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COVID-19 and the ongoing crude oil price war could lower prices to $1.75 per gallon in April

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 31, 2020) – The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped below $2 for the first time in four years. Today’s national gas price average is $1.99.  AAA expects gas prices to push cheaper, with the national price average hitting $1.75 or less in April. 

The decline is due to COVID-19’s chilling effect on the global economy and the crude oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Crude has plummeted to $20/bbl – a closing price not seen since 2002. For the last 52 weeks, crude oil (West Texas Intermediate) has averaged $56/bbl with the national pump price average at $2.63.

“AAA expects gas prices to keep dropping as cheap crude combines with the realities of people staying home and less demand for gas,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Today, motorists can find gas for $1.99 or less at 68% of gas stations in the country.”

Across the country, state averages are less than $3/gallon except in Hawaii ($3.36) and California ($3.05). Twenty-nine states have regular gas price averages under $2, with Oklahoma ($1.55) having the cheapest in the country. For state, metro and county gas prices, visit Gasprices.AAA.com.

While demand is diminishing, COVID-19 is not impacting the U.S. gasoline supply. The U.S. has an unusual amount of winter-blend gasoline still available for this time of year. This caused the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to extend the sale of winter-blend past the May 1 deadline to May 20. The agency said they would continue to monitor and may extend the waiver again.

“The EPA’s extension of the winter-blend gasoline waiver will contribute to sustained lower prices, especially as U.S. gasoline demand readings look more like winter-driving season than spring,” added Casselano.

AAA forecasts that until crude oil prices and gasoline demand increase, cheaper gas prices are here for the foreseeable future.

For those motorists who are not driving, AAA offers these car care tips for longer-than-expected parked vehicles:

  • Battery Boost. If possible, use a Battery Tender or other maintenance-type battery charger to keep the battery at a full state of charge and prevent deterioration. The Battery Tender should remain connected to the stored vehicle.
  • Fuel Stabilizer. If gas is going to sit in the vehicle’s tank for more than a few months, particularly gasoline that contains ethanol, AAA recommends using a treatment designed for fuel stabilization such as STA-BIL®.  Anyone can do this, and it is as simple as fueling up a vehicle. Fill the gas tank to help minimize condensation and drive the car for five to ten miles to ensure that the stabilized fuel circulates throughout the fuel system.
  • Tire Pressure. Add 10 psi of pressure to each tire to help prevent flat spots from forming on the tires. This occurs when the area of the tire touching the ground becomes rigid due to sitting in one position for an extended period. You can also move the vehicle periodically.
  • Windshield Wiper Placement. Prop up the wiper arms so the blades are off the windshield and won’t get stuck to the glass.
  • No Parking Brake. Don’t use the parking brake when storing the vehicle. The brake could become frozen, and the brake pads could rust to the rotors, or brake shoes could distort the drums. With an automatic transmission, simply place the vehicle in park. If the car has a manual transmission, put it in first or reverse gear and use wheel chocks to help hold the vehicle in place.

AAA provides more than 60 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 34 motor clubs and more than 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

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At $2.01, the national gas price average is 11-cents cheaper on the week, 43-cents less expensive on the month and 68-cents less than a year ago.

“This week, the national gas price will drop below $2/gallon for the first time in four years and it won’t stop there as demand for gasoline diminishes as Americans stay home,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Ten states already have averages at $1.75 or less.”

Crude oil continues to price low – in the $20/bbl range – as U.S. gasoline demand decreases to numbers typically seen during the winter driving season. In fact, there is an atypical amount of winter-blend gasoline supply still available, which has caused the Environmental Protection Agency to extend the sale of winter blend past the May 1 deadline to May 20. The agency said they will continue to monitor and, if necessary, extend the waiver again.

“Delaying the switch-over to summer-blend gasoline will contribute to sustained lower prices as summer-blend is more expensive to produce,” added Casselano.

The difference between summer- and winter-blend gasolines is how easily the fuel evaporates at a given temperature. The more volatile a gasoline, the easier it evaporates. Winter-blend fuel must be able to evaporate at low temperatures for the engine to operate properly, especially when the engine is cold. Summer-blend gasoline has a lower volatility to prevent excessive evaporation when outside temperatures rise. Reducing the volatility of summer gas decreases emissions that can contribute to unhealthy ozone and smog levels.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Wisconsin (-22 cents), Montana (-21 cents), Alaska (-19 cents), Oklahoma (-15 cents), California (-15 cents), Arkansas (-14 cents), Idaho (-14 cents), New Hampshire (-13 cents), Kentucky (-13 cents) and Michigan (-13 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($1.56), Wisconsin ($1.59), Ohio ($1.65), Kentucky ($1.69), Michigan ($1.71), Indiana ($1.72), Mississippi ($1.73), Texas ($1.74), Arkansas ($1.74) and Missouri ($1.75).

Great Lakes and Central States

Six Great Lakes and Central States land on the top 10 list of cheapest averages in the country all with averages at $1.75 or less: Wisconsin ($1.59), Ohio ($1.65), Kentucky ($1.69), Michigan ($1.71), Indiana ($1.72) and Missouri ($1.75). Illinois ($2.04) is the only state in the region with an average above $2/gallon.  Year-over-year, some states are seeing more than a $1/gallon savings: Wisconsin (-$1.10), Michigan (-$1.08) and Indiana (-$1.00).

On the week, state averages declined between 11 to 22 cents despite a drop in gasoline stocks. The region’s stock level declined by 800,000 bbl down to 56.2 million bbl, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). However, with an increase in regional refinery utilization, up 2.5% to 88%, stocks could see an increase in the next EIA report, which should push gas prices cheaper throughout the region.

South and Southeast

Gas price averages in the South and Southeast are all cheaper than $2/gallon. At $1.96, New Mexico and Florida carry the highest average in the region. Oklahoma ($1.56) carries the cheapest average in the region and country, and lands on these top 10 lists for biggest change: weekly (-15 cents), monthly (-61 cents) and yearly (-90 cents). Year-over-year, motorists in the South and Southeast are seeing at least 55 cents in savings at the pump.

With a 300,000 bbl draw, gasoline stocks now measure at 82.3 million bbl. While stocks have been decreasing weekly for more than a month, the latest draw is the smallest during this timeframe and contributed to the region seeing gas prices push cheaper by as much as 15 cents on the week.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

On the week, 12 Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw gas prices push cheaper by at least a dime. These states saw the largest pump price decrease of 13 cents: Maine ($1.93), West Virginia ($1.96), New Hampshire ($2.04), Connecticut ($2.16) and Pennsylvania ($2.22).

