Archive for the ‘Fuel’ Category

On the week, gas prices are mostly cheaper across the country. A small number of states saw pump prices decrease more than a dime, though the majority saw fluctuation of a few pennies. Today’s national average of $2.59 is two cents cheaper than last week.

“An increase in gasoline stocks amid robust demand helped to push gas prices cheaper on the week,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “We would expect this trend to continue throughout most of the month, but the exception is Thanksgiving. With nearly 49.3 million Americans expected to travel by car for the holiday, gas prices may start to fluctuate by the end of this week.”

Today’s national average is six cents less than last month and three cents cheaper than this time last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Delaware (-9 cents), California (-9 cents), Ohio (+9 cents), Michigan (-8 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Oregon (-5 cents), Maryland (-4 cents), Indiana (-4 cents), North Carolina (-3 cents) and Texas (-3 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Louisiana ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.21), Texas ($2.24), South Carolina ($2.26), Alabama ($2.26), Missouri ($2.28), Arkansas ($2.28), Oklahoma ($2.28), Virginia ($2.30) and Tennessee ($2.31).

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump price volatility continues across the Great Lakes and Central States. Four states landed on the top 10 list of largest pump price changes in the country: Ohio (+9 cents), Michigan (-8 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents) and Indiana (+4 cents). However, most states in the region saw gas prices decrease by one to three cents. In addition to Ohio and Indiana, Illinois and South Dakota also saw gas price increases, though only by one cent.

While Illinois ($2.65) carries the highest pump price average in the region, most state averages range from $2.35 – $2.55.

Gasoline stocks saw a build of nearly 400,000, driving stocks up to 46.9 million bbl. According to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, this was the first regional increase in stocks since the end of September. Should stocks continue to increase – and at sizable amounts – motorists would likely see gas prices decline.

South and Southeast

Gas prices range from $2.51 in New Mexico to $2.21 in Louisiana. On the week, prices are cheaper in all South and Southeast states. Texas ($2.24), Oklahoma ($2.28), Tennessee ($2.31) and Florida ($2.36) saw the largest decreases in the region at three cents.

Motorists in the region are all seeing cheaper gas prices compared to last month and last year, as much as 13 cents in Florida (month-over-month) and 17 cents in Mississippi (year-over-year).

Regional refinery utilization jumped to 89.7% according to EIA’s data for the week ending November 8. That is the highest rate for any region in the country. With the increase in rates, stocks increased to 78.5 million. This combination helped to drive gas prices cheaper in the last week. Prices are likely to continue to decrease in the weeks ahead.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Compared to a year ago, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region is seeing some of the largest savings at the pump. Connecticut (-22 cents), Rhode Island (-21 cents), Massachusetts (-18 cents), New Hampshire (-18 cents), New York (-18 cents) and Vermont (-17 cents) all land on the top 10 list for the biggest year-over-year change in gas prices. 

On the week, only Washington, D.C. (+2 cents) saw gas prices increase. Delaware (-9 cents) saw the largest decline, followed by Maryland (-4 cents) and North Carolina (-3 cents). Gas prices range from $2.30 – $2.75.

Despite the large increase in stocks the week prior, the latest EIA data shows stocks holding mostly stable at 59.3 million bbl. The regional refinery utilization rate performed similarly, sitting steady at 90%. The stability in stocks and utilization assisted in keeping regional price pump jumps relatively small.

Rockies

Gas prices only increased as much as a penny on the week in the region and only for Colorado ($2.79) and Wyoming ($2.73). Pump prices held steady in Montana ($2.70), Utah ($2.91) and Idaho ($2.99).

Compared to a year ago, motorists in Montana (-19 cents) and Wyoming (-16 cents) are seeing fairly significant savings at the pump. Meanwhile, in Utah and Idaho the year-over-year difference is less than a nickel, while motorists in Colorado (+6 cents) are paying the most.

Gas prices in the region may decrease in the week ahead due to increasing stock levels and rising refinery utilization. In EIA’s latest data, stocks increased 200,000 to 6.9 million bbl, while refinery rates jumped from 81.2% to 86.4%.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region have decreased on the week after the region underwent planned and unplanned refinery maintenance that caused prices to spike over the past month. Reduced supply in the region, amid robust demand, put pressure on pump prices in prior weeks, but the pressure continues to decrease as a result of imports and increased production from regional refineries. As supply increases, prices will likely continue to drop throughout the region this week.

California ($3.95) and Hawaii ($3.65) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.38), Nevada ($3.35), Oregon ($3.26), Alaska ($3.19) and Arizona ($2.94) follow. California (-9 cents) and Oregon (-5 cents) saw the largest decreases in the region, while Alaska (+1 cent) saw the only increase on the week.

The EIA report for the week ending November 8 showed that total West Coast gasoline stocks increased from 26.19 million bbl to 26.60 million bbl. The current level is approximately 100,000 bbl lower than last year’s level at this time.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 95 cents to settle at $57.72. Crude prices increased last week due to increased optimism that China and the U.S. – the world’s two largest crude consumers – are continuing to resolve ongoing trade tensions that sparked market fears that global crude demand would suffer as a result of increased tariffs between both countries. Crude prices increased despite new data from EIA that revealed total domestic crude inventories increased by 2.2 million bbl, bringing the new total to 449 million bbl. The current level is 6.9 million bbl higher than last year’s level at this same time. 

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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  • Comments Off on Increase in Gasoline Stocks Pushes Gas Prices Cheaper

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) gasoline demand reading reflected the most fall-like numbers (9.1 million b/d) since the end of September. Despite lower demand, stocks drew by a significant 2.8 million bbl in part due to high exports. On the week, the national average increased one cent to $2.61.

“While most states are seeing more expensive gas prices on the week, the good news is that the majority of increases were nominal at a few pennies. In fact, only five states saw jumps of a nickel or more,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Motorists are likely to see continued fluctuation at the pump, but not major increases in the week ahead.”

Compared to a month ago, state averages are about a 50/50 split in being either more or less expensive. The vast majority of motorists are seeing savings at the pump compared to November 2018, by as much as a quarter. Only six states are carrying averages more expensive than a year ago: California (+34 cents), Delaware (+12 cents), Nevada (+11 cents), Ohio (+8 cents), Arizona (+5 cents) and Oregon (+3 cents).

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly changes are: Idaho (+22 cents), Ohio (-19 cents), Alaska (+17 cents), Delaware (+15 cents), Utah (+15 cents), California (-14 cents), Illinois (-13 cents), Wisconsin (-11 cents), Michigan (-10 cents) and Washington (+9 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Louisiana ($2.22), Mississippi ($2.22), Texas ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.28), Missouri ($2.28), Alabama ($2.28), Arkansas ($2.30), Oklahoma ($2.31), Virginia ($2.32) and Tennessee ($2.35).

