Archive for the ‘Fuel’ Category

The national gas price average is $1.97, just one penny more expensive than last week. Part of the incremental jump can be attributed to increases in gasoline demand, which saw a 7% week-over-week increase. However, demand is still down nearly 25% compared to last year, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest reports.

“Americans are slowly but steadily returning to driving, causing gas prices to increase across the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The good news is gas is still cheap. Motorists can fill-up for $2/gallon or less at 70% of gas stations across the country.”

Today’s national average is 20 cents more than a month ago, but 85 cents less than a year ago.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Alaska (+12 cents), Colorado (+12 cents), Idaho (+8 cents), Utah (+7 cents), New Mexico (+7 cents), South Dakota (+6 cents), Montana (+6 cents), Nevada (+5 cents), Washington, D.C. (+4 cents) and Wyoming (+4 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($1.58), Alabama ($1.64), Louisiana ($1.64), Arkansas ($1.64), Texas ($1.65), Missouri ($1.65), Oklahoma ($1.65), South Carolina ($1.67), Kansas ($1.68) and Tennessee ($1.71).

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices saw very modest increases or decreases on the week – two cents or less – in theGreat Lakes and Central states, with the exception of South Dakota (+6 cents). State averages in the region range between as low as $1.65 in Missouri to as expensive as $2.22 in Illinois. Both of these states rank among the top 10 least and most expensive state averages, respectively, in the country.

Compared to a year ago, motorists are seeing pump price savings of roughly 80 – 95 cents.

The region’s refinery utilization rate saw the largest jump of any in the country, increasing by 4%. At 77%, it is also the highest rate among all regions. It contributed to a 300,000 bbl build in Great Lakes and Central States stocks, to total 55 million bbl. According to EIA data, gasoline stocks have surpassed year-ago levels (of nearly 48 million bbl).

South and Southeast

All South and Southeast states saw pump price jumps on the week with the majority seeing increases of a penny or two. New Mexico (+7 cents) was the outlier in terms of price increases. 

Gas prices continue to average well below $2/gallon across the region. Florida ($1.88) carries the highest average. Motorists can find gas for $1.75 or less at 68% of stations in the region.

While gasoline stocks drew by 1.1 million bbl, total stock levels (89 million bbl), sit at a more than 4 million bbl year-over-year surplus. Stocks could see an increase next week as refinery rates jumped 2% up to 74%. Motorists can expect continued increases, though not spikes, at the pump.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

On the week, the region saw gas prices push more expensive, though mostly by one to two cents. Washington, D.C. (-6 cents) was the only state in the region to see a decrease.

Five states in the region – Pennsylvania ($2.24), New York ($2.18), Washington, D.C., ($2.12), New Jersey ($2.02) and Maryland ($2.02) – carry averages of $2/gallon with a handful of others just pennies away from hitting this mark again: Massachusetts ($1.98), Rhode Island ($1.98), Vermont ($1.96) and Connecticut ($1.96).

Gasoline stocks have steadily increased throughout the month of May. The latest build – nearly 2 million bbl – pushes total levels to close to 74 million bbl. That is a near-high mark for stocks in the region this year. More so, stock levels sit at a 10 million bbl year-over-year surplus. However, refinery rates are still low, sitting at 50%.

Rockies

All five Rockies states land on this week’s top 10 list of states with the largest weekly increase: Colorado (+12 cents), Idaho (+8 cents), Utah (+7 cents), Montana (+6 cents) and Wyoming (+4 cents). Colorado ($2.07) had the largest jump in region and second largest in the country on the week. Only Wyoming ($1.94) and Montana ($1.82) have averages under the $2/gallon mark.

In EIA’s latest report, gasoline stocks built by a modest 100,000 bbl, bumping total stocks up to 7.8 million bbl. Year-over-year, the region has a 1.1 million bbl surplus of stocks. Refinery rates saw a slight dip, falling slightly to 69%

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region mostly increased last week alongside the easing of stay-at-home orders in the region. Alaska (+12 cents) and Nevada (+5 cents) saw the largest increases in the region, while Hawaii (-2 cents) saw the region’s only decline. Hawaii ($3.16) and California ($2.90) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($2.54), Oregon ($2.44), Nevada ($2.46), Alaska ($2.25) and Arizona ($2.18) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region decreased from 31 million bbl to 29.2 million bbl last week. Decreasing stocks may help to lift pump prices this week, if demand continues to rebound in the region.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $1.78 to settle at $35.49 per barrel. At the end of last week, crude prices spiked amid increased market optimism that demand for crude oil and refined products from it, including gasoline, may be rebounding. For this week, crude prices may continue to rise if the market believes that the 9.7 million b/d production reduction agreement for May and June 2020 between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major crude exporters, including Russia, is helping to rebalance the global oil market as demand remains low due to COVID-19. 

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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After dropping to a low of $1.76 in April, the national gas price average is pennies away from hitting the $2/gallon mark. Today’s average is $1.96, which is eight cents higher than a week ago, 19 cents more than last month, but still a significant 87 cents cheaper than the end of May 2019. 

The more expensive pump prices can be attributed to fluctuations in crude and demand. In the past week, crude oil hit its highest price point – nearly $34 per barrel – since the Administration declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency and many states started implementing stay-at-home restrictions. While demand has been increasing since the end of April, it is down 28% compared to the first three weeks of May last year.  

“Americans have seen significantly cheaper-than-normal gas prices the past two months. However, those low prices – as well as crude oil prices – have been pushing more expensive” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “While motorists will see pump prices continue to increase, AAA does not expect the summer average to be as expensive as last year’s season.”

One factor that could cause a sudden spike in gas prices is the Atlantic hurricane season, which is June 1 through November 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts the 2020 season will be above-normal, potentially resulting in 13-19 named storms. An average Atlantic hurricane season typically produces 12 named storms, including three major hurricanes.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Colorado (+16 cents), Utah (+15 cents), Kentucky (+14 cents), Idaho (+12 cents), Minnesota (+12 cents), Michigan (+11 cents), North Dakota (+11 cents), Missouri (+11 cents), Indiana (+10 cents) and Delaware (+10 cents).  
  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly increases are: Wisconsin (+71 cents), Ohio (+58 cents), Michigan (+55 cents), Indiana (+51 cents), Illinois (+44 cents), Kentucky (+40 cents), Iowa (+40 cents), Minnesota (+33 cents), Idaho (+28 cents) and Oklahoma (+27 cents).   