With the latest declines, five states in the region now have gas prices under $2/gallon: North Carolina ($1.84), Virginia ($1.85), Maine ($1.93), Delaware ($1.93) and West Virginia ($1.96).

Gasoline stocks drew by 1.2 million. The EIA measures total stocks for the region at 60 million bbl. However, regional refinery utilization bumped up 1% to 58%. Gas prices will continue to decrease across the region in the week ahead, with more states seeing their average fall below $2/gallon.

Rockies

Every Rockies state, but Utah (-7 cents), saw double-digit price drops on the week: Montana (-21 cents), Idaho (-14 cents), Wyoming (-11 cents) and Colorado (-10 cents). Colorado ($1.97) is the only state in the region with an average under $2/gallon, and the state hasn’t seen regular unleaded that cheap since April 2016. It’s likely that Montana ($2.04) will drop below the $2/gallon mark this week too.

Prices are decreasing across the region, but Utah ($2.35) and Idaho ($2.33) continue to rank among the top 10 states in the country with the highest averages.

While stocks held steady at 8.9 million bbl, regional refinery utilization dropped by 5% to nearly 81%. This could yield a large draw in stocks in EIA’s report next week. However, motorists will continue to see gas prices decline alongside the national trend.

West Coast

Although the West Coast region continues to have the most expensive state averages in the country, it is also seeing significant decreases, as crude prices remain low. When compared to a week ago, Alaska (-19 cents) saw the largest decline. Hawaii ($3.36) and California ($3.05) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($2.76), Oregon ($2.71), Nevada ($2.63), Alaska ($2.52) and Arizona ($2.47) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased by over 900,000 bbl to 30.97 million bbl, which is approximately 150,000 bbl lower than the level at this time in 2019. Pump prices are likely to continue decreasing this week, barring any supply challenges.

Oil Market Dynamics

Crude prices continue to decline as the public health, financial and economic impacts from COVID-19 continue to mount. Until the virus is contained and Russia and Saudi Arabia end their crude price war, crude prices are likely to remain low. At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $1.09 to settle at $21.51 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.

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With the national average at $2.12, pump prices are, on average, 50-cents less than this time last year. Crude oil is the biggest driver of the less expensive gas prices. In the last week, crude oil prices dropped to $22/bbl – a low not seen since 2002. Crude oil accounts for nearly 60% of the retail pump price. When crude is cheap, gas prices follow suit. 

“Typically gas prices start to trend more expensive at the beginning of spring, especially as motorists get out to enjoy the warmer weather and travel for spring break. That is not the case this year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “With Americans urged to stay at home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus, we are seeing less traffic on the roadways which will ultimately drive down demand, increase gasoline supply and push pump prices less expensive for the foreseeable future.”

Motorists do not need to rush to the pumps to fill-up. Currently, there is ample U.S. gasoline supply and no disruption to distribution at gas stations.

Across the country, state averages are less than $3/gallon except in Hawaii ($3.47) and California ($3.21). Twenty-nine states have gas price averages at $2.10 or less with Oklahoma ($1.71) carrying the cheapest in the country. 

Today’s national average ($2.12) is cheaper on the week (-13 cents), month (-35 cents) and year (-50 cents).

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Wisconsin (-24 cents), Oklahoma (-21 cents), North Dakota (-20 cents), Ohio (-19 cents), Michigan (-18 cents), Kentucky (-17 cents), Minnesota (-15 cents), Maine (-15 cents), South Dakota (-15 cents) and California (-14 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($1.71), Ohio ($1.78), Wisconsin ($1.81), Kentucky ($1.82), Indiana ($1.83), Mississippi ($1.84), Michigan ($1.84), Texas ($1.85), South Carolina ($1.86) and Missouri ($1.86).

Great Lakes and Central States

Every state in the Great Lakes and Central States saw gas prices decrease by double-digits on the week. Wisconsin (-24 cents) saw the largest decrease in the region and country. With the latest declines, gas prices range from as cheap as $1.78 in Ohio to as expensive as $2.16 in Illinois. In fact the region is home to some of the cheapest averages in the country. These Great Lakes and Central states land on the top 10 list of cheapest state averages in the country: Ohio ($1.78), Wisconsin ($1.81), Kentucky ($1.82), Indiana ($1.83), Michigan ($1.84) and Missouri ($1.86).

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports gasoline stocks drew by 1.2 million bbl, dropping the region’s total stock level down to 57 million bbl. Regional refinery utilization slowed, decreasing by 2% to 85%, but ranks as the third highest regional utilization rate in the country for the week ending March 13. Despite two weeks of declining stocks, gas prices are expected to push cheaper in the week ahead due to anticipated dip in demand and falling crude oil prices.

South and Southeast

Florida ($2.06) and New Mexico ($2.05) are the only states in the South and Southeast region to carry an average above $2/gallon, though both states are likely to join the sub-$2 price point in coming days. More eye opening, seven states in the region carry averages below $1.90 including: Oklahoma ($1.71), Mississippi ($1.84), Texas ($1.85), South Carolina ($1.86), Arkansas ($1.88), Alabama ($1.89) and Tennessee ($1.89)

Compared to a year ago, motorists in the South and Southeast are seeing gas prices that are 40 cents to more than 70 cents less. Compared to one month ago, the price savings is closer to 50 cents.

Gasoline stocks have declined consistently for the last four weeks, bringing total stocks from nearly 93 million bbl to just under 83 million bbl, according to EIA’s latest report. The significant dip in stocks is likely attributed to exports as opposed to high demand. In fact, regional refinery utilization is on the rise, up to nearly 92% for the week ending March 13. Motorists can expect to see prices continue to decline in the week ahead.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Despite gas prices that are nearly 40-cents cheaper on the month, only two Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states have averages below $2/gallon: Virginia ($1.95) and North Carolina ($1.94). Though a handful of other states in the region could join the less than $2 list this week: Delaware ($2.05), South Dakota ($2.05), Maine ($2.06) and West Virginia ($2.09).

New York ($2.40) carries the most expensive gas price average in the region and also ranks as the 10th most expensive average in the country.  On the week, all states saw declines between 8 to 15 cents.

Since early February, EIA reports show that regional gasoline stocks have declined. The latest draw of nearly 2 million bbl drops total stock levels down to 62 million bbl. More concerning, regional refinery utilization is at its lowest point – 57% – since 2012. Gas prices in the region are moving cheaper because of inexpensive crude oil prices. However, declining stock levels and lower refinery rates are slowing the pace at which pump prices drop in the region compared to other states in the Midwest and Southern regions. 