Great Lakes and Central States

South Dakota ($2.50) was the only Great Lakes and Central state with stable  gas prices on the week. Motorists in Michigan (+10 cents) and Illinois (+9 cents) saw the largest pump price jumps on the week while four states saw prices decrease, but only by a penny: Wisconsin ($2.38), Nebraska ($2.46), Ohio ($2.48) and Minnesota ($2.49). All other states saw gas prices increase by one to three cents. 

The latest increases at the pump can be attributed to the large decrease in regional gasoline stocks – from 47.9 to 46.5 million bbls in EIA’s latest report. Stocks have been decreasing weekly since the end of September. Regional refinery utilization rates, which increased minimally from 90.1% to 90.6%, likely helped keep most state increases on the smaller scale. If stocks are able to increase along with refinery rates in coming weeks, than motorists might see cheaper gas prices later this month.

South and Southeast

Two states from the South and Southeast – Florida and Tennessee – land on the Top 10 list for largest weekly changes, but for a decrease and an increase, respectively, of a nickel. With the decrease, Florida saw the largest decline in gas prices in the country, but was not the only state in the region to see pump prices push cheaper. New Mexico’s ($2.52) average is a penny less expensive than last week. The majority of states in the region have more expensive gas prices on the week, with the exception of Georgia ($2.43), Arkansas ($2.30), Louisiana ($2.22) and Mississippi ($2.22). Averages in these states have held steady since last Monday.

With a 600,000 bbl draw, gasoline stocks measure at 78.4 million bbl in the region, which is the lowest level since early September, according to EIA data. In the week ahead, gas prices could push moderately more expensive, especially with the latest regional refinery utilization rate down nearly 3% to 87%.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are fluctuating across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states with most motorists seeing penny increases. Delaware (+6 cents) and Maryland (+4 cents) saw the largest jumps in the region and rank among the top 10 states with the largest jumps in the country. For all other states in the region, prices only increased as much as three cents, with a handful of states seeing no pump price change on the week.

The five most expensive state averages in the region include: Pennsylvania ($2.77), New York ($2.69), Washington, D.C. ($2.68), Connecticut ($2.66) and Vermont ($2.634). These states rank between the 11th and 18th most expensive in the country. In contrast, Virginia ($2.32) and North Carolina ($2.41) tout the cheapest averages in the region, which rank as the 9th and 14th cheapest averages, respectively, in the country.

Despite the large increase in stocks the week prior, the latest EIA data shows stocks holding mostly stable at 59.3 million bbl. The regional refinery utilization rate performed similarly, sitting steady at 90%. The stability in stocks and utilization assisted in keeping regional price pump jumps relatively small.

Rockies

Idaho ($2.99), Utah ($2.91) and Colorado ($2.78) land on the top 10 list of states with the most expensive gas price averages in the country. In the region, gas prices increased on the week as much as nine cents. The exception is Montana ($2.70), where gas prices decreased by a penny.

State gas price averages in the Rockies are mostly more expensive compared to last month, but are all cheaper than last year at this time, by as much as a 20 cents.

The latest EIA data shows that regional gasoline stocks and refinery utilization both dipped on the week. Stocks have drawn every week since Sept. 26, the latest draw from 6.9 to 6.7 million bbls. Refinery rates have fluctuated during this time. The most recent draw from 82.4% to 81.2%. The consistent decline in stocks has contributed to the increase in pump prices recently.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region have mostly decreased on the week after the region underwent planned and unplanned refinery maintenance that caused prices to spike over the past month. Reduced supply in the region, amid robust demand, put pressure on pump prices, but the pressure continues to decrease as a result of imports and increased production from regional refineries.

California ($4.04) and Hawaii ($3.66) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.41), Nevada ($3.36), Oregon ($3.31), Alaska ($3.19) and Arizona ($2.94) follow. California (-3 cents) and Oregon (-2 cents) saw the largest decreases in the region, while Arizona (+4 cents) saw the largest increase on the week.

The EIA report for the week ending November 1, showed that total West Coast gasoline stocks decreased moderately from 26.44 million bbl to 26.19 million bbl. The current level is approximately 1.16 million bbl lower than this same time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by nine cents to settle at $57.24. Crude prices increased last week as a result of increased optimism that China and the U.S. – the world’s two largest crude consumers – are continuing to resolve ongoing trade tensions. The trade conflict had previously sparked market fears that global crude demand would suffer as a result of increased tariffs between both countries. If trade relations between the U.S. and China continue to show improvement this week, crude prices may continue to increase.

In related news, EIA’s most recent weekly report showed that total domestic crude inventories increased by 7.9 million bbl last week, bringing the new total to 446.8 million bbl. The current level is 15 million bbl higher than last year’s level at this same time. 

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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  • Comments Off on Gasoline Demand Looking More Seasonal, Most State Averages Fluctuate by Pennies on the Week

Gasoline demand numbers look more like summer than fall in the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest reports. However, despite the high demand rate and a draw in U.S stocks, the national average held steady on the week at $2.60.

“Gas prices continue to fluctuate across the country, though on the week the majority of states saw prices only increase or decrease by one or two cents,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The largest volatility at the pump continues to be seen in the West Coast & Rockies states along with a handful of states in the Great Lakes and Central region.”

Today’s average is six cents cheaper than last month and 16-cents cheaper than last year at this time.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Michigan (-9 cents), Ohio (+8 cents), Idaho (+7 cents), Illinois (-5 cents), Utah (+5 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Florida (+4 cents), Kentucky (+4 cents), Georgia (+4 cents) and Delaware (+4 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Louisiana ($2.22), Mississippi ($2.22), Texas ($2.24), South Carolina ($2.26), Missouri ($2.27), Alabama ($2.27), Virginia ($2.29), Arkansas ($2.30), Oklahoma ($2.30) and Tennessee ($2.30).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are stabilizing after the region underwent planned and unplanned refinery maintenance over the past few weeks. Reduced supply in the region, amid robust demand, put pressure on pump prices, but the pressure has decreased over the past week as a result of imports and increased production from regional refineries. Prices are expected to continue stabilizing this week, assuming no new supply disruptions occur.

California ($4.07) and Hawaii ($3.65) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.42), Nevada ($3.36), Oregon ($3.33), Alaska ($3.17) and Arizona ($2.90) follow. Alaska (+3 cents) and California (+1 cent) saw the largest increases in the region, while Nevada (-2 cents) saw the largest decrease on the week.

The EIA report for the week ending October 25, showed that total West Coast gasoline stocks increased slightly from 26.25 million bbl to 26.44 million bbl. The current level is approximately 500,000 bbl lower than this same time last year. Increased gasoline supplies will likely help to stabilize pump prices this week in the region.

Great Lakes and Central States

Volatility is being seen at the pump across Great Lakes and Central states. Since last Monday, gas prices have fluctuated as much as nine cents cheaper. States with the largest changes in the country and region include: Michigan (-9 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Illinois (-5 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Kentucky (+3 cents) and Wisconsin (-3 cents).