Great Lakes and Central States

Gas prices continue to push more expensive with one dozen Great Lakes and Central states seeing an increase of a dime or more on the week. Kentucky (+14 cents), Minnesota (+12 cents), North Dakota (+11 cents), Missouri (+11 cents) and Wisconsin (+10 cents) saw the largest jumps in the region.

While state gas price averages across the region are more expensive on the month, they continue to be cheaper compared to this time last year by 75 cents to nearly a dollar.

Regional refinery utilization saw a 3% increase – up to 73% – while gasoline stocks held steady at 54 million bbl, in the Energy Information Administration (EIA) latest weekly reports. Since mid-March, stocks have fluctuated to a high of 60.5 million bbl. However, this latest measurement is the lowest level of the year, which is contributing to more expensive gas prices recently.

South and Southeast

Florida ($1.88) and Oklahoma ($1.63) saw the largest weekly increases amid all South and Southeast states, while Louisiana (+2 cents) saw the smallest increase. For another week, the region remains home to the cheapest state gas price averages. Mississippi ($1.58), Arkansas ($1.61), Texas ($1.62), Alabama ($1.63), Louisiana ($1.63) and Oklahoma ($1.64) carry the least expensive averages in the region and the country.

The latest build in gasoline stocks have driven total regional levels up to 90.2 million bbl. However, with the holiday weekend and states re-opened for business, next week’s EIA measurement report has the potential to show stock declines. Regardless, stock levels and refinery rates are amid the highest in the country, which will contribute to more moderate jumps in gas prices in coming weeks.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

As gas prices increase across the country, five Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states carry averages of $2/gallon or more: Pennsylvania ($2.22), New York ($2.18), Washington, D.C., ($2.13), New Jersey ($2.02) and Maryland ($2.01). At $1.75, Virginia has the lowest state average in the region.  On the week, the region saw prices increase between two and eight cents.

Regional gasoline stocks have increased for two weeks with levels inching closer to the 72 million bbl mark, per EIA’s latest report. This build is supported by a small increase in regional refinery utilization, which has mostly hovered near the 50% mark the last four weeks. Gas prices are likely to continue increasing in the week ahead.

Rockies

Colorado (+16 cents), Utah (+15 cents) and Idaho (+12 cents) land on this week’s top 10 list of states with the largest weekly increase. Wyoming (+5 cents) and Montana (+1 cent) saw less significant jumps at the pump since last Monday. With the double-digit increases, Idaho ($2.13) and Utah ($2.17) are the only states in the region with an average greater than $2/gallon.

Regional gasoline stock levels have decreased by 18% since the beginning of April. Despite the consistent draw, gas prices have remained mostly low due to a year-over-year 1.3 million bbl surplus combined with the fact that regional refinery utilization rates have climbed back to 71%. The EIA’s latest stock level measurement shows nearly 7.8 million bbl.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region increased last week, pushing state averages up in the region. Arizona (+8 cents), Alaska (+7 cents) and California (+6 cents) saw the largest increases in the region. Hawaii ($3.17) and California ($2.86) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($2.50), Oregon ($2.43), Nevada ($2.41), Arizona ($2.16) and Alaska ($2.14) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased slightly from 30.8 million bbl to 31 million bbl last week. As gas demand continues to grow in the region, increasing stocks may help to slow price increases, barring any supply challenges.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 67 cents to settle at $33.25 per barrel. Although tension between Hong Kong and China lowered prices on Friday, crude prices generally increased last week amid growing market optimism that domestic crude demand continues to rebound as more states ease stay-at-home restrictions and demand for gasoline has grown. For this week, crude prices may continue to rise if the market believes that the 9.7 million b/d production reduction agreement for May and June 2020 between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major crude exporters, including Russia, is helping to rebalance the global oil market as demand remains low due to COVID-19. 

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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When it is safe to travel, AAA expects vacationers will explore America’s backyard

Pump prices continue to increase across the country with nearly every state’s average pushing more expensive on the week, on average by four cents. At the start of the Memorial Day work week, the national gas price average is $1.87.

The last time the national gas price average leading into the holiday was under $2/gallon was 17 years ago in 2003. That year motorists paid, on average, $1.50 to fill-up. Gas prices this year won’t be as cheap as 2003, but today’s national average is a dollar cheaper than one year ago.

“Gas prices around Memorial Day have not been this cheap in nearly 20 years. However, as the country continues to practice social distancing, this year’s unofficial kick-off to summer is not going to drive the typical millions of Americans to travel,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Despite inexpensive gas prices, AAA anticipates this year’s holiday will likely set a record low for travel volume.”

For the first time in 20 years, AAA will not issue a Memorial Day travel forecast due to COVID-19 impacts on the underlying economic data used to create the forecast.

Americans can expect gas prices to continue to push more expensive, possibly hitting $2/gallon in the next few weeks. This is mostly due to demand increasing as states re-open. This week will also bring the Environmental Protection Agency’s waiver on the sale of winter-blend gasoline to an end. Stations will switch over to summer-blend gasoline, which has a lower Reid Vapor Pressure to prevent excessive evaporation when outside temperatures rise. Reducing the volatility of summer gas decreases emissions that contribute to unhealthy ozone and smog levels. Typically, the switchover to summer-blend can cause gas prices to spike during the summer driving season, but that will likely not be the case this year due to the impact of COVID-19 on demand and crude oil prices.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Idaho (+17 cents), Pennsylvania (+8 cents), Wisconsin (+7 cents), Iowa (+7 cents), Colorado (+7 cents), Kansas (+7 cents), Maryland (+6 cents), Utah (+6 cents), Nebraska (+5 cents) and Minnesota (+5 cents).  
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($1.51), Arkansas ($1.52), Oklahoma ($1.52), Missouri ($1.54), Texas ($1.56), Alabama ($1.57), Kansas ($1.57), South Carolina ($1.60), Louisiana ($1.60) and Tennessee ($1.62).

Great Lakes and Central States

The nation’s largest weekly gas price increases can be found for a second week in the Great Lakes and Central States region. Five states from the region land on the top 10 list for largest jumps, though this week’s increases are less than a dime: Wisconsin (+7 cents), Iowa (+7 cents), Kansas (+7 cents), Nebraska (+5 cents) and Minnesota (+5 cents).