Rockies

On the week, state gas price averages in the Rockies region are 6 to 11 cents cheaper.

State averages are: Idaho ($2.47), Utah ($2.43), Wyoming ($2.29), Montana ($2.25) and Colorado ($2.07). Colorado carries the cheapest average of all Rockies states. The state’s average is about 35 cents cheaper compared to this time last month and last year.

The latest EIA report shows another week of gasoline stock declines for the region, though only 200,000 bbl. Total stock levels sit at 8.9 million bbl. Year-over-year, stocks sit at a 1.6 million bbl surplus. This fact, plus cheap crude oil prices, are helping to push gas prices cheaper in the region.

West Coast

Although the West Coast region continues to have the most expensive state averages in the country, it is also seeing significant decreases, as crude prices remain low. When compared to a week ago, California (-14 cents) saw the largest decline. Hawaii ($3.47) and California ($3.21) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($2.90), Oregon ($2.83), Alaska ($2.74), Nevada ($2.75) and Arizona ($2.58) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region decreased by 1.58 million bbl to 30.06 million bbl, which is 1.27 million bbl lower than the level at this time in 2019. Pump prices are likely to continue decreasing this week, barring any supply challenges.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased by $2.79 to settle at $22.43. COVID-19 and the crude price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia continue to push crude prices down. Moving into this week, crude prices will continue decreasing as the world grapples with how to contain the ongoing global public health crisis and associated economic challenges that could lead to a global recession. Until Saudi Arabia and Russia end their price standoff and the spread of COVID-19 ceases, domestic crude prices are likely to remain low.

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.

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Eleven States Have Gas Price Average of $2/Gallon or Less

As crude oil prices trend close to $30/bbl, Americans are seeing pump prices plummet across the country. On the week, gas price averages in 35 states decreased by double-digits, pushing the national average to $2.25, the cheapest price point of the year.

“The national gas price average is 13 cents cheaper on the week and nearly 20 cents less than the beginning of the month. These are significant decreases in just 7 and 16 days,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “AAA expects gas prices to continue trending cheaper, with the high likelihood of the national average hitting $2/gallon before the end of March.”

During this uncertain time of COVID-19, gas prices are declining despite increasing gasoline demand and decreasing U.S. stock levels.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Ohio (-27 cents), Kentucky (-21 cents), Michigan (-21 cents), Wisconsin (-21 cents), Indiana (-19 cents), Illinois (-19 cents), Oklahoma (-15 cents), Iowa (-15 cents), Maine (-15 cents) and Minnesota (-15 cents).  
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($1.92), Texas ($1.96), Mississippi ($1.96), South Carolina ($1.97), Ohio ($1.97), Indiana ($1.97), Missouri ($1.98), Kentucky ($1.99), Louisiana ($2.00) and Alabama ($2.00).  

Great Lakes and Central States

Some of the largest weekly pump price savings in the country can be found in the Great Lakes and Central states. Eight out of the top 10 largest weekly decreases are states from the region: Ohio (-27 cents), Kentucky (-21 cents), Michigan (-21 cents), Wisconsin (-21 cents), Indiana (-19 cents), Illinois (-19 cents), Iowa (-15 cents) and Minnesota (-15 cents). All states in the region saw double-digit decreases, with South Dakota (-10 cents) seeing the smallest decrease on the week.

With the substantial drops at the pump, state gas prices in the region are relatively cheap, ranging from as low as $1.98 in Missouri to a high of $2.30 in Illinois.

With a draw of 1.8 million bbl, the Great Lakes and Central states region saw its first substantial drop in gasoline stocks in two months, according to the Energy Information Administration’s latest report. At 58 million bbl, stock levels remain healthy and in line with levels this time last year. If stocks were to decrease again in the coming week that would traditionally mean a pump price increase, but given current trends it’s more likely gas prices would decrease.

South and Southeast

Four states in the South and Southeast region have a gas price average below $2/gallon: Oklahoma ($1.92), Texas ($1.96), Mississippi ($1.96) and South Carolina ($1.97). It’s likely other states in the region will fall below the two dollar price point in the coming week, including: Louisiana ($2.00), Alabama ($2.00), Arkansas ($2.01), Tennessee ($2.03) and Georgia ($2.07). At $2.16, New Mexico and Florida carry the most expensive state averages in the region.

State gas price averages in the South and Southeast are 10 to 15 cents cheaper on the week. Oklahoma (-15 cents) saw the largest decline in the region and ranks among the top 10 states with the biggest pump price change in the last seven days.

Gasoline stocks saw another week of substantial draw, this time 3.7 million bbl. The EIA reports that with the latest draw, total regional stock levels measure at 83 million bbl – the lowest level seen since the end of December last year. Year-over-year, regional stocks are sitting at a 4 million bbl deficit. Typically this could push gas prices more expensive, but its likely motorists in the region will see cheaper gas prices in the week ahead due to market uncertainties associated with the coronavirus.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

On the week, motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region saw average declines of 6 to 15 cents. Maine ($2.21) saw the biggest weekly difference of any state in the region.

State gas price averages are $2.50 or less for every state in the region. New York ($2.48), Washington, D.C. ($2.47) and Pennsylvania ($2.46) carry the highest averages in the region while North Carolina ($2.07) and Virginia ($2.06) have the cheapest regional averages.

Gasoline stocks built by 400,000 bbl, bumping total regional stock levels to nearly 64 million bbl. More positive news for the region was revealed in EIA’s latest report: refinery utilization increased for the first time since early January, up almost three percentage points to nearly 59%. In the coming week, regional gas prices are likely to follow the national trend of pushing cheaper. 

Rockies

Three Rockies states land on the top 10 list of states with the smallest weekly change: Utah (-1 cent), Idaho (-2 cents) and Wyoming (-3 cents). Montana (-8 cents) and Colorado (-11 cents) saw more significant pump price drops.  Regional gas price averages range from as cheap as $2.18 in Colorado to $2.53 in Idaho.

Stocks dipped slight by 140,000 bbl to 9.1 million bbl. Compared to last year at this time, EIA data shows that current regional stock levels are at a 1.8 million bbl surplus. This healthy difference will likely keep state gas price averages declining in the week ahead, though potentially only by a few pennies for most of the region.