Part of the fluctuation can be attributed to stock levels, which decreased for a third straight week. In EIA’s latest report, total stocks measure at 47.9 million bbl. However, next week could bring a build in stocks as regional refinery utilization increased from 84% to 90%, the highest rate since the end of September. A build in stocks could help to stabilize or encourage cheaper pump prices.

South and Southeast

On the week in the South and Southeast gas prices show mostly nominal movement with decreases of a few pennies, with the exception of Florida (+5 cents), Georgia (+3 cents) and Oklahoma (+1 cent).  Across the region, gas prices are cheaper compared to last month by as much as a dime and this time last year by nearly a quarter.

Gasoline stocks measure at 79 million bbl thanks to a build of 420,000 bbl, per EIA data. Regional refinery utilization increased as well, bumping rates to 89%. Refinery maintenance appears to be slowing, which will help to increase utilization this month and result in cheaper gas prices for motorists.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states continue to see the lowest pump price volatility in the nation with changes of just one to two pennies. The week brought small increases in Pennsylvania (+2 cents), New Jersey (+2 cent), Delaware (+2 cents), North Carolina (+1 cent) and Maine (+1 cent). Gas prices in the region range from $2.29 to $2.77.

With a 2.7 million bbl draw, gasoline stocks sit at 59.6 million bbl. This is the lowest stock level seen in the region since the end of July. More so, it is a 5 million bbl shortfall compared to this time last year. Refinery maintenance – and lower utilization rates – have contributed to the decrease in stocks in October and fluctuation at the pump recently.

Rockies

With the exception of Montana ($2.71), gas prices are more expensive than a week ago. Idaho (+7 cents) and Utah (+5 cents) saw the largest weekly increases in the region and the country, with both landing on the top 10 list of states with the biggest weekly jump. Colorado ($2.78) and Wyoming ($2.70) averages increased by one to two cents.

Gasoline stocks have consistently drawn down since the end of September. Total regional stocks are down to 6.9 million bbl – the lowest level since before peak tourism season began this year. With regional refinery utilization slowing, according to EIA’s latest data report, motorists could expect to see slight pump price jumps in the week ahead.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by $2.02 to settle at $56.20. Although crude prices rose sharply on Friday, they mostly fell last week after EIA’s report showed that total domestic crude inventories increased by 5.7 million bbl last week, bringing the new total to 438.9 million bbl. The current level is 12.8 million bbl higher than last year’s level at this same time. Prices increased on Friday after the market expressed relief following U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ announcement that the U.S. and China, the two largest oil-consuming countries in the world, are on track to complete phase one of their trade negotiations and a deal would likely be signed around mid-November. If trade tensions continue to subside, crude prices may continue to increase this week.

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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  • Comments Off on Jump in Gasoline Demand Drives Down Stocks, but National Average Remains Flat on the Week

The national gas price average dropped by four cents on the week to $2.60, despite a jump in gasoline demand and a draw in gasoline stocks. That is the largest one-week decrease since gas prices started to increase more than six weeks ago. Today’s average is a nickel cheaper than last month and 21-cents cheaper than last year at this time.

“On the week, more than half of all states saw gas prices decrease,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “A handful of Great Lakes and Central states saw the largest declines at the pump, while pump prices primarily increased in the West Coast and Rockies regions.”

Refinery maintenance across the country continues, though utilization rates have increased in the last week. This could mean further declines to the national average in the weeks ahead if demand drops. 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-14 cents), Michigan (-14 cents), Kentucky (-11 cents), California (-8 cents), Florida (-7 cents), Alaska (+7 cents), Nevada (-6 cents), Illinois (-6 cents) and Wisconsin (-5 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Louisiana ($2.23), Mississippi ($2.24), Texas ($2.25), Alabama ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.27), Missouri ($2.28), Arkansas ($2.29), Oklahoma ($2.29), Virginia ($2.29) and Tennessee ($2.30).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region continue to fluctuate after a number of refineries in the region underwent planned and unplanned maintenance over the past few weeks. This includes the Olympic Pipeline, which can transport 300,000 b/d of refined products in the region. The pipeline reduced its capacity to undergo unplanned work last week. The pipeline is expected to operate at reduced capacity this week, which will likely put pressure on tight supplies in the region and cause prices to remain high. Additionally, regional power cuts may take some gas stations offline in areas impacted by the fires in California, potentially putting pressure on pump prices.

California ($4.06) and Hawaii ($3.66) are the most expensive markets in the country. Nevada ($3.38), Washington ($3.42), Oregon ($3.34), Alaska ($3.14) and Arizona ($2.90) follow. California (-8 cents) and Nevada (-6 cents) saw the largest decreases, while Alaska (+7 cent) saw the largest increase on the week.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) report for the week ending Oct. 18 showed that total West Coast gasoline stocks mostly held steady from 26.23 million bbl to 26.25 million bbl. The current level is approximately 700,000 bbl lower than this same time last year. Tighter supplies will continue to keep prices high this week, but as refineries resume normal gasoline production levels and imports enter the region, pump prices are expected to continue stabilizing.

Great Lakes and Central States

Four Great Lakes and Central states top the charts for the largest weekly decreases in the country: Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-14 cents), Michigan (-14 cents) and Kentucky   (-11 cents). Illinois (-6 cents) and Wisconsin (-5 cents) round out the top 10 list. All states in the region have cheaper week-over-week averages with state averages ranging from $2.89 to $2.63.

Across the region, state averages are cheaper on the week, month and year. Motorists in this region have the largest savings compared to last year. Pump prices range, on average, from 18 to 36 cents cheaper. On the month, pump prices are a nickel to 14 cents less.

Stocks drew by 2 million bbl in EIA’s latest report for the week ending Oct.18. At 48.5 million bbl, gasoline stocks sit at their lowest level since this past June, but are on par with levels from this time last year. The latest refinery utilization rate was recorded at 84%, the second lowest in the country. Motorists are likely to see typical volatility at the pump into early November as regional refineries undergo maintenance.

South and Southeast

While all state gas price averages in the South and Southeast are cheaper on the week, motorists in the region are finding the real cost savings compared to last year. Three states in the region land on the top 10 list for largest yearly change: Louisiana (-32 cents), Florida (-31 cents) and Georgia (-30 cents). At a quarter less, South Carolina has the lowest year-over-year difference.

In the region, gas prices range from $2.23 to $2.39. Florida and Georgia have the highest and same pump price. Eight of the 10 cheapest state gas price averages are from the South and Southeast: Louisiana ($2.23), Mississippi ($2.24), Texas ($2.25), Alabama ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.27), Arkansas ($2.29), Oklahoma ($2.29) and Tennessee ($2.30).