With increases over the last two weeks, Illinois ($2.13) is the only state in the region whose average has jumped back over $2/gallon. At $1.86, Indiana carries the second most expensive average in the region, while Missouri ($1.54) touts the cheapest.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that regional gasoline stocks have decreased for six straight weeks, bringing total stock levels down to the lowest measurement of the year at 54 million bbl. However, stocks remain above the year-ago level of 49.5 million bbl and the five-year average of 52.6 million bbl.

South and Southeast

Gas prices continue to push more expensive for the majority of South and Southeast states as most of the region pushes towards re-opening. With an increase of six cents, Arkansas ($1.52) and Tennessee ($1.62) saw the largest jumps on the week. South and Southeast state pump price averages remain below $2/gallon by 25 – 50 cents. Florida ($1.77) carries the most expensive average while Arkansas ($1.52) touts the cheapest.

Motorists continue to enjoy vastly cheaper prices – 90 cents to more than a dollar cheaper – compared to last year. Even with prices expected to push more expensive this month, filling up will continue to be a cost savings compared to May 2019.

Regional gasoline stocks continue to measure at very healthy levels despite a 1.2 million draw in the EIA’s latest report. Total stocks now measure at 88.3 million bbl. That is 17 million bbl more than the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions’ stock level, which is the region with the second highest stock level in the country. While gas prices are likely to increase alongside demand, the healthy stock level should contribute to smaller jumps at the pump.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

On the week, Pennsylvania (+8 cents) saw the largest increase among Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states and saw the second biggest jump of all states in the country. Otherwise states in the region saw mostly increases of a few pennies, but no more than a nickel. State averages range between $2.17 in Washington, D.C. to $1.71 in North Carolina. In addition to Washington, D.C., New York ($2.15) and Pennsylvania ($2.14) carry the most expensive averages in the region and land among the top 10 highest in the country.

While gasoline stocks saw a slight increase, to push total stocks to nearly 71 million bbl, regional refinery rates dropped just below 50%. As more states in the region move towards opening, which is likely to increase gasoline demand, motorists can expect gas prices to increase, but still remain cheap compared to typical May pump prices.

Rockies

Motorists in the Rockies are seeing significant savings – more than a $1/gallon – at the pump year-over-year. Idaho (-$1.22), Utah (-$1.17) and Montana (-$1.12) all land on the top 10 list for largest yearly difference in the country. Wyoming has a difference of 97 cents less year-over-year.

The past week brought fluctuation through the region with Idaho (+17 cents), Colorado (+7 cents) and Utah (+6 cents) seeing increases as the pump. Wyoming ($1.82) and Montana ($1.74) mostly held steady. With the jump, Utah’s average increased to $2.02, the only state in the Rockies region with an average more than $1.99/gallon.

Regional gasoline stocks have consistently decreased for six weeks according to EIA data. The latest draw of 400,000 bbl puts total stocks right at 8 million bbl as refinery rates bump up to 70%. Even with gas prices poised to see further fluctuation in the week ahead, motorists in the region are still saving when they fill-up. 

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the most expensive in the country, with more increases expected as states in the region ease restrictions this week. When compared to a week ago, California (+4 cents) and Nevada (+4 cents) saw the largest increases in the region. Arizona (-1 cent) saw the only decline. Hawaii ($3.17) and California ($2.80) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($2.45), Oregon ($2.38), Nevada ($2.35), Arizona ($2.07) and Alaska ($2.05) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region decreased from 31.2 million bbl to 30.8 million bbl last week. As more motorists take to the roads in the region this week, gas demand is expected to continue to grow. Higher gas demand, amid falling gas stocks, will likely lead pump prices to increase this week.  

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $1.87 cents to settle at $29.43 per barrel. Crude prices increased last week amid growing market optimism that crude demand continues to rebound as more states re-open and demand for gasoline has grown in recent weeks. For this week, crude prices may continue to rise if the market believes that the 9.7 million b/d production reduction agreement for May and June 2020 between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major crude exporters, including Russia, is helping to rebalance the global oil market as demand remains low due to COVID-19. 

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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Forty states have averages of $2.00 or less

The national gas price average is six cents more expensive on the week at $1.84, but still cheaper on the month and year – three cents and $1.02 less, respectively. Regardless of the national increase, 40 states still have averages of $2.00 or less per gallon.

“Pump prices are fluctuating throughout the country as demand increases and gasoline stocks decrease,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The boost in demand continues to push pump prices up around the country, as more states re-open businesses. Motorists in the Great Lakes, Central, South and Southeast states are seeing the most volatility at the pump.”

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest data report showed demand for gasoline increased by 800,000 b/d to 6.7 million b/d last week, which is 3.2 million b/d less than last year at this time. Gas demand is expected to continue to grow, leading pump prices to continue their increase.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Michigan (+31 cents), Ohio (+28 cents), Indiana (+26 cents), Illinois (+26 cents), Wisconsin (+23 cents), Kentucky (+15 cents), Iowa (+14 cents), Minnesota (+11 cents), Oklahoma (+10 cents) and Arkansas (+9 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($1.47), Arkansas ($1.48), Missouri ($1.48), Mississippi ($1.49), Kansas ($1.50), Texas ($1.51), Alabama ($1.55), South Carolina ($1.57), Tennessee ($1.60) and Louisiana ($1.60).

Great Lakes and Central States

The Great Lakes and Central States region is seeing the highest volatility in the country at the pump with eight states in the region topping the list for the largest weekly change. All eight states have double digit increases: Michigan (+31 cents), Ohio (+28 cents), Indiana (+26 cents), Illinois (+26 cents), Wisconsin (+23 cents), Kentucky (+15 cents), Iowa (+14 cents) and Minnesota (+11 cents). This region routinely sees pump price fluctuation, so it is no surprise to see significant increases within the Great Lakes and Central states as many states begin to re-open.

In addition to being home to the largest weekly increases, this is also the only region in the country with state gas price averages more expensive compared to last month. Five state averages are currently a dime or more than April 2020: Wisconsin ($1.69), Michigan ($1.84), Ohio ($1.85), Indiana ($1.86) and Illinois ($2.11). Illinois is the only state in the region with an average above $1.99.