West Coast

Like the rest of the country, pump prices in the West Coast region have declined and are poised to continue their descent this week, as crude prices remain low. When compared to a week ago, California (-10 cents) saw the largest decline. Hawaii ($3.52) and California ($3.34) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.02), Oregon ($2.92), Alaska ($2.86), Nevada ($2.82) and Arizona ($2.67) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased slightly from 31.41 million bbl to 31.64 million bbl, which is 1.14 million bbl lower than the level at this time in 2019. Pump prices are likely to continue decreasing this week, barring any supply challenges.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 23 cents to settle at $31.73. Fears about COVID-19 and the crude price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia pushed crude prices lower last week. After President Trump announced that the U.S. Department of Energy would purchase oil to top off the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, crude prices rallied briefly. However, the announcement is unlikely to help increase crude prices further since the limited number of barrels the U.S. could purchase is small when compared to the dramatic reduction in global crude demand as a result of reduced economic activity due to COVID-19. Moving into this week, crude prices are likely to continue decreasing as the world grapples with how to contain the ongoing international public health crisis and associated economic challenges that could lead to a global recession. Until the price war ends and fears about COVID-19 subside, domestic crude prices are likely to remain low.

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.

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Crude oil prices hit 4-year low amid OPEC disagreement and coronavirus concerns

The national gas price average is cheaper on the week (-5 cents), month (-5 cents) and year (-9 cents) – giving the vast majority of motorists savings at the pump. At $2.38, the national gas price average has not been this cheap since last February.

“For the third week, U.S. gasoline stocks decreased while demand increased. Generally, growing demand amid declining stocks causes increases at the pump, but crude oil prices have dipped to four-year lows, signaling spring could be cheaper at the pump,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

When the global markets opened on Sunday evening, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices dipped below $30/bbl for the first time since 2016. The market plunge is in response to a lack of agreement between Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries to cut production. The trend of pump prices facing downward pressure is likely to continue through the end of the winter driving season if crude remains cheap, especially amid concerns about the coronavirus.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly price decreases are: Indiana (-12 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), Delaware (-8 cents), Iowa (-7 cents), Florida (-7 cents), South Carolina (-7 cents), Oklahoma (-7 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents) and Missouri (-6 cents).   
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Texas ($2.06), Mississippi ($2.07), Oklahoma ($2.07), South Carolina ($2.09), Louisiana ($2.10), Missouri ($2.10), Alabama ($2.11), Arkansas ($2.13), Kansas ($2.14) and Tennessee ($2.16).

West Coast

The majority of pump prices across the West Coast region continue to drop, consistent with end of winter driving season trends and cheaper crude prices. When compared to a week ago, California (-3 cents) and Arizona (-3 cents) saw the largest declines, while Alaska (+1 cent) saw the only increase. Hawaii ($3.54) and California ($3.44) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.08), Oregon ($2.97), Alaska ($2.93), Nevada ($2.87) and Arizona ($2.72) follow.

According to Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased slightly from 31.23 million bbl to 31.41 million bbl, which is 1.36 million bbl lower than the level at this time in 2019. Pump prices are likely to continue decreasing this week, barring any supply challenges.

Great Lakes and Central States

All Great Lakes and Central states have cheaper gas prices on the week, month and year except for Missouri and Kentucky, whose month-over-month difference is more expensive by three cents and a penny, respectively.

On the week, gas prices are cheaper across the entire region by as much as 12 cents. These six states land on the top 10 list for largest weekly declines in the country: Indiana (-12 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), Iowa (-7 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents) and Missouri (-6 cents). 

With a 1 million bbl build, stock levels bump up to 60 million bbl for the region. This increase helped to push gas prices cheaper on the week. Given the lower price of crude oil, prices are likely to push cheaper in the week ahead.

South and Southeast

Every state in the South and Southeast is touting an average that is cheaper on the week, month and year. Florida ($2.27) lands on the top 10 list for largest weekly (-7 cents), monthly (-12 cents) and yearly (-19 cents) differences.

On the week, gas prices are four to seven cents cheaper across the region. Texas ($2.06) has the cheapest average in the region and the nation. Gas can be found for $2/gallon or less at 24% of gas stations throughout the 11 South and Southeast region states. Oklahoma (51%) and Texas (47%) have the highest percentage of gas stations selling gas for less than $2/gallon.

Regional stock levels have steadily declined for a number of weeks. The latest draw of 3.8 million bbl in EIA’s report drops total regional levels to 87.7 million bbl. Stock builds in the beginning of the year set new records for the region. So while the latest stock decline is a very substantial number, gas prices were able to push cheaper due to higher year-over-year stock levels and cheaper crude oil prices.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are paying gas prices that are cheaper on the week, but some state averages are more expensive compared to last month and last year at this time. On the week, prices range between two to eight cents cheaper. On the month, only Delaware (+7 cents) and Maryland (+2 cent) pump prices are more expensive. Some states in the region are seeing a month-over-month savings of as much as nine cents. Compared to March 2019, pump prices are as much as 17 cents cheaper. However, two states in the region have more expensive year-over-year averages including: Vermont (+8 cents) and Rhode Island (+1 cents).

At the start of the work week, state averages range between $2.16 in Virginia to $2.57 in Pennsylvania.

Regional refinery utilization has decreased for three weeks, now down to 56%. Stocks are also in decline-mode, with the latest EIA draw reported as 1.6 million down to 63.5 million bbl. Typically, with decreasing utilization and stock levels in a region gas prices increase. However, cheaper crude oil prices amid growing concerns of the coronavirus has helped to push pump prices less expensive.

Rockies

Utah ($2.50) and Idaho ($2.55) gas prices are three cents more expensive on the week and two of only three states in the country where pump prices increased on the week. These two states, along with all states in the Rockies region, have more expensive year-over-year prices: Utah (+26 cents), Idaho (+21 cents), Wyoming (+15 cents), Montana (+6 cents) and Colorado (+3 cents). However, on the month gas prices are cheaper across the region. Colorado (-20 cents), Wyoming (-10 cents) and Montana (-8 cents) all land on the top 10 list for largest monthly changes in the country.

Stocks declined in the region by 120,000 bbls, according to EIA’s latest report, pushing total regional stock levels to 9.2 million bbl total. The decline in stocks should not impact gas prices even with regional refinery utilization down 4% to 88%. Nationally, gas prices are mostly pushing less expensive due to cheaper crude oil prices.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased by $4.62 to settle at $41.28. Crude prices plunged at the end of last week after OPEC and other major crude producers, including Russia, failed to set a new production reduction agreement amid mounting global crude demand concerns caused by COVID-19. The rapid decline in crude prices has increased market concerns that an oil price war may breakout this week between major crude producers, contributing to further economic troubles worldwide as crude prices continue to drop dramatically. Moreover, the market continues to worry that the impact of COVID-19 will lead to a reduction in global economic growth and global travel, with crude demand expected to decrease. Until it appears that the international public health threat from the virus decreases, crude prices are likely to continue facing significant downward pressure.

