possibility that oil prices could drop further in the coming months given the weaknesses in the global economy and because refineries conducting maintenance will need less crude oil.
  • The price of oil briefly dipped below $40 per barrel last week. Historically, sustained oil prices below $40 per barrel have resulted in a national average price of gas below $2 per gallon.
  • There is always the possibility that gas prices could rise due to a number of factors, such a major hurricane striking the U.S. Gulf Coast, higher crude oil prices or unexpected refinery problems.

Gas Under $2 per Gallon Growing More Common in the Southeast

  • More than five percent of all U.S. stations are selling gas for less than $2 per gallon and those numbers are growing every day. Last year at this time there were zero stations selling gas under $2 per gallon.
  • The average price of gas in South Carolina is $2.00 per gallon, and will likely fall below that mark before Labor Day weekend begins. Average prices in Alabama and Mississippi also may fall below $2 per gallon over the next week. The last time any state had an average below $2 per gallon was on February 26, when both Idaho and Utah were below that mark.
  • The five most expensive state averages include: Alaska ($3.40), California ($3.31), Nevada ($3.11), Hawaii ($3.08) and Washington ($2.92). The states with the lowest average gas prices include South Carolina ($2.00), Alabama ($2.06), Mississippi ($2.06), Tennessee ($2.14) and Louisiana ($2.16).

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, trjohnson@national.aaa.com.

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