Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, May 4, 2015) The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline has moved higher for 19 consecutive days for a total of 23 cents per gallon, due to higher crude oil costs and a number of refinery issues. Today’s price of $2.62 per gallon represents the most expensive average price of the year. Motorists are paying eight cents more per gallon than one week ago and 22 cents more than one month ago to refuel their vehicles. Although the national average is currently moving higher, relatively lower crude prices continue to provide consumers with significant year-over-year-savings and today’s price is $1.06 per gallon less than a year ago.

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The price at the pump often increases in the spring due to seasonal maintenance, rising demand and the higher costs associated with producing more expensive summer-blend gasoline, which is required in many parts of the country to combat emissions in warmer temperatures. Unexpected refinery issues are also keeping upward pressure on the national average and consumers may see prices rise a bit higher over the next few weeks. Despite this trend, retail averages are expected to continue to post significant year-over-year discounts, and barring any major supply disruptions, the national average is expected to remain below $3 per gallon throughout 2015.

The West Coast continues to lead the nation in posting the highest prices for retail gasoline due to regional refinery issues that have caused prices to race higher. California ($3.71) remains the nation’s most expensive market and is joined by three other states with averages above $3 per gallon: Hawaii ($3.19), Nevada ($3.17) and Alaska ($3.09). The majority of states (28 and Washington, D.C.) are posting averages above $2.50 per gallon. Rising crude prices and increased seasonal demand are expected to keep upward pressure on the price at the pump in the short-term. South Carolina ($2.33), Missouri ($2.34) and Oklahoma ($2.36) are the nation’s least expensive markets for retail gasoline, but even these states have seen pump prices move higher over the last few days due to the aforementioned seasonal factors.

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With the exception of Ohio (-6 cents), drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are paying more for gas week-over-week. The price has climbed higher by a nickel or more in 40 states and Washington, D.C., and prices have increased by a dime or more per gallon in nine states over this same period. Weekly price comparisons show that drivers on the West Coast have seen the most dramatic moves in the price at pump, with the largest increases occurring in : California (+30 cents), Nevada (+23 cents), Arizona (+15 cents) and Oregon (+14 cents).

Monthly comparisons show that gas prices are up by a nickel or more in every state and Washington, D.C., and the majority of motorists (42 states and Washington, D.C.) are paying a dime or more per gallon. Motorists in California (+54 cents), Nevada (+38 cents), New Jersey (+34 cents) and Utah (+34 cents) are paying noticeably more at the pump versus one month ago. Gas prices have increased by a quarter or more per gallon over this same period in 12 states.

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Despite recent increases, consumers continue to benefit in the form of yearly savings at the pump. Retail averages are down nationwide year-over-year and the price at the pump is discounted by $1 or more in 41 states and Washington, D.C. The largest savings are in Ohio (-$1.22), Kentucky (-$1.21) and West Virginia (-$1.20).

The price of crude rallied to close out the month, due to a slowdown in U.S. production, a weakening dollar and growing instability in the Middle East. U.S. oil supplies remain at record highs, but the growth in production has reportedly slowed in recent weeks, which could indicate a new balance in supply and demand. The market also is focused on the Strait of Hormuz – a narrow waterway off the Iranian coast that provides access to major oil-exporting ports in the region. The U.S. is increasing its naval presence in the region after Iran unexpectedly seized a container ship attempting to pass through the strait. Historically this strait has often been at the center of tensions between the U.S. and Iran, and with the two countries also attempting to reach a nuclear agreement by June 30, both sides are carefully weighing options and the perceived tension has put a bit of upward pressure on the global price of crude.

While WTI is at nearly a four month high, it is unclear whether oil prices will remain at this level. U.S. oil-drilling rigs have reached their lowest level since October 2010, and U.S. oil storage remains at an all-time high. Domestic oil production companies are keeping a watchful eye on the price and they could ramp up or resume production in order to capitalize on any upward movement.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI closed down 50 cents and settled at $59.15 per barrel.