Gasoline stocks continue to decrease, with the latest draw of 1.1 million bbl bringing total levels to 56.4 million bbl. However, refinery rates increased for a second week, jumping from 72% to 73.5% in the latest EIA report. The decrease in stocks amid increase in production is contributing to the pump price jumps motorists are seeing in the region. 

South and Southeast

Pump prices are starting to increase slowly in the South and Southeast region. On the week, Oklahoma (+10 cents), Arkansas (+9 cents), Georgia (+3 cents) and Tennessee (+2 cents) saw the largest increases. All other states either saw averages increase or decrease by a penny, but the region continues to tout averages $1.76 or cheaper.

The EIA reports regional stock levels and refinery rates at the highest points compared to all other regions in the country. Stock levels built by 1.4 million bbl to total 89.5 million while refinery rates jumped to 75%. Of note, gasoline stock levels are at an 8.1 million bbl surplus year-over-year, which could help to keep any increases at the pump somewhat minimal in coming weeks.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region is seeing the least volatility at the pump. On the week, gas prices increased or decreased no more than two cents with the exception of West Virginia (+6 cents), Maine (+6 cents) and North Carolina (+3 cents). All state gas price averages in the region are as much as 15 cents cheaper on the month and over a dollar less on the year.

At the start of this week, averages range from $2.18 in Washington, D.C. to $1.67 in North Carolina.

For a second week, the EIA reports a draw in gasoline stocks in this region. For the week ending May 1, stocks dipped by nearly 2 million bbl to fall to 70.8 million bbl. Regional refinery rates continue to increase too, up to 50%. Small gas price fluctuations are the likely trend motorists can expect to see in the week ahead.

Rockies

Most state averages continue to decrease across the Rockies region. Wyoming and Utah saw the largest weekly declines in the region at -2 cents, while the averages for  Montana and Colorado decreased by 1 cent. Averages in the region range from $1.96 in Utah to $1.70 in Colorado.  

All state gas price averages in the region are as much as 15 cents cheaper on the month and more than a dollar less on the year. Utah and Idaho both land on the top 10 list for biggest monthly changes in the country.

Regional gasoline stocks drew minimally to 8.4 million bbl. This stock measurement is at a nearly 2 million bbl deficit year-over-year. Stocks could see increases in coming weeks. Regional refinery rates have increased for three weeks, though down 20% compared to EIA data from early May 2019. Most likely, gas prices in the region will see minimal decreases in the week ahead, but an increase – small in size – can’t be ruled out.

West Coast

Although state averages have mostly held steady or increased minimally, pump prices in the West Coast region are still the most expensive in the country. When compared to a week ago, only Alaska (+2 cents), California (+2 cents) and Washington (+1 cent) saw their state averages increase in the region. Arizona (-2 cents) saw the only decline. Hawaii ($3.15) and California ($2.76) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($2.45), Oregon ($2.38), Nevada ($2.31), Arizona ($2.08) and Alaska ($2.02) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region decreased from 32.7 million bbl to 31.2 million bbl last week. As more motorists take to the roads in the region this week, gas demand is expected to continue to grow. Higher gas demand could lead pump prices to increase this week.  

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $1.19 cents to settle at $24.74 per barrel. Crude prices increased last week amid growing market optimism that crude demand is rebounding as states re-open businesses and demand for gasoline has grown in recent weeks. For this week, crude prices may continue to rise if the market believes that crude oil inventories are beginning to rebalance. However, if crude storage levels continue to increase, crude prices could decline if the market continues to worry that the global market is oversupplied.

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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State gas price averages increased for less than a dozen states in the last week, but they were large enough jumps to push an increase to the national average. At $1.78, today’s average is a penny more expensive than last week, 16 cents less than a month ago and $1.11 cheaper than last year at this time.

“As some states begin to re-open businesses, those states will likely see demand increase and pump prices will likely follow suit,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Although U.S. gasoline demand has incrementally increased, it remains below 6 million b/d.”

On the week, the Great Lakes and Central region saw double-digit increases in a few states, but the bulk of the country saw decreases of a nickel or less. Pump price fluctuation will continue across the country in coming weeks, especially as more states re-open and motorists begin driving more.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Wisconsin (+27 cents), Ohio (+19 cents), Indiana (+16 cents), Michigan (+13 cents), Iowa (+7 cents), Illinois (+6 cents), Kentucky (+6 cents), Utah (-6 cents), Montana (-6 cents) and Wyoming (-5 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($1.37), Arkansas ($1.39), Missouri ($1.44), Kansas ($1.46), Wisconsin ($1.46), Mississippi ($1.48), Kentucky ($1.49), Texas ($1.49), Michigan ($1.53) and Tennessee ($1.54).  

Great Lakes and Central States

After nearly eight weeks of some of the largest pump price declines in the country, many of the Great Lakes and Central States have seen significant increases in the past week. Wisconsin (+27 cents), Ohio (+19 cents), Indiana (+16 cents) and Michigan (+13 cents) top the charts for the biggest weekly increases in the country, all with double-digit jumps. However, increases are not universal for the region. A handful of states are seeing gas prices continue to decline, just at a few pennies on the week.

While regional gasoline stocks decreased for a third week, refinery rates jumped from 65% up to 72% in the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report. Refineries could be increasing production ahead of a number of Great Lakes and Central States phasing in business reopening, which is also one factor contributing to this past week’s gas prices. Motorists in the region can expect prices to continue to increase in the coming week, although how much will vary by state from pennies to a dime or more. 

South and Southeast

On the week, pump price averages in the South and Southeast region are two to three pennies cheaper. Oklahoma ($1.37) and Arkansas ($1.39) carry the cheapest averages in the country with Mississippi ($1.48), Texas ($1.49) and Tennessee ($1.54) rounding out the top 10 list of least expensive averages.

The EIA reports regional refinery rates may have only jumped 1% to 74%, but gasoline stocks built by 1 million bbl. The South and Southeast region now sits at 88.1 million bbl – the highest level since the end of February. With healthy stock levels and the bulk of states in the region with partial reopening underway, motorists in the region could see gas prices start to increase in the week ahead.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The majority of states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region continue to pay less at the pump. Vermont (-3 cents) saw the largest decline on the week. Gas prices in the region range from $2.17 to $1.67. Only four states in the region carry gas prices above $2/gallon: Washington, D.C. ($2.17), New York ($2.15), Pennsylvania ($2.02) and New Jersey ($1.99).