Gasoline stocks drew by less than a half million bbl on the week to now measure at 78.6 million bbl. Meanwhile, regional refinery utilization jumped up from 84.5% to 88%. In the week ahead, motorists are likely to see stable or cheaper gas prices.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw the smallest decreases in gas prices on the week of any region in the country. At most, pump prices only dropped three cents and only in three states: North Carolina ($2.39), Delaware ($2.35) and Virginia ($2.29). Most states in the region saw prices decrease by one to two cents or not drop at all. Washington, D.C. (+1 cent) was the outlier.

Compared to last year, Connecticut (-32 cents), Rhode Island (-32 cents) and New Hampshire (-31 cents) are among the top 10 states with the largest pump price difference. At 16-cents, Delaware has the smallest yearly change in pump prices. State gas prices averages in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region are also cheaper month-over-month, except in Washington, D.C. (+1 cent).

Gasoline stocks sit at 62.3 million bbl following a draw of 550,000 bbl in EIA’s latest data. Regional refinery utilization pushed up a percentage point to 60%. The relatively marginal week-over-week changes helped to keep fluctuations minimal. Despite sitting at a 5 million bbl gasoline deficit compared to last year at this time, the region is likely to see gas prices push cheaper or stabilize through early November.

Rockies

For a second week, Idaho (+4 cents) saw the largest weekly increase in the region followed by Utah (+3 cents). Colorado, Wyoming and Montana all saw pump prices increase by a penny. With these jumps, these three states land on the top 10 list of most expensive state averages: Idaho ($2.88), Utah ($2.77) and Colorado ($2.75). Montana ($2.71) and Wyoming ($2.69) rank as the 12th and 14th most expensive states, respectively.

Gasoline stocks declined by a marginal 120,000 bbl. Total stocks sit at 7.2 million bb as regional refinery utilization jumped 4% up to 85.6%. Gas prices have the potential to push cheaper in the week ahead if utilization remains high and stocks hold steady.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 43 cents to settle at $56.66. Crude prices increased last week after EIA’s report revealed that total domestic crude inventories fell by 1.7 million bbl to 433.2 million bbl last week. Growth in crude exports, from 3.24 million b/d to 3.68 million b/d helped to push crude inventories lower. When compared to last year at this time, export rates are 1.5 million b/d higher. If total domestic crude inventories decrease again, crude prices could increase.

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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  • Comments Off on Pump Prices are a Treat for Majority of Motorists

U.S. refinery utilization dropped to its lowest rate – 83% – since Sept. 2017, tightening gasoline supplies and causing nearly half of all state gas price averages to increase on the week. AAA reports these weekly trends in pump price fluctuation:

  • Nearly half (22) of all states saw gas prices increase with nine state averages jumping a nickel or more
  • 19 states saw gas prices decrease with the majority seeing one to two cent declines
  • 10 state averages held steady

“Peak refinery maintenance season has caused volatility across the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Motorists can expect fluctuations at the pump likely through the end of the month due to ongoing maintenance and tighter gasoline supply.”

Today’s national average of $2.64 is one penny more than last week, two cents more than last month and 21-cents cheaper than last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: California ($4.14), Hawaii ($3.64), Nevada ($3.44), Washington ($3.40), Oregon ($3.33), Alaska ($3.07), Arizona ($2.90), Idaho ($2.84), Pennsylvania ($2.75) and Utah ($2.74).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Kentucky (+10 cents), Oregon (+7 cents), Idaho (+6 cents), Delaware (+6 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), South Carolina (+6 cents), Michigan (+6 cents), Alaska (+5 cents), Washington (+5 cents) and Florida (+4 cents).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are fluctuating after a number of refineries in the region underwent planned and unplanned maintenance. Adding to the challenge, operations at Marathon Petroleum’s San Francisco Bay Area 170,000 b/d refinery halted last week as a result of the earthquake that occurred last Monday. Production has resumed at the refinery, but continuing refinery challenges have put pressure on supply, which has contributed to the increases some motorists are seeing at the pump.

California ($4.14) and Hawaii ($3.64) are the most expensive markets in the country. Nevada ($3.44), Washington ($3.40), Oregon ($3.33), Alaska ($3.07) and Arizona ($2.90) follow. Oregon (+7 cents), Alaska (+6 cents) and Washington (+5 cents) saw the largest increases, while California (-3 cent) saw the largest decrease on the week.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) report for the week ending Oct. 11, showed that total West Coast gasoline stocks took a slight draw from 26.25 million bbl to 26.23 million bbl. The current level is approximately 1.42 million bbl lower than this same time last year. Tighter supplies will continue to keep prices high this week, but as refineries resume normal gasoline production levels and imports enter the region, pump prices are expected to continue stabilizing.

Great Lakes and Central States

The Great Lakes and Central states are seeing wide fluctuations in weekly pump price changes. Kentucky (+10 cents) saw the largest increase in the region and country, while Illinois (-6 cents) saw the largest decrease in the region and country. However, the majority of states in the region are only paying one to two cents more or less to fill-up, with a few states seeing stability on the week.

For the last four weeks, both gasoline stocks and regional refinery utilization have steadily decreased, contributing to the fluctuation in pump prices. EIA’s latest data for the week ending Oct. 11, measures total regional stocks at 50.5 million bbls and measures utilization at 86%, as compared to 53 million bbls and 100% utilization as of Sept. 6.

Maintenance has been reported at more than a dozen regional refineries since early September, including Phillips 66’s Wood River refinery (344,500 bbl) in Roxanna, Ill. With ongoing maintenance, motorists can expect volatility to continue through the end of the month. 

South and Southeast

On the week, South Carolina (+6 cents), Florida (+5 cents) and Texas (+2 cents) saw increases while all other states saw prices hold steady or decrease as much as four cents. State gas prices in the South and Southeast range from $2.25 – $2.46.

Compared to gas prices last month and last year at this time in the region, all states today have cheaper averages. On the month, averages are as much as a dime cheaper, while the real cost savings is compared to a year ago – Louisiana has the largest yearly difference of 36 cents cheaper.

While gasoline stocks drew by a substantial 1.3 million bbls in EIA’s latest report, stocks sit at a healthy 79 million bbl amid the lowest refinery utilization rate of the year (84.5%). Motorists are likely to see some fluctuation in gas prices in the week ahead, especially as refineries in the region undergo maintenance. This includes two refineries in Texas:  Motiva’s 639,700 b/d in Port Arthur and Valero’s 300,000 b/d in Corpus Christi.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

While gas prices fluctuated on the week in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, volatility is low. Delaware (+6 cents) and North Carolina (+4 cents) saw large jumps, but nine states in the region only increased or decreased by one to two pennies. Four averages held steady including New Hampshire ($2.45), Maine ($2.53), Connecticut ($2.66) and Washington, D.C. ($2.67).

The region carries the second highest level of gasoline stocks at 62.9 million bbl. The latest EIA data shows stocks drew 544,000 bbl and the region saw a 1% dip in refinery utilization, down to 59%. The relatively marginal week-over-week changes helped to keep fluctuations minimal. While there is refinery maintenance in the region, the largest impact continues to stem from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery fire and shut down earlier this year.