Michael Green Contact TileNew AAA Survey Examines Consumer Attitudes on Gas Prices – April 30, 2015

Additional Resources

  • 6 in 10 Americans say they are more likely to take a road trip of 50 miles or more away from home in 2015 if gas prices remain near recent levels. Younger Americans are more likely than older Americans to take a road trip:
    • 68 percent of Americans age 18-34 say they are more likely to take a road trip if gas prices remain near recent levels.
    • 57 percent of Americans age 35+ say they are more likely to take a road trip if gas prices remain near recent levels.
  • Only 13 percent of Americans report driving more due to recent gas prices. These results indicate that most Americans are unlikely to change their regular driving habits due to lower gas prices. Younger Americans are significantly more likely to report driving more due to lower gas prices than older Americans:
    • 19 percent of Americans age 18-34 report driving more due to recent gas prices.
    • 10 percent of Americans age 35+ report driving more due to recent gas prices.
  • Americans are more than twice as likely to report that current gas prices are “too high” than “cheap,” even though gas prices are much less expensive than in recent years. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.58 per gallon.
    • 39 percent of Americans believe gas is “too high” at $2.50 per gallon
    • 17 percent of Americans believe gas is “cheap” at $2.50 per gallon.
  • The majority of Americans believe gas prices start to be cheap between $1.50 and $2.00 per gallon. The national average price of gas in January fell to a low of $2.03 per gallon.
    •   4 percent of Americans believe gas is cheap at $3.00 per gallon
    • 17 percent of Americans believe gas is cheap at $2.50 per gallon
    • 43 percent of Americans believe gas is cheap at $2.00 per gallon
    • 58 percent of Americans believe gas is cheap at $1.50 per gallon
    • 99 percent of Americans believe gas is cheap at $1.00 per gallon
  • About half of Americans believe that gas prices are too high at $3.00 per gallon. Public attitudes towards gas prices have changed significantly as the cost of gas decreased in recent years. The results indicate that Americans may have a lower tolerance for high gas prices now that they are paying much less at the pumps than in previous years.
    • In March 2013, half of Americans thought gas was too high at $3.44 per gallon. The national average was $3.64 per gallon at the time.
    • In March 2014, half of Americans thought gas was too high at $3.30 per gallon. The national average was $3.49 per gallon at the time.
    • In April 2015, half of Americans thought gas was too high at $3.00 per gallon. The national average was $2.39 per gallon at the time.

This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among two national probability samples (landline only and cell phone), which, when combined, consists of 1,007 adults, 504 men and 503 women, 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States.  Interviewing for this survey was completed on April 10-12.  506 interviews were from the landline sample and 501 interviews from the cell phone sample. This study has an average statistical error of ±3.5% at the 95% confidence level for all U.S. adults.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Michael Green Contact Tile

Average U.S. Gas Prices Climb 55 Cents since January

  • Today’s national average price of gas is $2.58 per gallon, which is the highest average so far this year. Average U.S. gas prices are up 55 cents per gallon since reaching a low of $2.03 per gallon in late January, making this the largest seasonal increase in gas prices since 2012.
  • “Gas prices have climbed to the highest levels of the year due largely to rising crude oil costs,” said Avery Ash. “As prices keep climbing, it getting more difficult to believe that gas was below $2 per gallon at the majority of stations earlier this year.”
  • The national average price of gas has increased 16 days in a row for a total of 19 cents per gallon. The cost of crude oil has increased by more than $15 per barrel since reaching a six-year low in the middle of March. Today’s national average price of gas is the most expensive since Dec. 12, 2014.
  • Gas prices this year have increased at the largest seasonal rate since 2012, when the national average increased by 66 per gallon during the spring. U.S. average prices increased by 43 cents per gallon in spring 2014 and 50 cents in 2013. It is common for gas prices to rise in late winter and early spring as refineries conduct seasonal maintenance, which can limit gasoline production.
  • Despite recent price increases, the average price of gas in April was $2.44 per gallon, which was the lowest average for the month since 2009. By comparison, the average price of gas in April 2014 was about $1.20 per gallon more expensive at $3.64 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 last year largely due to abundant global supplies and production.
  • Crude oil prices have increased in recent weeks as the market considers a possible slowdown in domestic oil production. A reduction in growth could signal that the market is rebalancing supply and demand in response to relatively low prices this year. In addition, continued conflict, in places such as Yemen and Iraq, adds increased risk and uncertainty that can lead to higher prices.
  • Gas prices on the West Coast continue to be the highest in the nation due to regional refinery problems and relatively tight fuel supplies. California’s average has been the most expensive in the country since Feb. 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 limited fuel production. The refinery reportedly will not complete repairs until July, which means the region likely will continue paying among the highest prices in the country for the next few months.