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.

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At $2.43, the national gas price average is just one penny more expensive than gas prices at this time last year. Gas prices have not been cheaper year-over-year since before Thanksgiving last November. Today’s average is also four cents cheaper than both a week and a month ago.

“Gas prices pushed cheaper year-over-year in the last 30 days, going from 22 cents to just one cent more expensive,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Healthy stock levels and cheaper crude prices have alleviated pump price pains. However, maintenance season and the upcoming switchover to summer blend could break the downward trend in coming weeks, but we are also watching the impact of the coronavirus and what that could do to demand.”

The ability to tap into robust U.S. gasoline stocks has contributed to price declines at the pump.  Stocks dipped for a second week, by 2.7 million bbl, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report. Overall stock levels measure at 256.3 million bbl, which is comparable to this time last year. Demand jumped slightly above 9 million b/d.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Ohio (-15 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Indiana (-10 cents), Delaware (-6 cents), Florida (-6 cents), Oklahoma (-6 cents), Colorado (-5 cents), Georgia (-5 cents), Pennsylvania (-4 cents) and Texas (-4 cents). 
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Texas ($2.12), Mississippi ($2.12), Louisiana ($2.14), Oklahoma ($2.14), Missouri ($2.16), South Carolina ($2.16), Arkansas ($2.17), Alabama ($2.17), Kansas ($2.20) and Virginia ($2.21).  

West Coast

Pump prices across the West Coast region have mostly dropped, consistent with the end of the winter driving season. When compared to a week ago, Hawaii (-2 cents), Nevada (-2 cents) and Arizona (-2 cents) saw the largest decreases, while Alaska (+1 cent) was the only state in the region to see its average increase. Hawaii ($3.56) and California ($3.47) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.08), Oregon ($2.98), Alaska ($2.92), Nevada ($2.89) and Arizona ($2.75) follow.

Last week’s fire at Marathon’s 363,000 b/d Carson facility, which initial reports indicated started with a reformer in the light ends unit, did not cause a long-term pricing impact in the state or region. Moving into this week, barring any additional supply challenges, prices will likely continue to fall. According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased from 30.85 million bbl to 31.23 million bbl, which is 1.48 million bbl lower than the level at this time in 2019.

Great Lakes and Central States

North Dakota ($2.34) and Minnesota ($2.32) were the only states in the Great Lakes and Central region to not see gas prices decrease on the week. While most  states in the region are paying just a few pennies less a gallon to fill-up, Ohio (-15 cents), Michigan (-11 cents) and Indiana (-10 cents) saw double digit decreases and rank as the top three largest weekly changes in the country.

Illinois ($2.60) and Missouri ($2.16) land on the most and least expensive top 10 lists, respectively, in the country.

As prices dipped at the pump, regional gasoline stocks held relatively steady at 59 million bbl. This healthy level amid robust refinery utilization (90%), as reported by the EIA, should help to keep gas prices stable in the week ahead.

South and Southeast

Gas prices are less expensive on the week across the South and Southeast states, which is the opposite trend from how last Monday kicked off the work week. Floridians and Oklahomans are seeing the biggest savings of six cents followed by these states, Georgia (-5 cents), Texas (-4 cents), New Mexico (-4 cents) and South Carolina (-4 cents).

The EIA reports that regional stocks saw a large 1.4 million bbl draw, which would normally be a contributing factor to pump price increases. However, given that total stocks measure at a very healthy 91 million bbl, the latest stock decline did not negatively impact gas prices. Last year, stocks in the South and Southeast only reached 90.9 million bbl at their highest point and that was in early January 2019.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Four states land on the top 10 list for largest monthly change – one for an increase and three for decreases. This includes Delaware (+11 cents), which has the largest increase month-over-month in the region, while West Virginia ($2.37), Maine ($2.41) and Vermont ($2.55) all have an eight cent decrease.

On the week, gas prices are cheaper, if not stable, across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region with Delaware (-6 cents) and Pennsylvania (-4 cents) seeing the largest pump price drops.

Motorists in the region should brace for a week of volatility. EIA data shows regional refinery utilization decreased for another week, this time from 59% to 57%. More troublesome, stocks drew by a significant 1.4 million bbl down to 65.1 million bbl. Market analysts are closely watching the Phillips 66 265,000-b/d Bayway refinery in Linden, N.J., which went offline for maintenance about a month ago.  

Rockies

Idaho (+2 cents) was one of only two states in the country where pump prices increased on the week. In the region, gas prices pushed cheaper by a nickel in Colorado ($2.36), while Utah ($2.47), Wyoming ($2.45) and Montana ($2.41) saw movement of a few pennies.

For the first time in weeks, EIA reports that regional stock levels declined. Stocks dipped by 200,000 bbl down to 9.3 million bbl total. Compared to February 2019, stocks are measuring about 2 million bbl ahead, which has helped to put downward pressure on gas for the region this winter driving season.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased by $2.33 to settle at $44.76. Crude prices have not been this low since December 2018. The significant decrease in crude prices has been led by the growing impact of the coronavirus. The market continues to worry that the impact of the virus will lead to a reduction in global economic growth and global travel, with crude demand expected to decrease. Until it appears that the international public health threat from the virus decreases and China’s industrial sector recovers from the impact of the virus on production, crude prices are likely to continue facing downward pressure.

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.

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More than half of all state gas price averages increased as much as three cents in the last week. The jumps, which caused the national gas price average to increase by a penny to $2.47, was caused by a decrease in U.S. gasoline stocks and increases in demand. The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest data show total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2 million bbl to 259.1 million bbl, while demand increased from 8.72 million b/d to 8.92 million b/d. Some of the decrease in stocks can be attributed to refinery maintenance.

“Gasoline prices are likely to fluctuate in the coming weeks, but not drastically, as the winter driving season nears its end and refineries undergo maintenance,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “This is the typical trend this time of year.”

Today’s national average is six cents cheaper than last month and eight cents more expensive than last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Delaware (+13 cents), Missouri (+10 cents), Texas (+9 cents), Florida (+8 cents), Illinois (+8 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents), Maryland (+8 cents), New Mexico (+7 cents), Nebraska (+6 cents) and Oklahoma (+6 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.13), Texas ($2.16), Louisiana ($2.16), Missouri ($2.19), Arkansas ($2.19), Alabama ($2.19), Oklahoma ($2.20), South Carolina ($2.20), Kansas ($2.21) and Tennessee ($2.23).

