Gas Prices: AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report | January 14, 2013

(WASHINGTON, January 14, 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.30. While this price is fractions of a penny more than one week ago and three cents more than one month ago, it is eight cents less than the average price one year ago. The national average has now been cheaper than the same day in 2012 for ten straight days.

The first two weeks of last year saw gas prices rise 12 cents because of increased geopolitical tensions with Iran and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices holding near $100 per barrel. Through the same period to start 2013, pump prices have risen only a penny as WTI has remained within a $90-95 range.

While the national average price at the pump is up slightly over the last month, motorists in nearly half of states have seen prices decrease. These declines have been most dramatic in the Mountain West, with prices in Utah, Idaho, Wyo. and Colo. each falling more than 30 cents per gallon. Motorists in Fla., Va., S.C. and D.C. have seen the highest increases, as prices have risen by at least 13-cents per gallon in each state.

Motorists in eight states currently pay less than $3.00 per gallon at the pump: Utah – $2.84, Wyo. – $2.85, Colo. – $2.86, Idaho – $2.95, Minn. – $2.96, Okla. – $2.97, Mo. – $2.98 and N.M. – $2.98. Drivers in Hawaii continue to pay the most in the nation at $4.06 per gallon and it remains the only state above the $4.00 threshold. The highest average prices in the continental United States are in N.Y. – $3.74, Conn. – $3.69 and Calif. – $3.62. Motorists in California may see prices rise in the coming days, following news last night of flaring due to an operational glitch at the Chevron refinery in El Segundo. The impact of this unintentional shutdown will likely be amplified as it comes at the same time that a number of refineries in California are already offline due to unplanned repairs or seasonal maintenance. Prices in the Midwest may also increase in the coming days following an electrical fire on Saturday at the Wood River refinery in Roxana, Ill. According to a company spokesman, the impacted crude unit is likely to remain shut down until later this week.

Crude oil prices have traded in a narrow range to begin the year, as ample product inventories in most parts of the country and continued weak demand have largely offset upward pressure from a weaker U.S. dollar and some positive economic news. At today’s close of formal trading on the NYMEX, the price of WTI crude oil settled at $93.82 per barrel, up 72 cents on the day.

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