After weeks of steady gasoline stock increases, the EIA reports a decline of 1.3 million bbl to total regional levels at 72.5 million bbl. Regional refinery rates are steadily building back towards 50%. In the week ahead, the majority of the region is likely to see gas prices hold steady or minimally decline as the bulk of states continues to keep stay at home orders intact.

Rockies

Utah (-6 cents), Montana (-5 cents), Wyoming (-5 cents) and Idaho (-5 cents) had among the largest deceases in the country on the week. Now, all Rockies states have averages under $2/gallon: Colorado ($1.71), Montana ($1.76), Idaho ($1.79), Wyoming ($1.85) and Utah ($1.98).

Compared to one month ago, Idaho (-44 cents), Utah (-31 cents) and Wyoming (-26 cents) have among the largest differences in pump prices in the country.

Regional gasoline stocks saw a modest 300,000 bbl decline while refinery rates held steady. According to EIA data, total gasoline stocks sit at 8.6 million bbl, which is the lowest level for the region since early January.  With states within the region starting to phase in re-opening businesses, gasoline demand could increase, driving another week of stock decreases and lead to the potential of more expensive gas prices.

West Coast

As some regions are seeing prices increase, all states in the West Coast region continue to see pump prices decline, albeit slower than a month ago. On the week, Oregon (-4 cents) and Arizona (-4 cents) saw the largest declines in the region. Hawaii ($3.15) and California ($2.74) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($2.44), Oregon ($2.38), Nevada ($2.31), Arizona ($2.10) and Alaska ($2.00) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region decreased from 34.7 million bbl to 32.7 million bbl last week. Refinery utilization also dropped in the region to 59 percent, which contributed to the decline in gas stocks and is the lowest rate in the region since 2010, according to EIA’s data. Although stocks have decreased, low gas demand in the region is expected to bring continued lower pump prices.  

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 94 cents to settle at $19.78 per barrel. Crude prices increased last week amid growing market optimism that an oversupply of crude may be beginning to decrease, as demand for gasoline moves up and the 9.7 million b/d production reduction agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major crude producers, including Russia, takes effect this month and next month. For this week, crude prices may continue to rise if EIA’s report this week shows continued growth in gasoline demand and crude production and storage data show that global rebalancing efforts are helping to stabilize the market, as global crude demand remains low due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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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As gas prices continue to push cheaper across the country, only one dozen states carry an average of $2/gallon or more. Today’s national average is $1.77, which is four cents less than last week, 28 cents cheaper than last month and $1.11 less than a year ago.

Crude oil prices were extremely volatile last week, pushing negative for the first time ever, but they did make significant gains to end the week in the positive. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported demand at 5.3 million b/d, a slight increase, but still an extremely low rate compared to last April’s 9.45 million b/d average. Low demand pushed gasoline stocks to increase for yet another week, this time by 1 million bbl to put total U.S. stock levels at 263 million bbl.

“AAA forecasts that the national average will continue to decrease into next month, possibly dropping as low as $1.65,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “We haven’t seen gas prices that cheap since January 2009.”

Some states could see minimal fluctuation at the pump in coming weeks if demand jumps as businesses are given the green light to re-open. However, this will not have a large impact for the majority of the nation’s motorists.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Alaska (-9 cents), Idaho (-8 cents), Arizona (-7 cents), Utah (-7 cents), Montana (-6 cents), Oregon (-6 cents), Michigan (-6 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Washington (-5 cents) and South Dakota (-5 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Wisconsin ($1.19), Oklahoma ($1.36), Ohio ($1.38), Michigan ($1.40), Arkansas ($1.42), Kentucky ($1.43), Indiana ($1.44), Missouri ($1.46), Iowa ($1.47) and Mississippi ($1.49).

Great Lakes and Central States

The cheapest gas price averages can be found in the Great Lakes and Central States region. Seven states from the region land on the top 10 list for cheapest averages in the country: Wisconsin ($1.19), Ohio ($1.38), Michigan ($1.40), Kentucky ($1.43), Indiana ($1.44), Missouri ($1.46) and Iowa ($1.47). On the week, state gas price averages decreased as much as a nickel in the region.

Regional gasoline stocks decreased in EIA’s latest report while regional refinery utilization held steady. Stocks drew by 1.7 million bbl to total 58.4 million bbl. Refinery rates were stable at 65%, though down significantly compared to rates this time last year of 92%.

South and Southeast

Pump price averages continue to decline among South and Southeast states, though the rate at which they are declining has slowed compared to earlier this month. In the last seven days, most states saw averages decrease by three or four cents.

The majority of South and Southeast state gas price averages range from $1.36 – $1.63. Only New Mexico ($1.76) and Florida ($1.78) have averages outside of this range.

Gasoline stocks continue to trend higher for the month of April in the region. The latest data from EIA shows a 1.2 million bbl increase to bring total stock levels to 87.1 million bbl. Regional refinery utilization decreased for a second week, now down to 73%. Typically, April sees regional refinery rates in the 90% range. Rates could continue to decrease as regional refineries reduce production combined with the fact that the Gallup New Mexico refinery has temporarily idled operations in response to low demand and growing stocks.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

On the week, motorists filling-up in Washington, D.C. (+3 cents) saw an increase at the pump. This was not just the only increase in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region, but also the country. The majority of states in the region saw weekly decreases of two to four cents.

Washington, D.C. ($2.19), New York ($2.17) and Pennsylvania ($2.04) land on the top 10 list for largest state averages in the country. At $1.65, Virginia carries the cheapest average in the region.

Gasoline stocks in the region have been steadily increasing for a month now. The EIA’s latest report shows a weekly build of 2 million bbl, pushing regional stock levels to a very healthy 73.8 million bbl. Since February, regional refinery utilization has been on the decline. However, for the week ending April 17, utilization increased nearly 5% to 44%. Motorists in the region can expect gas prices to continue to decrease in the coming weeks.