South and Southeast

Gas prices are more expensive across the South and Southeast states at the start of the work week. At the least, motorists are paying three cents more per gallon to fill-up. These states saw the largest jumps on the week: Texas (+9 cents), Florida (+8 cents), New Mexico (+7 cents), Oklahoma (+6 cents), Louisiana (+5 cents) and Arkansas (+5 cents).

While gas prices are more expensive on the week and as much as 12 cents more compared to last year, motorists are seeing savings month-over-month. In the region, Mississippi (-10 cents), Alabama (-10 cents) and Louisiana (-9 cents) carry the largest change since late January.

Contributing to the increase in pump prices was the decrease in gasoline stocks and maintenance at regional refineries. Stocks drew by 277,000 bbl down to 92.9 million bbl. That is the second lowest measured stock level for the region this year. However, the good news is the latest EIA regional refinery utilization report shows a 2% bump to 92%. This could help to increase stock levels in the week ahead and help minimize any further price fluctuation.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Most Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states have seen fluctuation at the pump on the week. However, 8 of the 15 states in the region saw gas prices increase by only a penny or hold steady. Delaware (+13 cents) and Maryland (+8 cents) saw the largest increases in the region and land on the top 10 list of largest weekly jumps in the country. Today, gas prices range from $2.30 in Virginia to $2.67 in Pennsylvania.

Three of the top 10 states with the largest monthly differences reside in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region: Maine (-13 cents), West Virginia (-12 cents) and Delaware (-11 cents).

Based on EIA data, regional gas prices should have increased for most states. Gasoline stocks drew by nearly 850,000 bbl and regional refinery utilization decreased from 65% to 59%. This combination could lead to volatility in the week ahead especially as the Phillips 66 265,000-b/d Bayway refinery in Linden, N.J. undergoes maintenance.

Great Lakes and Central States

In the Great Lakes and Central region, Michigan ($2.45) and Missouri ($2.19) are the only states with gas price averages more expensive on the week, month and year. All other states have cheaper month-over-month prices and saw varying fluctuation in the last week.

On the week, Missouri (+10 cents), Illinois (+8 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents) and Nebraska (+6 cents) have the largest weekly increases in the region and rank among the biggest 10 jumps in the country. Meanwhile, Indiana (-6 cents) saw the largest decrease in the region and country this past week.

It’s surprising that regional gas prices jumped in the last seven days given that stocks increased by 421,000 bbl to 59.1 million – the highest stock level in a year – and refinery utilization held steady at 91%. However, volatility is typical for the region and most states only saw jumps of just a few pennies in the last week.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region have mostly declined, consistent with the winter driving season. On the week, most state averages declined by only a penny, while Oregon (+1 cent) saw the largest increase. Hawaii ($3.58) and California ($3.48) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.08), Oregon ($2.98), Nevada ($2.91), Alaska ($2.91) and Arizona ($2.77) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region decreased from 32.21 million bbl to 30.85 million bbl. The current supply level is approximately 2 million bbl lower than 2019’s level at this time. Pump prices are expected to fluctuate this week, since stocks are low and demand is growing, signaling that the spring driving season is near. 

Rockies

The Rockies was one of only two regions to see all state gas price averages push less expensive on the week: Colorado (-4 cents), Utah (-2 cents), Wyoming (-2 cents), Montana (-1 cents) and Idaho (-1 cents).  

With the latest decreases in the region while most of the rest of the country is seeing increases, the Rockies continue to stay off the top 10 list for the most expensive averages. In the region, state averages range from $2.40 – $2.51, which is as much as a quarter less expensive than this time last year.

Gas prices have been less expensive as stocks continue to measure at new records. This week, EIA totals regional stocks at 9.5 million bbl. Regional refinery utilization is down 2% to 90%. Given the extremely healthy stock levels, the downward utilization shift isn’t likely to impact gas prices, especially amid a low demand season.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased by 50 cents to settle at $53.38. Although crude prices increased for the second week, they may not be able hold onto gains this week as concerns regarding the coronavirus continue to mount. The market continues to worry that reduced global travel and a slowdown in production in China, the world’s second largest crude consuming country, will reduce crude demand this year. Until it appears that the public health threat from the virus declines and China’s industrial sector recovers, crude prices are likely to continue facing downward pressure.

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.

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National Gas Price Average Jumps Two Cents

February 18th, 2020 by AAA

State gas price averages are fluctuating across the country, causing the national gas price average to increase by two cents on the week to $2.44. Since last week, most states saw gas price increases or decreases by as much as three cents. However, eight states did see prices increase by a nickel or more.

“Domestic wholesale gasoline and global crude oil prices increased last week causing gas prices to fluctuate,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Pump prices in the week ahead could see further volatility depending on movement of the oil market as well as U.S. gasoline demand and stock levels numbers.”

Today’s national average is 11 cents cheaper than last month, but 13 cents more expensive than last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Indiana (+12 cents), Delaware (+8 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), South Carolina (+7 cents), Illinois (+6 cents), Michigan (+6 cents), Colorado (-5 cents), New Mexico (+5 cents), North Carolina (+4 cents) and Maryland (+4 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Texas ($2.09), Missouri ($2.09), Mississippi ($2.10), Louisiana ($2.11), Oklahoma ($2.14), Arkansas ($2.16), Alabama ($2.16), Kansas ($2.16), South Carolina ($2.18) and Virginia ($2.20).

Great Lakes and Central States

A number of Great Lakes and Central States are paying more to fill-up at the pump. Indiana (+12 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Illinois (+6 cents) and Michigan (+6 cents) had the largest jumps in the region and rank among the 10 biggest changes in the country. Not every state saw increases on the week, North Dakota (-3 cents) saw the largest decrease in the region.

Regional gas price averages range from $2.09 in Missouri to $2.59 in Illinois. These states rank on the top 10 least and most expensive lists, respectively. Kansas ($2.16) also lands on the top 10 cheapest averages rankings.

Gas prices in the region have seen fluctuation in the last week as gasoline stocks increased by a little more than 100,000 bbl. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows that regional stocks have steadily built since mid-November, registering total stocks at a healthy 58.7 million bbl. Regional refinery utilization is also strong at 91%. Gas prices are likely to see some volatility this week, but overall most states in the region will see price changes of a few pennies.

South and Southeast

Two South and Southeast states land on this week’s top 10 list for biggest changes: South Carolina (+7 cents) and New Mexico (+5 cents). Most regional states saw stability at the pump or an increase of only penny. Florida (-1 cent) was the only state in the region to see gas prices decrease.