Rockies

With a six-cent increase, Idaho saw the largest weekly increase in the region and ranks among the top 10 states with the biggest increase. Colorado (+1 cents) was the only other state among those in the Rockies to see an increase. Averages in Utah ($2.74), Montana ($2.70) and Wyoming ($2.68) decreased one penny since last Monday.

At 81.6%, regional refinery utilization fell on the week and is among the lowest in the country. It’s not surprising that stocks also decreased to total 7.3 million bbl in EIA’s latest data report. Industry data indicates that two refineries are set to undergo fall maintenance, which could further drive down utilization and potentially cause spikes in gas prices. The two refineries are both located in Wyoming: the HollyFrontier 52,000 b/d in Cheyenne and the Par Pacific 181,500 b/d in New Castle.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 15 cents to settle at $53.78. Crude prices mostly fell last week after EIA’s report revealed that total domestic crude inventories grew significantly – by 9.3 million bbl – to total 434 million bbl. Increased domestic production, which hit 12.6 million b/d last week, has helped to push crude stocks up. When compared to last year’s rate at this time, crude production is up by 1.7 million b/d this year. Additionally, trade tensions between China and the U.S. continue to worry the market, putting downward pressure on prices. If trade tensions continue, prices could take another step back this week.  

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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(October 14, 2019) Despite an unseasonal spike in demand, according to the Energy Information Admiration’s (EIA) latest data sets, gas prices are decreasing for the majority of motorists across the country as crude oil prices (WTI) remain under $54/bbl. Today, the national average gas price is $2.63, which is two cents less than last week and 26 cents cheaper than last year, but six-cents more expensive than last month. 

“The national gas price average has been gradually decreasing the past three weeks and we expect this trend to continue, barring any major industry or geopolitical events,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “But the real savings we’re seeing is when prices are compared to this same time last year. Drivers in some states are paying 40 cents less per gallon than they were last October.”

The largest weekly volatility with gas prices continues to happen in West Coast states, but that could be tapering off. EIA’s data shows that the region’s refinery utilization jumped up 10% and gasoline stocks were relatively stable for the week ending Oct. 4, meaning there could be some relief in sight.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Michigan (-10 cents), Oregon (+10 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents), Washington (+7 cents), Florida (-6 cents), Alaska (+ 6 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Georgia (-4 cents), Texas (-4 cents) and New Mexico (-3 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.25), Louisiana ($2.26), Mississippi ($2.26), Texas ($2.27), Alabama ($2.29), Missouri ($2.30), Virginia ($2.31), Arkansas ($2.31), Delaware ($2.31) and Oklahoma ($2.33).

West Coast

Most pump prices in the West Coast region have increased on the week. However, prices in the region appear to be stabilizing after a number of regional refineries experienced unplanned outages that reduced supply over the last few weeks.

California ($4.17) and Hawaii ($3.65) are the most expensive markets in the country. Nevada ($3.44), Washington ($3.35), Oregon ($3.26), Alaska ($3.01) and Arizona ($2.91) follow. Oregon (+10 cents) and Washington (+7 cents) saw the largest increases, while Hawaii (-2 cents) and California (-1 cent) saw the largest decreases.

The EIA report for the week ending October 4, showed that total West Coast gasoline stocks decreased from 27 million bbl to 26.25 million bbl. This level is approximately 2 million bbl lower than this same time last year. Tighter supplies will continue to keep prices high this week, but as refineries resume normal gasoline production levels, pump prices are expected to stabilize.

Rockies

Idaho ($2.78), Utah ($2.75), Montana ($2.71) and Wyoming ($2.69) rank among the top 15 states with the most expensive gas price averages. On the week, Idaho (+3 cent) and Colorado (+1 cent) saw increases at the pump, while Utah (-3 cent) was the only state to see a decrease. Wyoming and Montana state averages held steady.

Both regional refinery utilization and stock levels decreased in EIA’s latest report, but marginally. This will help to keep gas prices mostly stable in the week ahead, especially as fall quickly turns to winter in many parts of the region and gasoline demand decreases.

Great Lakes and Central States

Three Great Lakes and Central states land on the top 10 list for largest weekly changes with both increases and decreases. Motorists in Michigan (-10 cents) and Kentucky (-7 cents) saw the largest drop in pump prices while those in Indiana (+5 cents) seeing the steepest increase. Ohio (+4 cents) was the only other state in the region to see gas prices increase. 

Regional state gas price averages range from as expensive as $2.75 in Illinois to as cheap as $2.30 in Missouri. Both of these states land on the top 10 list for most expensive and least expensive state averages, respectively.

Gasoline stocks in the region remained mostly stable, seeing only a decline of 25,000 bbl. EIA data also showed that regional refinery utilization decreased 5%, down to 87%, which is an average rate compared to other regions in the country. If stocks see another dip this week, alongside the lower refinery rate, the region may see a little volatility in pump prices in the week ahead.

South and Southeast

Gas prices are cheaper across all South and Southeast states on the week with the exception of Tennessee (+1 cent). The states with the largest decreases were: Florida (-6 cents), Georgia (-4 cents), New Mexico (-3 cents), Texas (-4 cents) and South Carolina (-4 cents).

Gas prices are cheaper or stable on the week and compared to last year, but all state averages are more expensive by one to seven cents compared to last month.

With a build of 1 million bbl, the region recouped the previous week’s gasoline stock draw and pushed total levels back over 80 million bbl. Regional refinery utilization saw a small 1% decline. The significant stock build will help to push gas prices cheaper in the week ahead.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

State gas price averages are at least a quarter cheaper year-over-year. These Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states have the biggest yearly change with pump prices 36 cents less: Connecticut, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Delaware. Vermont (-26 cents) carries the smallest yearly differential in the region.

Motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are all starting the work week with cheaper pump prices compared to last Monday. State averages range from $2.73 – $2.31, which are anywhere between one to three cents less on the week.

After two weeks of builds, the EIA reported a significant 1.4 million bbl draw the region, dropping stocks to 63.4 million bbl. More concerning is the drop in regional refinery utilization, which went from 67% down to 60% for the week ending Oct. 4. The refinery rate drop, which is likely due to planned and unplanned maintenance, plus the large draw in stocks could cause some volatility at the pump for motorists in the week ahead.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by $1.15 to settle at $54.70. Crude prices increased last week after Iran announced that one of its oil tankers was struck, potentially by missiles, in the Red Sea on Friday. The incident adds to concerns that increased tension in the Middle East could lead to a disruption in global crude supply.