Rockies

Idaho (-8 cents), Utah (-7 cents) and Montana (-6 cents) land on the top 10 list for the largest weekly decreases. Idaho’s decrease was the largest in the country. With the latest declines, Utah’s ($2.04) average is poised to fall below the $2/gallon mark this week. All other Rockies’ states have been below that price point for weeks and their averages today are: Colorado ($1.73), Montana ($1.81), Idaho ($1.84) and Wyoming ($1.90).

Regional refinery utilization bumped up by nearly 2% to 65%, while gasoline stocks decreased minimally by 200,000 bbl. Regional stock levels measure at 8.9 million bbl, which is one of the highest stock levels recorded by the EIA during the month of April. Gas prices are expected to continue to decrease in the week ahead and could again see some of the largest declines in the country.

West Coast

The West Coast region continues to see significant decreases despite carrying some of the most expensive averages in the country. On the week, Alaska (-9 cents) saw the largest decline in the region and the country. Hawaii ($3.18) and California ($2.76) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($2.47), Oregon ($2.42), Nevada ($2.33), Arizona ($2.14) and Alaska ($2.02) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region decreased slightly from 35 million bbl to 34.7 million bbl last week. Low crude prices and gas demand will likely help to push pump prices lower in the region this week.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 44 cents to settle at $16.94 per barrel. Crude prices have recovered after turning negative last week for the first time since trading in 1983. Last week’s decline in prices has been attributed to many factors, including the inability of market traders who owned oil futures to find other market participants to sell their futures contracts to and limited available crude storage options.

Crude prices started to push more expensive by the end of last week in response to reports of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reducing crude output before the May 1 start date of its 9.7 million b/d production reduction agreement for May and June 2020. Crude prices will likely remain volatile this week, as the market continues to assess how much crude demand will continue to fall during the ongoing pandemic.

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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On the week, the national gas price average decreased by a nickel pushing the year-over-year savings to $1.03/gallon. Today, 20 states have pump price averages that are $1/gallon or more cheaper compared to last year, with another dozen states within a dime of reaching this mark.

“One in four U.S. gas stations is selling gas for $1.49 or less,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Even with regional refinery rates dropping, we will continue to see gas prices decrease though potentially at a slower rate than the past few weeks.”

On the week, U.S. gasoline demand was stable at 5.1 million b/d as refinery rates dipped down to 69%, a level not reported by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in more than a decade. Despite lower run rates amid low demand, gasoline stocks increased. Total U.S. stock levels measure at a record 262 million bbl – the highest weekly domestic stock level ever recorded by EIA, since it began reporting the data in 1990.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Alaska (-10 cents), Idaho (-10 cents), Wisconsin (-8 cents), Nevada (-7 cents), Arizona (-7 cents), Minnesota (-7 cents), Washington (-7 cents), Kansas (-7 cents), California (-6 cents) and Michigan (-6 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Wisconsin ($1.22), Oklahoma ($1.38), Ohio ($1.41), Michigan ($1.46), Kentucky ($1.46), Arkansas ($1.47), Indiana ($1.48), Iowa ($1.49), Missouri ($1.52) and Mississippi ($1.53).  

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices continue to decrease across the Great Lakes and Central States. On the week, state averages are between two and eight cents less. Wisconsin (-8 cents) and Minnesota (-7 cents) saw the biggest weekly decreases in the region.

Wisconsin ($1.22) carries the cheapest gas price average in the region, state and country. In fact, it carries the biggest year-over-year difference (-$1.60) and the largest month-over-month change (-68 cents) in the region and the country.

Regional gasoline stocks held relatively flat at 60.2 million bbl, according to the latest EIA report. The small dip in stocks – down from 60.5 million, is likely due to the decrease in regional refinery utilization, which is at 65%. That is a stark difference from the 91% rate just two months ago. Many refineries are reducing production amid low demand. However, gas prices are expected to continue to decrease in the region. The rate at which they drop may just slow.

South and Southeast

The majority of states in the South and Southeast saw gas price averages decrease by less than a nickel on the week. State averages range between $1.38 -$1.81. On the top 10 list for cheapest averages in the country: Oklahoma ($1.38), Arkansas ($1.47) and Mississippi ($1.53). In the region, New Mexico ($1.78) and Florida ($1.81) carry the highest averages.

Gasoline stocks jumped in the region by 4 million bbl. The EIA reports total stock levels at 85.9 million bbl – the second highest level on record. Regional refinery utilization dipped, from 82% to 76%, but is the highest rate of all regions. Similar to other regions, gas prices will continue to decrease despite the reduction in refinery utilization.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast state averages are two to six cents cheaper on the week. With the latest declines, only four states in the region carry averages of more than $2/gallon: New York ($2.22), Washington, D.C. ($2.16), Pennsylvania ($2.08) and New Jersey ($2.05). At $1.68, North Carolina has the lowest state average in the region.

Increasing by 1.3 million bbl, total regional gasoline stocks now sit at a healthy 71.8 million bbl. Stocks have bumped up for a month by a substantial 11 million bbl. EIA levels were reported at 60 million bbl for the week ending March 20. Given the substantial amount of gasoline stocks, regional refinery utilization has plummeted to 39%.

Rockies

Idaho ($1.92) now joins Wyoming ($1.94), Montana ($1.87) and Colorado ($1.77) on the list of states with averages of less than $2/gallon. Motorists in Utah are paying the most to fill-up at $2.11. On the week, state averages in the Rockies region decreased between three and 11 cents. However, compared to a month ago, motorists are saving as much as 58-cents to fill up and nearly $1/gallon compared to last year at this time.

Total stock levels for the region measure at 9.1 million bbl, a draw of less than 300,000 bbl from last week’s EIA report. As demand continues to slow, regional refinery utilization has been steadily decreasing for two months. The EIA reported rates of 92% for the week ending Feb 20. For the latest data, the week ending April 10, refinery rates were at 63%.

West Coast

The West Coast region continues to see significant decreases despite carrying some of the most expensive averages in the country. On the week, Alaska (-10 cents) saw the largest decline in the region and the country. Hawaii ($3.20) and California ($2.81) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($2.52), Oregon ($2.48), Nevada ($2.38), Arizona ($2.21) and Alaska ($2.11) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased from 34.9 million bbl to 35 million bbl last week. The increase in supply, alongside low crude prices and gas demand, will likely help to push pump prices lower in the region this week.