 

Drivers Should Still Pay Lowest Summer Gas Prices in at Least Five Years

  • Despite recent price increases, drivers should still pay the lowest gas prices for the summer driving season in at least five years, and it is even possible that gas prices will reach the lowest summertime levels in a decade if the cost of crude oil drops again.
  • “We could see record summer travel because the economy is stronger and gas prices are much cheaper than in recent years,” continued Ash. “Lower gas prices will make travel more affordable and this may motivate Americans to take a summer road trip.”
  • 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 new AAA survey. Oil supplies are at record levels and refineries have increased production capacity in recent years, which means there should be enough fuel to meet an increase in travel demand this summer.
  • AAA does not expect the national average price of gas to rise above $3 per gallon this summer, but it is unclear whether consumers will pay more or less than today in the coming months.
  • There are a number of factors that could send summertime gas prices even higher than today. Oil prices have rallied significantly in recent weeks and market momentum could send prices higher, especially if domestic production slows further or if fighting escalates in the Middle East. Refineries also could face unexpected problems, which could lead to regional price spikes.
  • It also is possible that gas prices could soon drop because there is a glut of petroleum in the country. Domestic oil production remains about 14 percent higher than a year ago, U.S. commercial crude oil supplies are about 23 percent higher than last year, while gasoline supplies are about eight percent more abundant. Gasoline supplies could grow even larger heading into the summer as refineries complete seasonal maintenance.
  • In a typical year, gas prices peak by early May as refineries end seasonal maintenance and increase production for the busy summer driving season. Gas prices often drop through late June before rising again as millions of Americans hit the road for peak summer travel in July and August.
  • The summer driving season is traditionally from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Last summer during this period, gas prices averaged $3.58 per gallon.

 

U.S. Households Have Spent About $400 Less on Gasoline So Far this Year

  • AAA estimates that U.S. households have spent about $400 less on gasoline due to lower prices so far this year, in comparison to the same period in 2014.
  • Paying more than $3 for gas remains relatively rare outside of the West Coast. About 92 percent of U.S. stations are still selling gas for less than $3 per gallon today. A year ago, 99.99 percent of stations were selling gas above that price.
  • The most common price in the country today is $2.399 per gallon, which compares to $3.499 per gallon a year ago.
  • The five states with the highest average prices today include: California ($3.53), Hawaii ($3.13), Alaska ($3.07), Nevada ($3.04), and Oregon ($2.86). The five states with the lowest average prices today include: South Carolina ($2.31), Oklahoma ($2.34), Missouri ($2.34), Louisiana ($2.35) and Kansas ($2.36).

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.

 

 

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, April 27, 2015) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline climbed above $2.50 per gallon late last week for the first time in more than four months. Average prices have now increased by 15 cents per gallon in just two weeks. This recent increase has been the product of rising global crude prices, the seasonal switch to summer-blend gasoline and regional refinery issues, particularly on the West Coast. Motorists are currently paying an average $2.54 per gallon, representing an increase of eight cents versus one week ago, and 11 cents versus one month ago. Despite inching higher for 12 consecutive days, the national average continues to reflect a significant discount of $1.16 per gallon in comparison to this same date last year.

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The deadline for terminals to switchover to summer-grade gasoline is May 1. In parts of California these changes are required earlier and are in effect for longer. Select markets that require reformulated gasoline or experience localized refinery issues may see prices move more dramatically in the spring. Following the transition to summer-blend gasoline and as refineries complete seasonal maintenance, the national average may return to below $2.50 per gallon, though much of the forecast will depend on what happens with the cost of crude oil.

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Drivers on the West Coast are paying some of the nation’s highest averages for retail gasoline due to localized refinery issues, particularly in California, which have put upward pressure on prices throughout the region. California ($3.40), Hawaii ($3.10) and Alaska ($3.03), lead the nation and are the only three states posting averages above $3.00 per gallon. The average price at the pump in the Golden State is a bit of an outlier, up 30 cents above second place Hawaii, and prices are expected to remain elevated in the short term as the state works through its production issues. On the other end of the spectrum, consumers in the Southern states of South Carolina ($2.27), Missouri ($2.30) and Oklahoma ($2.30) are paying nation’s lowest prices for retail gasoline.