Gas prices fluctuated as gasoline stocks decreased for the second week in a row. Stocks drew by more than 700,000 bbl to drive down total stocks levels to 93.2 million bbl, per EIA data. Regional refinery utilization held steady at 90%. Any fluctuation at the pump in the week ahead is likely to be minimal.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices increased by four cents or more in three Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states: Delaware (+8 cents), North Carolina (+4 cents) and Maryland (+4 cents). Pump prices are also more expensive in Pennsylvania ($2.64) and Washington, D.C. ($2.58), but only be a penny. All other states saw decreases or stability at the pump in the last week.

The five most expensive state averages in the region, which rank among the 8th – 13th highest in the country, are Pennsylvania, New York ($2.61), Vermont ($2.58) Washington, D.C. ($2.58) and Connecticut ($2.54)

Gasoline stocks built again, this week by about 400,000 bbl. That jumped total stock levels to above 67 million bbl, according to the latest data from EIA. At 65.8%, regional refinery utilization is the lowest of any region in the country. However, imports are helping to keep gasoline stocks at healthy levels and gas prices mostly cheaper for motorists in the region.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region have declined, as the region nears the end of the winter driving season. On the week, Hawaii (-2 cents), Nevada (-2 cents) and Arizona   (-2 cents) saw the largest decreases in the region. Hawaii ($3.58) and California ($3.49) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.08), Oregon ($2.97), Alaska ($2.93), Nevada ($2.92) and Arizona ($2.77) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased slightly from 32.19 million bbl to 32.21 million bbl. The current supply level is approximately 80,000 bbl higher than 2019’s level at this time. Pump prices are expected to continue decreasing this week, barring any supply challenges, as winter demand remains low amid relatively stable stock levels. 

Rockies

State averages in the Rockies region saw among some of the largest decreases in the country on the week: Colorado (-5 cents), Utah (-3 cents), Wyoming (-3 cents), Montana (-3 cents) and Idaho (-3 cents).

Colorado ($2.43) lands on three top 10 lists this week. The state ranks as the seventh in terms of largest weekly change (-5 cent), the fourth for biggest month-over-month change (-17 cents) and the state with the most expensive year-over-year difference (+36 cents).

At 9.4 million bbl, gasoline stocks are about 100,000 bbl stronger than the previous week. The region carries the highest refinery rate at 92.5%, which is about 6% higher than the EIA recorded the week prior. Strong run rates will help to drive stocks levels up and keep gas prices cheaper for the motorists in the region.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by $1.73 to settle at $52.05. Crude prices increased at the end of last week after reports emerged that the coronavirus had potentially reached its peak. Market watchers ended the week optimistic that global crude demand, which is expected to drop due to reduced travel as a result of the growing international public health crisis, would not suffer further. However, if occurrences of the virus continue to increase this week, the market may struggle to hold onto price gains. Until it appears that the public health threat from the virus declines and China’s industrial sector recovers from the impact of the virus on production, crude prices are likely to continue facing downward pressure.

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.

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Gas prices may be 16 cents more expensive than last year, but that price gap has been shrinking steadily. It’s the smallest year-over-year difference seen in two months.

“At $50/bbl (West Texas Intermediate), crude oil prices are at their cheapest point in a year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “That, plus steady gasoline stock levels and low demand have helped to push the national average lower – a dime cheaper than three weeks ago.”

Today’s national gas price average is $2.43. That is four cents cheaper than last week and 16 cents cheaper than last month. Motorists across the country can find gas for less than $2.25 at 1 in 3 (38%) of all gas stations.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Michigan (-9 cents), Ohio (-7 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents), Maryland (-6 cents), South Carolina (-6 cents), Texas (-6 cents), Alabama (-6 cents), Louisiana (-5 cents), Mississippi (-5 cents) andIllinois (-5 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Missouri ($2.06), Texas ($2.07), Mississippi ($2.10), Louisiana ($2.11), South Carolina ($2.11), Oklahoma ($2.12), Alabama ($2.15), Kansas ($2.16), Arkansas ($2.16) and Delaware ($2.17).

Great Lakes and Central States

Motorists can find gas for less than $2/gallon at 28% of Missouri ($2.06) gas stations, 17% in Kentucky ($2.17), 4% in Kansas ($2.1) and 2% in Iowa ($2.22). On the week, gas prices are as much as nine cents cheaper in the region. Michigan (-9 cents) saw the largest weekly decrease and Indiana (-1 cent) saw the smallest decrease in the Great Lakes and Central region.

Regional gas price averages are cheaper on the week and the month, but as much as 23 cents more expensive year-over-year.

Regional gasoline stocks built by 700,000 bbl, pushing total stocks to 58.6 million bbls, per Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Regional stock levels have not been this healthy since March 2019. Stocks are expected to increase this month and push gas prices even cheaper, with the potential for more states in the region selling gas under the $2/gallon mark.

South and Southeast

Excluding Florida, 22% of all gas stations in the South and Southeast are selling gas for $2/gallon or less. This makes the region home to the cheapest gas prices in the country with seven states landing on this top 10 list: Texas ($2.07), Mississippi ($2.10), Louisiana ($2.11), South Carolina ($2.11), Oklahoma ($2.12), Alabama ($2.15) and Arkansas ($2.16).

On the week, gas prices are four to six cents cheaper across the region. Florida (+2 cents) was the only state in the region and country to see an increase at the pump.

Gasoline stocks fell to 93.9 million bbl, according to EIA’s data that shows a draw of 1.9 million  bbl. Despite the decline, gas prices decreased, indicating stocks remain at a comfortable level. Gas prices can be expected to continue declining in the coming week.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

With a six cent decrease, Maryland ($2.32) saw the largest weekly decline in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. Virginia ($2.21), North Carolina ($2.24), New Jersey ($2.49) and West Virginia ($2.40) saw nickel declines and rounded-out the largest decreases in the region on the week.

Gas price in Delaware (-23 cents) and Maryland (-22 cents) are substantially lower than last month, landing them on the top five list of largest monthly decreases.

With a nearly 1 million bbl increase, regional gasoline stocks sit right under 67 million bbl. EIA historical stock data shows that the region has bounced back – in terms of stock levels following last year’s closure of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery.

In fact, stocks are at a 2 million bbl deficit year-over-year, which many analysist might have thought would  be higher.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region continue to drop amid winter driving season. On the week, Hawaii (-2 cents) and Nevada (-2 cents) saw the largest decreases in the region. Hawaii ($3.61) and California ($3.51) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.08), Oregon ($2.97), Nevada ($2.94), Alaska ($2.93) and Arizona ($2.79) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region decreased by 336,000 bbl to 32.2 million bbl. The current supply level is approximately 400,000 bbl lower than 2019’s level at this time. Pump prices are expected to continue decreasing this week, as winter demand remains low amid relatively stable stock levels. 