Additionally, Marathon Petroleum announced that it would temporarily idle its 166,000 b/d refinery in Martinez, CA later this month due to weak demand caused by COVID-19. According to the company, as of April 27, it will use an “integrated network of assets to continue meeting customer commitments and [does] not anticipate supply disruptions in the region.” Marathon did not announce a timeline for when the refinery could expect to resume operations, but it did state that it intends to resume “once demand levels support doing so.”

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $1.60 to settle at $18.12 per barrel. Crude prices were volatile last week in the wake of a historic 9.7-million b/d crude oil production reduction agreement for May and June 2020 between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia. As oil inventories continue to grow around the globe and crude demand falls worldwide, crude prices have dropped dramatically as the public health, economic and financial impact of COVID-19 increases. Crude prices will likely remain volatile this week, as the market continues to assess how low crude prices could fall during the ongoing pandemic.

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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No Immediate Impact to Pump Prices Expected with OPEC+ Historic Global Reduction Announcement

The national gas price average has steadily declined for seven weeks, pushing the average cheaper by 61-cents to $1.86 today. During this timeframe (since late February), U.S. demand for gasoline has decreased 44% to 5 million b/d as gasoline inventories build across the country.

“We are seeing fast and furious gasoline demand destruction. The latest data reveals demand levels not seen since spring of 1968,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Every U.S. region is seeing builds in gasoline inventories and crude storage, which is just driving pump prices even cheaper.”

On Sunday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus (OPEC+), led by Saudi Arabia, announced historic global crude productions cuts – nearly 10 million b/d in May and June.

“While the production cut is historic, it’s likely to not have an immediate impact on pump prices given the ongoing impact the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on crude oil prices and gasoline demand,” added Casselano.

At $1.86, today’s national average is 6-cents less than last week, 44-cents cheaper than a month ago and nearly $1 less than a year ago.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Alaska (-19 cents), Idaho (-17 cents), Wisconsin (-13 cents), Iowa (-11 cents), South Dakota (-11 cents), Arkansas (-11 cents), Wyoming (-11 cents), Minnesota (-10 cents), Utah (-10 cents) and Oregon (-9 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Wisconsin ($1.30), Oklahoma ($1.40), Ohio ($1.46), Kentucky ($1.51), Michigan ($1.52), Arkansas ($1.53), Indiana ($1.54), Iowa ($1.55), Mississippi ($1.57) and Missouri ($1.58).  

Great Lakes and Central States

Motorists in Michigan and Minnesota are seeing significant savings at the pump on the week, month and year. Both states land on the respective top 10 lists for biggest changes in the country:

State Weekly Difference Monthly Difference Yearly Difference
Wisconsin -13 cents -85 cents -$1.50
Minnesota -10 cents -52 cents -$1.04

With this week’s pump price declines, Illinois ($1.88) is in the only state in the region with an average more than $1.75/gallon. Wisconsin ($1.30) carries the cheapest average in the region and country.

Regional gasoline stocks measure at 60.5 million bbl – the highest levels in 14 months. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports for the week ending April 3, stocks built by 2.6 million bbl. Gas prices will continue to push cheaper in the week ahead even with a number of regional refiners announcing cuts to combat declining demand.

South and Southeast

Florida ($1.84) is the only South and Southeast state with an overage more than $1.75/gallon. Oklahoma ($1.40), Arkansas ($1.53) and Mississippi ($1.57) carry the cheapest averages in the region and land on the top 10 list of states with the lowest averages. On the week, states in the region saw pump price declines for 4 to 11 cents.

Compared to a year ago, motorist in the South and Southeast are seeing significant savings – some pennies away from or more than $1/gallon: Oklahoma (-$1.20), Arkansas (-98 cents), Texas (-97 cents), Tennessee (-97 cents) and Georgia (-97 cents).

The EIA’s latest report shows regional gasoline stock levels at nearly 82 million bbl. That is a nearly 4 million bbl year-over-year surplus during a season that typically sees high volumes of demand. Late last week there was an explosion and fire at Valero’s 135,000 b/d in Meraux, Louisiana. The extent of the damage is unclear, but this type of event would typically put some pressure on local or state prices. However, given the current environment, any loss of production is likely to not have an impact at pumps.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are seeing gas prices decrease, but at a slower rate as compared to neighbors in the South and Mid-West. On the week, these states saw the largest declines in the region: Washington, D.C (-8 cents), Vermont (-6 cents), Connecticut (-6 cents), Rhode Island (-6 cents) and West Virginia (-6 cents). Gas prices now range from as cheap as $1.71 in North Carolina to as expensive as $2.25 in New York.

On the month, motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are seeing a savings at the pump between 27 to 49 cents. Vermont (-49 cents) and Maine (-45 cents) have the largest month-over-month difference.

Gasoline stocks continue to build in the region according to the latest EIA data. For the second week stocks saw a significant increase. This time 4.6 million bbl to push total levels to 70.5 million bbl – which is the highest level recorded by the EIA for the region in decades. As motorists in the region continue to stay at home, especially with the Center for Disease Control urging residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel, the region can expect to see  pump prices push cheaper as stocks to continue to increase.

Rockies

Three states in the Rockies region now have averages less than $2/gallon: Wyoming ($1.98), Montana ($1.90) and Colorado ($1.85). With a 17 cent decrease on the week, Idaho ($2.02) is close to joining the sub-par $2/gallon list. The state also saw the largest decrease in the region and the second largest in the country. Motorists in Utah ($2.17) are seeing gas prices decline, just not as fast as neighboring states.

For a second week, gasoline stocks increased. Total levels are now at a very health 9.4 million bbl – one of the highest measures on record. Stocks built as people are staying at home. Which is a reason regional refinery utilization is down to 71%, an unusually low rate reported by the EIA. Gas prices will continue to push cheaper, but the rate could slow at which they are decreasing.