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Weekly price comparisons show that consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are paying more at the pump. Thirty-five states are posting a premium of a nickel or more per gallon, and California remains an outlier where the price is up by a quarter per gallon. The Golden State is joined by three other states where the price has climbed by a dime or more week-over-week: Nevada (+14 cents), Arizona (+13 cents) and Connecticut (+10 cents).

The average price for retail gasoline has moved higher in 47 states and Washington, D.C. month-over-month. Motorists in a total of 27 states have seen the price at the pump move higher by a dime or more over this same period, led by the Northeastern states of New Jersey (+25 cents), Delaware (+22 cents) and Connecticut (+22 cents). Illinois (-6 cents), Hawaii (-4 cents) and Wisconsin (-4 cents) are outside of this trend, and the only three states registering monthly savings.

In comparison to this same date last year, retail averages remain discounted nationwide and the price is down by $1.00 or more in 44 states and Washington, D.C. Drivers in eight states and Washington, D.C. are saving $1.25 or more at the pump, with the largest savings occurring in the Midwestern states of Michigan (-$1.32), Indiana (-$1.31) and Illinois (-$1.29).

Global crude oil prices rose again last week due to geopolitical tensions in Yemen and the declining strength of the U.S. dollar. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil finished at its highest price in approximately four months and Brent Crude also posted weekly gains.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled down 59 cents at $57.15 per barrel.

Gas Prices Rise on Higher Crude Oil Costs

April 20th, 2015 by admin

(WASHINGTON, April 20, 2015) The national average price of gas has increased about seven cents per gallon over the past week due to sharply rising crude oil costs. Domestic crude oil prices last week reached the highest levels of 2015 as supplies built more slowly than anticipated. Despite the increase, consumers continue to benefit from substantially lower gas prices compared to recent years, with today’s national average of $2.46 per gallon representing the least expensive average for this date since 2009 ($2.06).

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West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices settled at a 2015 high of $56.71 a barrel last Thursday as the latest EIA report showed that oil supplies increased at the slowest levels since the beginning of the year. The market also weighed potential geopolitical concerns in the Middle East and a weakening dollar. Domestic oil prices are more than $10 per barrel higher than a month ago, which has contributed to higher gas prices.

Planned and unplanned refinery problems also continue to affect the market, and may continue to impact price heading into the summer driving season.  These events can have lingering regional impacts, as has been the case on the West Coast where retail prices continue to be among the highest in the nation. This comes despite reports last week that California gasoline production is at a four-month high. While trending higher, the state’s numbers still reflect reduced production at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, Calif., which reduced production following a February 18 explosion. The refinery is not scheduled to complete its repair of damaged equipment until July, so regional prices may remain stubbornly high and sensitive to further production issues until that facility is back to full strength.

California ($3.15) continues to lead the market posting the nation’s highest retail average for gasoline, and is followed by Hawaii ($3.07), Alaska ($2.98), Nevada ($2.80) and Washington ($2.75). Drivers in South Carolina ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.23) and Alabama ($2.24) are paying the lowest averages at the pump.

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The average price for regular unleaded gasoline has climbed higher in 49 states and Washington, D.C. week-over-week. Thirty-six states have seen average prices rise by a nickel or more per gallon, and drivers in eight states are paying a dime or more per gallon one week ago. The largest increases have been in the Northeast, led by New Jersey (+14 cents), Connecticut (+13 cents), Massachusetts (+12 cents) and New Hampshire (+11 cents). Hawaii (-3 cents), consistently one of the nation’s most expensive markets, is the lone state to buck this trend as motorists experience a slight weekly savings at the pump.

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Monthly comparisons show that consumers in the majority of states (37 and Washington, D.C.) are paying more to refuel their vehicles, although the size of the increase varies. Pump prices are up by a nickel or more per gallon in 23 states and Washington D.C., and drivers in seven states are paying a dime or more per gallon. Utah (+17 cents), Kentucky (+17 cents), New Jersey (+13 cents) and Delaware (+12 cents) lead the market, registering the largest month-over-month increases. On the other end of the spectrum, the price has fallen in 13 states versus one month ago, with the largest savings in California (-13 cents), Oregon (-9 cents) and Hawaii (-8 cents).