Crude prices also increased based on reports that OPEC and its partners could deepen production cuts next year in an effort to reduce supply, which would lead to higher prices. The current production reduction agreement of 1.2 million b/d is in effect until March 2020, but when OPEC and its partners meet on December 5 and 6 in Vienna, the group could decide to deepen the cuts. Additionally, crude prices rose after the U.S. and China announced a partial trade agreement at the end of last week. However, if trade tensions return, alongside increased tension in the Middle East, crude prices could slip this week.

In related news, EIA reported that total domestic crude inventories grew by 2.9 million bbl to 425.6 million bbl last week. They now sit 15.6 million bbl higher than where they were at this time last year.

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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  • Comments Off on National Gas Price Average Slowly, but Steadily Declines for Three Weeks

The national gas price average continues to hold steady on the week at $2.65, which is nine cents more expensive than last month, but 26 cents cheaper than a year ago. Most motorists around the country are seeing prices decline or stabilize, with the majority of states seeing gas prices decrease by as much as a nickel since last Monday. But significant price jumps in California (+16 cents on the week) have pushed prices higher for motorists in the region, as gasoline stocks tighten along the West Coast.

“All regions are seeing planned and unplanned refinery maintenance, but it is only the West Coast that is really seeing gasoline stocks tighten and gas prices increase,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “On the whole, we are seeing gasoline demand mostly push lower amid stable, but healthy gasoline stock levels which are ultimately keeping prices cheaper for most motorists.”

Today, 51% of all gas stations in the country are selling regular unleaded for $2.50 or less, while 77% are selling for $2.75 or less.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: California (+16 cents), Nevada (+14 cents), Indiana (-8 cents), Delaware (-8 cents), Michigan (+6 cents), Oregon (+6 cents), Washington (+5 cents), Georgia (-5 cents), Maryland (-4 cents) and Texas (-4 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Louisiana ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.28), Mississippi ($2.28), Texas ($2.31), Alabama ($2.31), Arkansas ($2.31), Missouri ($2.32), Virginia ($2.32), Oklahoma ($2.33) and Tennessee ($2.34).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region have increased on the week, following a number of refinery outages that have tightened supply in the market. However, price increases have slowed as refineries work to resume production capacity. Assuming no additional outages, pump prices should stabilize toward the end of the week. California ($4.18) and Hawaii ($3.67) are the most expensive markets in the country. Nevada ($3.42), Washington ($3.28), Oregon ($3.16), Alaska ($2.95) and Arizona ($2.91) follow. California (+16 cents) saw the largest increase, followed by Nevada (+14 cents).

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report, for the week ending on September 27, showed that total West Coast gasoline stocks decreased slightly from 27.1 million bbl to 27 million bbl. This level is approximately 900,000 bbl lower than this same time last year. Tighter supplies will continue to cause prices to spike, but as refineries resume normal gasoline production levels, pump prices are expected to stabilize.

Rockies

Motorists in the Rockies region continue to see little action at the pump with three state averages down on the week by one or two pennies: Utah ($2.78), Wyoming ($2.69) and Montana ($2.71). Idaho’s ($2.75) average held steady.

Both regional gasoline stocks and refinery utilization were relatively unchanged in EIA’s latest report. Gasoline stocks held at 7.7 million bbl while refinery dipped from 91.3% to 90.9%. The region could see some fluctuation should Rockies refineries be tapped to help back-fill tightening gasoline supplies in the West Coast region. The good news is gasoline stocks in the Rockies sit at the highest level of the year and show a year-over-year surplus, so any fluctuation should not be significant.

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices compared to a year ago are 20 cents to 45 cents cheaper for all motorists in the Great Lakes and Central states. Six states land on the top 10 list for largest yearly change: Indiana (-46 cents), Iowa (-45 cents), Nebraska (-39 cents), Kentucky (-39 cents), South Dakota (-39 cents), and Wisconsin (-39 cents).

On the week, all but three states in the region saw gas prices that are cheaper – by as much as four cents – or stable. Michigan (+6 cents), Ohio (+2 cents) and Illinois (+3 cents) were the outliers.

The region was just one of two to see gasoline stocks increase on the week. According to the latest EIA data, stocks built by nearly 1 million bbl to total 51 million bbl as regional refinery utilization held steady at 92%. The region is likely to see gas prices remain mostly stable or cheaper with the exception of typical volatility for a handful of states.

South and Southeast

Florida (+4 cents) was one of a handful of states east of the Mississippi to see gas prices jump on the week. All other states in the South and Southeast continued to see cheaper or stable pump prices with Georgia ($2.49), Texas ($2.31) and South Carolina ($2.28) seeing the largest decline of four cents.

Eight of the top 10 states with the cheapest averages in the country hail from the region: Louisiana ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.28), Mississippi ($2.28), Texas ($2.31), Alabama ($2.31), Arkansas ($2.31), Oklahoma ($2.33), and Tennessee ($2.34). Compared to a year ago, these state averages are at least 30 cents cheaper.

With a 1 million bbl draw, gasoline stocks dipped down to 79.3 million bbl. The drop in stocks can likely be attributed to an increase in exports and a dip in regional refinery utilization, which dropped by 4% to 88% – a regional rate not seen since March. The lower rate is due to planned and unplanned maintenance at refineries. However, with stocks at a healthy level, motorists are unlikely to see large swings at the pump.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

For another week, all states in the region saw pump prices push cheaper, with Delaware seeing the largest decline. In fact, Delaware (-8 cents) and Maryland (-4 cents) landed on the list of top-10 largest weekly declines. As state averages continue to decline in the region, not one state ranks among the top 10 most expensive in the country. Pennsylvania ($2.75) and New York ($2.71) rank as the 11th and 13th highest averages in the country and the most expensive in the region. Conversely, Virginia ($2.32) carries the cheapest average in the region.

For a second week, gasoline stocks increased by a moderate nearly 600,000 bbl to total 64.9 million bbl in EIA’s latest report. Regional refinery utilization dropped by another 1% down to 67%. It’s likely that motorists will see gas prices continue to decrease in the week ahead.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 36 cents to settle at $52.81. Crude prices ended lower last week after continued trade tensions between the U.S. and China worried market observers. Those fears grew last week after the World Trade Organization ruled that the U.S. could impose tariffs on goods from the European Union. Increased tariffs could reduce global crude demand, helping to push prices down even further while crude supplies continue to increase. Moving into this week, further trade tensions could reduce crude prices amid worries that global crude demand will decline.

In related news, in its latest weekly report, EIA’s data revealed that total domestic crude inventories grew by 3.1 million bbl. At 422.6 million bbl, crude stocks are 18.7 million bbl higher than where they were at this time last year.

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 Trending Cheaper

September 30th, 2019 by AAA

Two weeks after attacks on major Saudi Arabian oil facilities, the majority of Americans are starting to see signs of gas prices trending cheaper. While the national average may have only decreased by a penny on the week, 10 states saw pump prices decline by a nickel or more.

“Crude oil prices have dropped close to where they were right before the drone attacks on the Saudi oil facilities,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “This is helping to push gas prices cheaper in most of the country. Americans can expect this trend to continue, except for those filling-up on the West Coast, where refinery disruptions are causing spikes at the pump.”