West Coast

The West Coast region is seeing significant decreases despite carrying some of the most expensive averages in the country. On the week, Alaska (-19 cents) saw the largest decline in the region and the country. Hawaii ($3.24) and California ($2.87) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($2.59), Oregon ($2.54), Nevada ($2.45), Alaska ($2.21) and Arizona ($2.28) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased from 34.06 million bbl to 34.9 million bbl last week. The increase in supply, alongside low crude prices and demand, will likely help to push pump prices lower in the region this week.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $2.33 to settle at $22.76 per barrel. Crude prices were volatile last week, during the run-up to OPEC’s historic agreement with its allies, including Russia. The group met to discuss global crude production cuts of up to 9.7 million b/d for May and June 2020. Under the new production reduction agreement, OPEC and its allies expect total global oil cuts to amount to more than 20 million b/d or 20 percent of global supply. Effective May 1, the production cuts are expected to ease in June, but some restrictions will remain in place through April 2022.

Crude prices will likely remain volatile this week, as the market assesses if the production cuts are sufficient to hold back growing global crude inventories as COVID-19 continues to push down demand.

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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Today’s national gas price average is $1.92. That is nine cents cheaper than last Monday, 48 cents less than a month ago and 81 cents less expensive than a year ago. On the week, pump prices continued to push less expensive with gasoline demand registering at its lowest point since 1993. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report puts demand at 6.7 million b/d – a nearly 30 year low – and it’s likely to push lower as Americans are urged to stay at home at least until the beginning of May.

“This week, market analysts are watching crude oil prices, which started to increase at the end of last week,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “However, given the low demand readings, increases in crude aren’t likely to have an impact on gas prices in the near-term.”

In addition to crude oil, market analysts are also watching refinery rates. The U.S. refinery utilization average is down to 82%, a low not seen since September 2017. Given the drop in crude oil and gasoline demand, which is expected to push even lower, refineries are reducing production in hopes this could help to balance the amount of gasoline supply in the country.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Wisconsin (-16 cents), Vermont (-15 cents), Idaho (-14 cents), Alaska (-12 cents), Iowa (-12 cents), Kentucky (-11 cents), Arkansas (-10 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Michigan (-10 cents) and Arizona (-10 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Wisconsin ($1.43), Oklahoma ($1.47), Ohio ($1.55), Kentucky ($1.58), Michigan ($1.61), Indiana ($1.62), Mississippi ($1.63), Arkansas ($1.64), Texas ($1.65) and Iowa ($1.66).

Great Lakes and Central States

Five Great Lakes and Central States are seeing the largest year-over-year savings in the region and the country with pump prices that are at least $1/gallon cheaper: Wisconsin (-$1.30), Michigan (-$1.23), Indiana (-$1.17), Ohio (-$1.12) and Kentucky (-$1.08).

On the week, gas prices are 7 to 16 cents cheaper. In the region, all state averages are less than $2/gallon. Six Great Lakes and Central States land on the top 10 list for least expensive averages: Wisconsin ($1.43), Ohio ($1.55), Kentucky ($1.58), Michigan ($1.61), Indiana ($1.62) and Iowa ($1.66). Wisconsin carries the cheapest average in the region and the country. At $1.95, Illinois carries the most expensive average in the region.

The region added 1.7 million bbl last week, pushing total stock levels up to nearly 58 million bbl, according to the latest data from EIA. The increase in stocks will contribute to sustained lower pump prices in the region this week.

South and Southeast

South and Southeast state gas price averages pushed cheaper by 6 to 10 cents on the week. Arkansas and Mississippi saw the largest declines in the region at a dime. Today, regional averages range as low as $1.48 in Oklahoma to a high of $1.90 in Florida.

Motorists are saving as much as 36 to 65 cents compared to a month ago and 67 cents to more than $1/gallon compared to a year ago.

Gas prices pushed cheaper despite a significant draw in gasoline stocks. The EIA reports stock levels drew by 2.5 million bbl down to 79.8 million bbl. Given the country’s low demand reading, the draw can be attributed to gasoline distribution to other regions and/or exports.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Eight Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states still have gas price averages of $2/gallon or more: New York ($2.29), Washington, D.C. ($2.24), Pennsylvania ($2.16), New Jersey ($2.14), Connecticut ($2.07), Rhode Island ($2.05), Massachusetts ($2.04) and Vermont ($2.03). As gas prices are expected to push cheaper this month, the majority of these states should push below $1.99/gallon before May 1. At $1.76, North Carolina carries the cheapest average in the region.

On the week, gas prices are 3 to 15 cents cheaper. Vermont saw the largest decline and was the only state to see double digit drops. Most state averages in the region pushed less expensive by six to eight cents in the last seven days.

Regional gasoline stocks saw a significant 5.1 million bbl addition, according to the latest EIA data. The build can be attributed to supply intake from other regions as regional refinery utilization fell down to 51%. The addition of stocks bumps total regional levels up to nearly 66 million bbl. Gas prices are positioned to see continued decreases in the week ahead, possibly at larger decline rates.

Rockies

On the week, Idaho (-14 cents) saw the largest pump price decline in the region and lands on the top 10 list of states in the country with the biggest weekly change. All Rockies states saw declines with Utah (-7 cents) seeing the smallest drop on the week.

With this week’s declines, Montana ($1.96) joins Colorado ($1.90) on the list of state averages below $1.99. Wyoming ($2.09) is poised to hit this price point as early as this week.

Stocks saw a small increase, bumping total levels to 9 million bbl. Regional refinery utilization dropped by another 5% to nearly 75%. Despite a low refinery utilization rate, gas prices will continue to decline with gasoline demand diminishing.

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 and demand for gasoline and crude oil decline. When compared to a week ago, Alaska (-12 cents) saw the largest decline. Hawaii ($3.30) and California ($2.96) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($2.68), Oregon ($2.63), Nevada ($2.55), Alaska ($2.40) and Arizona ($2.37) follow.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased from 30.97 million bbl to 34.06 million bbl last week. The significant increase in supply, alongside low crude prices and demand, will likely help to push pump prices lower in the region this week.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $3.02 to settle at $28.34 per barrel. Domestic crude prices increased at the end of last week, following news that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners, including Russia, planned to hold an emergency meeting today to discuss potential crude production cuts amid the global oversupply caused by COVID-19. However, OPEC and its partners have moved the meeting to Thursday, April 9. Crude prices are likely to remain volatile this week until the meeting, where the market will be looking to see if production cuts are enacted and if they are drastic enough to curb the growing oversupply of crude in the global market.

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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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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  • Comments Off on AAA Gas Price Alert: National Pump Price for Regular Drops to $1.99 per Gallon, Cheapest Average in Four Years
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