Year-over-year, the average price at the pump remains sharply discounted across the country. Retail averages are down nationwide, and 46 states and Washington, D.C. are posting savings of $1.00 or more per gallon. Consumers in 15 states and Washington, D.C. are saving $1.25 or more per gallon at the pump, led by: Indiana ($1.36), Michigan ($1.33), Kentucky ($1.32) and Georgia ($1.31).

Global oil prices continue to reflect volatility and industry stakeholders remain divided over where supply and demand fundamentals will send prices. Attention is focused on high-cost production countries like the U.S., where new production has been a key contributor to the sharply lower price of crude. With the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil nearly fifty percent lower than the same month last year, more expensive production sources face pressure to remain economically viable in a dramatically different pricing environment.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX WTI settled 97 cents lower at $55.74 per barrel.

JulieHallAAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Survey Provides In-Depth Data on Americans’ Driving Habits

WASHINGTON, D.C., (April 16, 2015) – On average, Americans drive 29.2 miles per day, making two trips with an average total duration of 46 minutes. This and other revealing data are the result of a ground-breaking study currently underway by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Urban Institute.

Additional Resources

The Foundation’s new American Driving Survey offers the most up-to-date, comprehensive look at how much Americans drive on a daily and yearly basis.  First-year data, collected May 2013 through May 2014, is available now from the ongoing study, which will set the benchmark for future data and ultimately reveal trends in Americans’ driving habits.

“This is the first ongoing study that provides a look at when and how much Americans are driving,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Existing federal data with this level of detail was last released in 2009, eight years after the previous release. This substantially limits the extent to which we can use existing data to draw conclusions about Americans’ current driving habits.”

The first-year results of the American Driving Survey revealed that:

  • Motorists age 16 years and older drive, on average, 29.2 miles per day or 10,658 miles per year.
  • Women take more driving trips, but men spend 25 percent more time behind the wheel and drive 35 percent more miles than women.
  • Both teenagers and seniors over the age of 75 drive less than any other age group; motorists 30-49 years old drive an average 13,140 miles annually, more than any other age group.
  • The average distance and time spent driving increase in relation to higher levels of education. A driver with a grade school or some high school education drove an average of 19.9 miles and 32 minutes daily, while a college graduate drove an average of 37.2 miles and 58 minutes.
  • Drivers who reported living “in the country” or “a small town” drive greater distances (12,264 miles annually) and spend a greater amount of time driving than people who described living in a “medium sized town” or city (9,709 miles annually).
  • Motorists in the South drive the most (11,826 miles annually), while those in the Northeast drive the least (8,468 miles annually).
  • On average, Americans drive fewer miles on the weekend than on weekdays.
  • Americans drive, on average, the least during winter months (January through March) at 25.7 miles daily; they drive the most during the summer months (July through September) at 30.6 miles daily.

“This new data, when combined with available crash data, will allow us to conduct unique, timely studies on crash rates for the first time,” continued Kissinger. “This will allow us to identify specific problems and evaluate various safety countermeasures to a degree never before possible.”

Results from the American Driver Survey were based on telephone interviews with a nationwide sample of 3,319 drivers who reported detailed information about all their driving trips taken the day before the interview. Data collection is ongoing; the information reported in the first-year results was collected between May 21, 2013 and May 31, 2014. The full results from the inaugural American Driving Survey are available online at www.aaafoundation.org.

Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit, publicly supported charitable educational and research organization.  Dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads, the Foundation’s mission is to prevent crashes and save lives through education about traffic safety. The Foundation has funded more than 200 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them, and minimize injuries when they do occur. Visit www.aaafoundation.org for more information on this and other research.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the internet at AAA.com.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, April 13, 2015) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has continued to point lower, due to the resolution of regional refinery issues and a global price of crude oil that remains relatively low. Today’s average price of $2.39 per gallon is fractions of a penny higher than one week ago, but represents a savings of one nickel per gallon versus one month ago. Consumers are saving $1.25 per gallon compared to this same date last year, and motorists continue to pay significantly lower prices at the pump in comparison to previous years: April 13, 2011 ($3.81); April 13, 2012 ($3.90), April 13, 2013 ($3.54). National pump prices have fallen for 22 of the past 30 days.