On the week, all West Coast region states saw prices increase with California (+28 cents) seeing the largest spike, which drives the state average to $4.02 and is likely to push more expensive this week.

Today’s national gas price average of $2.65 which is the same price as last week, and is seven cents more expensive than last month, but 22-cents cheaper than a year ago.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: California (+28 cents), Ohio (-15 cents), Nevada (+13 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Kentucky (-11 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), Delaware (-9 cents), Indiana (-7 cents), Iowa (-7 cents) and Minnesota (-6 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Louisiana ($2.30), Mississippi ($2.30), South Carolina ($2.32), Arkansas ($2.32), Alabama ($2.33), Texas ($2.35), Virginia ($2.35), Oklahoma ($2.35), Missouri ($2.36) and Tennessee ($2.37).  

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region have increased on the week, following a number of refinery outages that have tightened supply in the market. Robust demand is contributing to price increases, and prices are unlikely to subside until supply is strengthened. California ($4.02) and Hawaii ($3.67) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.23), Nevada ($3.28), Oregon ($3.10), Alaska ($2.96) and Arizona ($2.91) follow. California (+28 cents) saw the largest increase, followed by Nevada (+13 cents).

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report for the week ending on September 20, showed that total West Coast gasoline stocks decreased significantly by 1.5 million bbl to 27.1 million bbl. This level is approximately 800,000 bbl lower than this same time last year. Tight supplies will continue to cause prices to increase, but imports and increased deliveries from nearby states are expected to help to ease increasing prices.

Rockies

The Rockies are seeing the least volatility of any region in the country. On the week, gas prices increased for only two states and by just a penny: Utah ($2.80) and Colorado ($2.72). Prices held steady in Wyoming ($2.70), Idaho ($2.75) and Montana ($2.72).

Regional gasoline stocks increased by almost 200,000 bbl to total 7.7 million bbl. Meanwhile, regional refinery rates declined by 5% down to 91%. While that is the lowest refinery rate since early May, stock levels are at their highest of the year. This will likely keep gas prices stable in the week ahead despite the lower refinery rates.

Great Lakes and Central States

Motorists in the Great Lakes and Central States saw some of the largest pump price drops on the week with Ohio (-15 cents), Michigan (-12 cent), Kentucky (-11 cents), Illinois (-9 cents), Indiana (-7 cents), Iowa (-7 cents) and Minnesota (-6 cents) all landing on the top 10 list for largest weekly declines. All states in the region saw prices decline by at least two cents since last Monday.

Gas price averages in the region range from $2.36 – $2.72. Illinois carries the most expensive average, which ranks as the 12th highest in the country. Missouri touts the cheapest state average in the region, which is the 9th least expensive in the country.

Gasoline stocks drew down to 50.9 million bbl, which is a 1.5 million bbl year-over-year deficit. Stock levels could continue to decline. The latest EIA data shows the regional refinery utilization dropped 4% to 92% for the week ending Sept. 20. This combination could cause some fluctuation in gas prices in the week ahead, potentially pushing gas prices more expensive.

South and Southeast

Gas prices are cheaper across the South and Southeast. On the week, Florida saw the largest decline at a nickel. Most states saw smaller declines with a handful seeing prices drop by a penny or remaining stable including: Louisiana ($2.30), Oklahoma ($2.37), Mississippi ($2.30), Arkansas ($2.32), Alabama ($2.33) and New Mexico ($2.64).

Compared to one month ago, gas prices are more expensive for all motorists in the region. New Mexico (+16 cents), Georgia (+14 cents), Alabama (+11 cents), Mississippi (+11 cents), Louisiana (+10 cents) and Tennessee (+9 cents) rank among the top 10 states with the largest monthly increases in the country.

For a second week, gasoline stocks increased – this time by a substantial 1.8 million bbl. The EIA reports total stocks at 80.3 million bbl, a healthy level for this time of year which should help to keep pump prices mostly stable.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

All states in the region saw pump prices push cheaper on the week with Delaware (-8 cents) seeing the largest decline. However, the majority of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw small declines of just a penny or two. State gas price averages range from $2.35 – $2.77 in the region.

While all gas price averages in the region are cheaper year-over-year, that is not the case for month-over-month pump price differences. Most state averages are cheaper compared to last month, however, many are  paying more: Delaware (+9 cents), Maryland (+7 cents), North Carolina (+5 cents), Pennsylvania (+4 cents), Virginia (+3 cents) and West Virginia (+2 cents).

Gasoline stocks increased by 2 million bbl, pushing levels to 64.3 million in EIA’s latest report. Meanwhile regional refinery utilization saw a 1% increase to 68%. The stabilization in refinery utilization alongside the large increase in stocks likely means most states in the region will see gas prices hold steady or decrease in the week ahead.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased by 50 cents to settle at $55.91. Oil prices were mostly mixed last week after EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories grew by 2.4 million bbl, bringing the total 419.5 million bbl. The current level is 23.5 million bbl higher than where it was at this time last year. The higher level has kept prices in check as concerns that global crude demand may be impacted by the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

Additionally, crude prices have also been shaken as a result of market concerns that global supply could be reduced due to escalating tension in the Middle East. Crude prices increased moderately last week after the U.S. Department of Defense said it would deploy radar systems, Patriot missiles and about two hundred personnel to bolster Saudi Arabia’s defenses after an attack on two of its oil facilities earlier this month. If EIA’s report shows another crude inventory build, crude prices could end the week down. However, any escalation in the U.S.-China trade war or tensions in the Middle East could see them spike.

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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(September 23, 2019) Last week was the first time since early June that the national gas price average jumped more than a nickel in under a few days. On the week, it’s a dime more expensive at $2.66 with half of states seeing prices increase by 10 cents or more. However, even with the significant increase, the national average is still cheaper compared to last month (-6 cents) and last year (-19 cents).

Spurred by the Saudi Arabian oil facilities attacks the weekend prior, crude oil (West Texas Intermediate – WTI) increased as much as $10/bbl at its highest point early last week to nearly $64/bbl. Gasoline stations reacted just as swiftly as the market, raising local retail prices by as much as a quarter, which pushed the national average up six cents overnight last Tuesday. However, by the end of last week, crude was down to $58/bbl and gas prices started to stabilize as reports surfaced that Saudi facilities should be fully operational by end of September.

“At $2.66, the national average is a dime more expensive that last week. The good news is we are seeing downward movement with crude oil prices and stabilization at gas pumps, but Americans can expect some fluctuation through the end of the month,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Should Saudi’s crude production be back to full capacity shortly, the price spikes are likely to be temporary.”