Rockies

Gas prices are two to three cents cheaper than last week in the Rockies region: Colorado (-3 cents), Utah (-3 cents), Montana (-2 cents), Wyoming (-2 cents) and Idaho (-1 cents).

Four of the five Rockies states rank among the top 20 most expensive gas price averages in the country: Idaho ($2.55) ranks 13th, Utah ($2.54) ranks 14th, Wyoming ($2.52) ranks 15th and Colorado ($2.49) ranks 19th. At $2.48, Montana ranks 21st.

Gasoline stocks continue to set new records for the Rockies region. With the latest stock build of 400,000 bbl, regional stocks total 9.3 million bbl. EIA reports regional refinery utilization at 87% with no major maintenance taking place currently.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped by 63 cents to settle at $50.32. Crude prices have dropped for the third consecutive week as market concerns continue to increase due to the growing impact of the coronavirus on global travel. If international travel decreases, global crude demand would likely follow suit and result in lower crude consumption worldwide. Prices could decrease again this week if concerns about the virus continue to weigh on the crude oil market.

Declining crude prices were contained slightly toward the end of last week after reports emerged that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is considering deeper production cuts to offset demand concerns due to the coronavirus. OPEC and its partners are scheduled to meet in Vienna, Austria on March 5 and 6 to review their existing 1.7 million b/d production reduction agreement, but the cartel said that it may consider having the meeting sooner as the global public health crisis grows.

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.

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The national gas price average is $2.47, which is four cents cheaper than last week and 11 cents cheaper than the beginning of the year. Motorists are paying less to fill up especially as crude oil prices are less expensive.

“Gas prices are pushing cheaper for two reasons. Crude oil prices are $10 less a barrel than one month ago and U.S. gasoline stocks sit at an all-time record high,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Cheaper crude and healthy stock levels mean motorists can expect prices to continue to decline this month.”

Motorists in at least a dozen states can find gas for less than $2/gallon. Those gas stations are mostly found in the South and Southeast.

Today’s average is 11 cents less than this time last month, but 22 cents more expensive than last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Kentucky (-11 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Illinois (-7 cents), Iowa (-7 cents), Florida (-7 cents), Indiana (-7 cents), Missouri (-7 cents), Washington, D.C. (-6 cents), South Carolina (-6 cents) and Alabama (-6 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Kentucky (-20 cents), South Carolina (-19 cents), Ohio (-18 cents), North Carolina (-17 cents), Delaware (-17 cents), Indiana (-17 cents), Tennessee (-16 cents), Louisiana (-16 cents), Texas (-15 cents) and Illinois (-15 cents).

Great Lakes and Central States

Gas prices are at least four cents cheaper across the Great Lakes and Central States except in Michigan (+4 cents), which is the only state in the country to see gas prices more expensive on the week. Despite the increase, Michigan’s average is 12 cents cheaper than last month.

Six states land on the top 10 list of the country’s biggest weekly decreases: Kentucky (-11 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Illinois (-7 cents), Iowa (-7 cents), Indiana (-7 cents) and Missouri (-7 cents). Gas price averages in the region range from $2.11 – $2.54.

Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows that regional gasoline stocks drew by nearly 300,000 bbl. This is the region’s first decrease in stocks in more than two months, pushing total stocks to 57.9 million bbl. Motorists can expect gas prices to continue to decrease, although typical regional fluctuation is expected for some states including Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Illinois.

South and Southeast

Gas can be found for less than $2/gallon in every state in the South and Southeast except in Florida. Texas and Oklahoma have at least 20% of stations at this price point. However, every state in the region’s average is more than $2.00: Texas ($2.13), Mississippi ($2.15), Louisiana ($2.16), Oklahoma ($2.17), South Carolina ($2.17), Alabama ($2.20), Arkansas ($2.21), Tennessee ($2.23), Georgia ($2.30), New Mexico ($2.34) and Florida ($2.36). 

With an increase of 474,000 bbl, gasoline stocks built for a fourth week to bring regional levels to 95.7 million bbl. This pushes regional stocks to a new all-time record according to EIA data. In the next week, we can expect to see an increase in the amount of stations selling gas at less than $2/gallon.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are cheaper on the week and month across all states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. On the week, gas prices are as much as six cents cheaper. On the month, two states land on the top 10 list for largest change at -17 cents: Delaware and North Carolina.

Pennsylvania ($2.66), New York ($2.65) and Vermont ($2.62) carry the highest averages in the region and rank among the top 10 most expensive in the country, followed closely by Washington, D.C. ($2.62) and Connecticut ($2.60). Delaware ($2.21) and Virginia ($2.26) have the cheapest averages in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. A small number of gas stations in these two states carry gas for less than $2/gallon.

Gasoline stocks in the region have increased since the end of last year and currently sit at 66 million bbl. According to EIA data, stock levels have not been this high since last February. Motorists in the region can expect gas prices to push even cheaper in the weeks ahead.

West Coast

Pump prices continue to drop as the region settles into the winter driving season. On the week, Hawaii (-3 cents) and Alaska (-2 cents) saw the largest decreases in the region. Hawaii ($3.63) and California ($3.51) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.09), Oregon ($2.98), Nevada ($2.96), Alaska ($2.93) and Arizona ($2.80) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased by 100,000 bbl to 32.5 million bbl. The current supply level is approximately 300,000 bbl lower than 2019’s level at this time. Pump prices are expected to decrease this week, as winter demand remains low amid the current stock level. 

Rockies

While gas prices have been pushing less expensive across the Rockies all year, they are noticeably more expensive compared to last year: Colorado (+50 cents), Montana (+26 cents), Utah (+24 cents), Idaho (+21 cents) and Wyoming (+20 cents). At the start of the week, gas prices in the Rockies range from $2.50 – $2.57.

Gasoline stocks sit at 8.9 million bbl – a record-breaker for region, according to EIA data. With demand expected to be lower in the region during the winter, motorists can expect gas prices to be even cheaper throughout this month.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped by 58 cents to settle at $51.56. For the second week, crude prices have decreased as a result of increased market concerns regarding the growing impact of the coronavirus on global travel. If global travel demand decreases, global crude demand would likely follow suit and result in lower global crude consumption. If market concerns regarding the virus continue to grow this week, crude prices could drop again.

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.

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