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Despite falling for the majority of the previous month, retail averages maintain the potential to inch upward short-term as we approach the summer driving season. The price at the pump remains heavily influenced by the global price of crude and the ability of domestic refineries to manage scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Any market moving developments in the aforementioned items will cause the price at the pump to fluctuate; however it is estimated that even with prices reflecting seasonality, consumers are expected see prices move lower leading up to the peak driving season this summer.

California and Hawaii ($3.10) are nation’s most expensive markets for retail gasoline, and the only two states posting averages above $3 per gallon. Alaska ($2.93), Nevada ($2.78) and Washington ($2.73) round out the top five most expensive markets. On the other end of the spectrum, drivers in South Carolina ($2.10), Tennessee ($2.13) and New Jersey ($2.17) are paying the least per gallon at the pump.

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Week-over-week comparisons are relatively stable, with average prices moving by +/- 3 cents in 39 states and Washington, D.C.  Seven states experienced more dramatic movements in the price at the pump (+/- 5 cents per gallon), led by: Delaware (+10 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents) and Ohio (+8 cents) and Michigan (-9 cents).

The majority of states (36 and Washington, D.C) are posting monthly savings in the average price per gallon, largely due to localized refinery issues being resolved in the Midwest and West Coast markets. The Western states of California (-29 cents) and Oregon (-18 cents) are posting the largest discounts over this period, and are joined by six additional states where the average price at the pump is discounted by a dime or more per gallon. Retail averages have moved higher in 14 states month-over-month, led by Utah (+14 cents) and Illinois (+14 cents) where the price is up by more than one dime per gallon.

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Every state and Washington, D.C. continues to post yearly savings, with the average price per gallon discounted by more than $1.00 in 45 states and Washington, D.C.  Twenty-five states and Washington, D.C. are posting year-over-year savings of $1.25 per gallon or more, and motorists in Michigan (-$1.41), Illinois (-$1.40) and Indiana (-$1.38) are experiencing the largest savings over this period.

The global oil market remains bearish, despite the price of crude showing volatility reminiscent of the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. Global supply continues to outpace demand, and news of sustained production from OPEC along with high-cost production countries like the U.S is expected to keep downward pressure on global crude prices. There have been reports of falling rig counts, particularly in the Northern U.S., due to sharply lower global prices that have shifted profitability dynamics for producers using new means to extract crude oil from the ground that is more expensive than traditional methods. Despite these numbers, U.S. oil production and supplies continue to outpace demand and exert downward pressure on crude oil prices.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI was up 85 cents and settled at $51.64 per barrel.

National Average Drops Further

April 6th, 2015 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, April 6, 2015) The price at the pump continues to reflect seasonality as refineries complete scheduled maintenance and prepare for the summer driving season. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 24 of the past 30 days, after reaching a peak-to-date price for 2015 of $2.46 per gallon on March 7. While prices could still rise again this spring if global crude prices rise or domestic refineries experience production issues, the timing of this seasonal peak would be within the range of recent years but the “high” would be significantly lower. Peak dates and prices in recent years were April 28, 2014 ($3.70); February 27, 2013 ($3.79); April 5 and 6, 2012 ($3.94); and May 5, 2011 ($3.98).

Today’s national average price at the pump is $2.39 per gallon, which represents a savings of three cents versus one week ago and seven cents versus one month ago. Consumers continue to experience significant year-over-year savings in the price of retail gasoline and are saving $1.19 per gallon compared to this same date last year.

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Production issues have largely been resolved in the Midwest and on the West Coast, following a number of unexpected issues at refineries, which caused regional price spikes over the past few weeks. Despite these localized swings, the low price of crude oil has kept the national average relatively stable over the past month. Unless there are new regional refinery issues or global crude prices turn markedly higher, drivers can expect to see pump prices continue to slide leading up to the start of the summer driving season.

California drivers continue to pay the most in the nation for retail gasoline ($3.15). However, with local refineries returning to normal production levels, prices in the state have posted the largest declines in the nation over the past several weeks and have narrowed the price spread between the Golden State and Hawaii ($3.12), which usually holds the title for the most expensive state average in the country. Alaska ($2.91), Nevada ($2.79) and Washington ($2.74) round out the top five most expensive markets. Motorists in South Carolina ($2.09), Tennessee ($2.13) and Mississippi ($2.15) are paying the nation’s lowest prices to refuel their vehicles.

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Most drivers across the country are experiencing week-over-week savings at the pump. The average price is down in 40 states and Washington D.C., with the largest drops seen in Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-13 cents) and Kentucky (-10 cents). Retail prices have ticked higher versus one week ago in 10 states, all by less than a nickel per gallon, led by: Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota (all +3 cents).

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Forty-one states are now posting month-over-month discounts in the average price per gallon, led by California (-29 cents), Minnesota (-22 cents) and Oregon (-18 cents). Twelve additional states are registering monthly savings of a dime or more per gallon, and drivers in 36 states are saving at least a nickel per gallon over this same period. On the other end of the spectrum, prices moved higher versus one month ago in 9 states and Washington, D.C, with Utah (+25 cents), Idaho (+24 cents), Illinois (+14 cents) and Wyoming (+11 cents) are all posting premiums of a dime or more per gallon.

The average price at the pump nationwide remains substantially less expensive than one year ago, due to the relatively low price of crude. Every state and Washington, D.C., continues to post year-over-year savings, and the average price for retail gasoline is down by more than a dollar in 42 states and Washington, D.C. The price at the pump is discounted by $1.25 or more in 12 states.

The global oil market remains in flux due to news of declining revenues for producers as well as the potential for additional supply to enter the market. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member nations posted their lowest net export revenues since 2010, due to reductions in oil exports from the countries and the sharply lower price of crude. Market watchers remain focused on the oil cartel for any signs of a move to cut production to stabilize prices, and with news of a framework for a nuclear agreement having been reached between Western powers and Iran, speculations of oversupply are expected to keep downward pressure on the market. Iran holds the world’s fourth largest proven reserves of crude oil but since 2012 sanctions have limited the OPEC member country’s ability to participate fully in the global oil market.

At the close of Thursday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed down 95 cents at $49.14 per barrel. The NYMEX was closed on Friday in observance of Good Friday.

Gas Prices May Drop in Time for Summer

April 1st, 2015 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile

 

(WASHINGTON, April 1, 2015)

Gas Prices Remain Relatively Stable and Cheap for Most Drivers

  • Gas prices remained relatively stable in March with the national average up only about two cents per gallon during the month. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.41 per gallon, which is about $1.15 per gallon less than a year ago.
  • “This spring has been relatively pain free at the pumps for most drivers with a few exceptions,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “Gas prices in most places are still relatively cheap and we have not seen the national average jump at the same dramatic rates that have been so common during the spring in recent years.”
  • Average U.S. gas prices are up 37 cents per gallon since falling to near a six-year low of $2.03 per gallon on Jan. 26, 2015. It is common for gas prices to rise 50 cents per gallon or more in late winter and early spring as refineries conduct seasonal maintenance, which can limit gasoline production.
  • The average price of gas in March was $2.43 per gallon, which was the cheapest average for the month since 2009.
  • The cost of crude oil has remained volatile despite relative stability in gas prices. West Texas Intermediate oil prices closed as high as $51.53 per barrel in early March, but also closed at a six-year low of $43.46 per barrel on March 17 before rising again later in the month. Crude oil prices make up more than half of the cost of a gallon of gasoline.
  • A refinery explosion and other production problems led to a significant spike in gas prices in states west of the Rockies in late February and early March, as California’s average reached a high of $3.44 per gallon on March 6. It can be difficult for local production to meet demand when California’s refineries experience problems because there are no pipelines that connect the state to the major refining regions east of the Rockies. Average prices in California have since dropped about 26 cents per gallon.
  • Drivers in the Midwest also faced a brief spike in gas prices in March as several large refineries in the region experienced temporary problems. For example, gas prices in Illinois jumped more than 33 cents per gallon, but have since begun to decline as refineries return to normal operations.

AAA Sees Possibility of Lower Gas Prices by the Summer

  • Lower gas prices may be on the way for U.S. consumers by this summer if refinery maintenance ends smoothly and if crude oil remains relatively cheap. It is even possible that gas prices will return to near $2 per gallon in some areas, as long as there are no unexpected problems in the meantime. AAA does not expect the national average to rise above $3 per gallon this year.
  • “There is a real hope that gas prices could drop significantly in time for the busy summer driving season,” continued Ash. “The overall outlook looks good for drivers, and with any luck we will avoid the types of problems that often lead to higher gas prices at this time of year.”
  • Many refineries have completed seasonal maintenance, though unexpected problems could still occur. Many refineries and wholesalers will switch to more expensive summer-blend gasoline by May 1 to meet EPA clean air regulations.
  • The cost of crude oil is likely to be the most important factor influencing gas prices over the next few months. Many experts believe that crude oil prices may drop further due to abundant supplies, but international conflict, declining production or other issues could result in higher prices.
  • There is a glut of petroleum around the world that has helped to keep prices at the lowest levels since 2009. Domestic oil production remains about 14 percent higher than a year ago. U.S. commercial crude oil supplies are about 24 percent higher than a year ago, while gasoline supplies are about six percent higher than a year ago. In addition, a nuclear deal with Iran may allow that country to export more crude oil, which would further increase global oil supplies.
  • There remains a possibility that oil prices could rise despite abundant supplies. Most recently, the market has been concerned that the conflict in Yemen could lead to violence in major oil-producing countries, such as Saudi Arabia.

U.S. Households Saving more than $100 a Month on Gasoline

  • Many drivers are saving $15-$30 on every trip to the gas station due to lower prices. AAA estimates that households are saving more than $425 million per day on gasoline compared to a year ago, which works out to average savings of more than $100 per household a month.
  • About 93 percent of U.S. gas stations are selling gas that is priced between $2 and $3 per gallon. About 1 in 3 stations are still selling gas for less than $2.25 per gallon. A year ago, nearly every station in the country was selling gas for more than $3 per gallon.
  • The most common price in the country today is $2.299 per gallon, which compares to $3.599 per gallon a year ago.
  • The five states with the highest average prices today include: California ($3.19), Hawaii ($3.15), Alaska ($2.91), Nevada ($2.80), and Washington ($2.75). The five states with the lowest average prices today include: South Carolina ($2.10), Tennessee ($2.14), New Jersey ($2.16), Mississippi ($2.16) and Alabama ($2.17).

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.

Retail Gas Price Rally Fades

March 30th, 2015 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, March 30, 2015)  Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.42 per gallon. Consumers are paying two cents more than one month ago but fractions of a penny less than one week ago and $1.13 less than the same date last year. The national average has now fallen for 17 of the past 23 days.

2012-2015-Avg-Gas-Prices

The status of regional refineries continues to be a driving factor for gas prices in many parts of the country. However, while several weeks ago it was refineries going offline and driving prices higher in the midwest and west coast, today it is those facilities resuming production that has driven prices lower in the same regions. For more than a month California has been the nation’s most expensive state for gasoline. Today’s price in the Golden State is $3.20 followed by Hawaii ($3.14), Alaska ($2.91), Nevada ($2.80) and Washington ($2.75). South Carolina ($2.10), Tennessee ($2.14) and New Jersey ($2.16) are the least expensive markets in the country for retail gasoline.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices-3-30-15

Consumers in 34 states and Washington, D.C., are paying less at the pump than one week ago, with the largest price drops in Michigan (-11 cents), California (-6 cents) and Oregon (-4 cents). Over the same period the price has moved higher in 16 states. The most dramatic increase was in Florida, where prices rose more than 10 cents during this span. While weekly declines have been experienced in many states, gas prices are still higher over the past month in most of the country. The price at the pump has increased in 32 states and Washington, D.C., with consumers in nine states paying premiums of a dime or more per gallon compared to a month ago. The largest monthly increases have occurred in Utah (+46 cents), Idaho (+44 cents) and Illinois (+22 cents).

Top10-Largest-Weekly-Decreases-3-30-15

While prices over the past month are higher for many drivers, year-over-year price comparisons continue to highlight universal savings. Sharply lower oil prices have resulted in substantially less expensive gas prices in every state, including a price at the pump that is discounted by $1 or more per gallon in 43 states and Washington, D.C.

After briefly rising back above $50 per barrel last week, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil dropped back below that threshold to end last week. Crude prices have fallen to multi-year lows due largely to ample global production. The possibility of increased exports from Iran should a nuclear deal be reached this week would further increase production and has for now offset any “risk premium” stemming from regional stability due to violence in Yemen. A possible deal between the West and Iran could bring an estimated 500,000 barrels per day of additional oil to the global market, which would add more supply to an already well-supplied market and exert further downward pressure on crude prices. At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled down $2.56 at $48.87 per barrel.

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