In its latest report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) measured U.S. demand at 8.9 million b/d, which is a substantial 900,000 b/d drop from the previous week and a low reading not seen since February. The decrease in demand amid the spike in crude oil prices could help to keep gas price fluctuations more moderate through the end of the month.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.32), Louisiana ($2.32), Arkansas ($2.33), Alabama ($2.34), South Carolina ($2.35), Oklahoma ($2.37), Virginia ($2.37), Texas ($2.38), Tennessee ($2.39) and Missouri ($2.40).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Kentucky (+19 cents), Michigan (+18 cents), Georgia (+17 cents), Minnesota (+16 cents), Maryland (+14 cents), Iowa (+14 cents), Delaware (+14 cents), Mississippi (+14 cents), New Mexico (+13 cents) and South Carolina (+13 cents).

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices in the Great Lakes and Central states saw the highest volatility of any region following the drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Motorists in some states are paying nearly 20 cents more to fill-up as compared to last Monday. Kentucky (+19 cents), Michigan (+18 cents), Minnesota (+16 cents) and Iowa (+14 cents) saw the largest weekly increase in the region and land among the top 10 states in the country with the biggest jumps in pump prices. Most states in the region are paying more than they were a month ago, with the exception of South Dakota (-2 cents), Wisconsin (-1 cent) and Michigan (no change).

State averages range between $2.82 – $2.40, with three states touting an average at $2.70 or above: Illinois ($2.82), Michigan ($2.73) and Ohio ($2.70).

Gasoline stocks drew by 539 million bbl for the week ending Sept. 13, in EIA’s latest report. That drops total stocks down by 52.5 million bbl, which is among the highest decreases seen in the region since April. Down 4% to 96%, regional refinery production could slow in coming weeks as refineries plan for fall maintenance. A drop in stocks amid more expensive crude oil prices would likely mean an increase in pump prices for motorists in the region.

South and Southeast

High volatility was also seen among the South and Southeast states on the week. Georgia (+17 cents), New Mexico (+13 cents), Mississippi (+14 cents), South Carolina (+13 cents), Texas (+12 cents), Alabama (+12 cents) and Louisiana (+12 cents) all saw a dime or more increase to the state average.

Still, the majority of gas price averages in the region are $2.45 or cheaper, with Mississippi ($2.32), Louisiana ($2.32), Arkansas ($2.33), Alabama ($2.34), South Carolina ($2.35) and Oklahoma ($2.37) carrying the cheapest in the region and the country at the start of the workweek.

At the end of last week, Tropical Storm/Depression Imelda dumped as much as 45 inches of rain in Texas, but industry reports show refineries are operational. The impact of the storm – including flooding – is not expected to have an effect on gas prices. 

With a 2.6 million bbl build, total gasoline stocks for the South and Southeast region sit at 78.6 million bbl in EIA’s latest report. Stocks could see a decrease next week as a result of regional refinery utilization trending down slightly to 92%. Motorists can expect to see volatility at the pump through the end of the month, especially due to the previous week’s spike in crude oil prices.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Four Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw gas price averages jump more than a dime on the week: Maryland (+14 cents), Delaware (+14 cents), Tennessee (+12 cents) and North Carolina (+11 cents). However the majority of states in the region saw a minimal impact – with pump jumps of only a few pennies. Vermont (+1 cent) and Connecticut (+2 cents) saw the smallest increases followed by these states which all saw a three cent increase: New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts and New York. Part of the reason such a large number of states saw tempered increases is due to the switchover to winter-blend gasoline last week. This blend is cheaper to produce and sell (compared to summer-blend). Therefore the region was set to experience a decrease at the pump already, which lessened the jumps stemming from the market (crude oil) increases.

Gasoline stocks drew down significantly for a second week, this time by 1.2 million bbl. Total stocks now measure 62.3 million bbl, which is nearly a 3.5 million bbl deficit compared to this time last year. Gas prices in the region may fluctuate in the week ahead as the market continues to adjust to crude oil prices.  

Rockies

Colorado (+10 cents) saw the largest impact in the region at the pump on the week in response to crude oil spikes in the market. Wyoming (+4 cents) saw the second largest increase followed Utah (+3 cents) and a minimal impacts in Montana (+1 cent). Idaho was the only state in the country to see a decrease, albeit a penny, on the week. In the region, state averages range from $2.70 – $2.79.

In addition, Utah (-8 cents), Idaho (-7 cents), Montana (-3 cents) and Wyoming (-2 cents) are among a minority of states whose gas price average is cheaper compared to last month.

With a little more than a 100,000 bbl build, EIA reports regional gasoline stocks to be above 7.5 million bbl. In fact, total stocks sit at a 1.1 million bbl surplus compared to levels mid-September 2018. Despite the healthy levels, Colorado’s gas prices are likely to see some fluctuation while the other states in the region are poised to see some volatility in the short-term.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the nation, with all states in the region landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. California ($3.74) and Hawaii ($3.66) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.20), Nevada ($3.15), Oregon ($3.07), Alaska ($2.97) and Arizona ($2.89) follow. All state averages in the region have increased on the week. California (+11 cents) saw the largest increase, followed by Arizona (+6 cents) and Nevada (+5 cents).

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on September 13, showed that total West Coast motor gasoline stocks decreased by 133,000 bbl to 28.6 million bbl. This level is approximately 340,000 bbl lower than in mid-September 2018. Amid rising oil costs, shrinking stocks put additional pressure on prices as they spiked last week. Motorists in the region will likely see prices continue to stay high this week as the market continues to adjust to higher crude prices.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased by four cents to settle at $58.09. Oil prices increased sharply last week, following news of attacks on two crude oil facilities in Saudi Arabia on September 14. On Monday, September 16, the first full day of trading after the attack, WTI crude oil prices experienced the largest single day price increase since August 21, 2008 and June 29, 2012, respectively, according to EIA. On Tuesday, Saudi Aramco reported that it was producing 2 million b/d and that its entire output capacity will be fully restored by the end of September. Additionally, Saudi Aramco stated that crude oil exports to customers would continue by drawing on existing inventories and offering additional crude oil production from other fields. Tanker loading estimates from third-party data sources indicate that loadings at two Saudi Arabian export facilities were restored to the pre-attack levels – based on analysis by EIA. These efforts have helped crude prices to stabilize, and they are expected to continue stabilizing this week.  

In related news last week, EIA reported that total domestic crude inventories increased by 1.1 million bbl last week. They currently sit at 417.1 million bbl, which is 23 million bbl higher than where they were last year at this time.

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 held steady at $2.56, but motorists can expect some volatility at the pump in the coming days and weeks. Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia experienced drone attacks on two major oil facilities – including the world’s largest, Abqaiq. The attacks have taken 5.7 million (crude) barrels per day off the market, accounting for about 6% of the global supply.

Prior to the attacks, global crude oil supply was very healthy, in fact sitting on a global glut of stocks. Regardless, initial market reaction to the attacks spiked crude oil prices.  At the start of the work week, crude oil (West Texas Intermediate, WTI) is trading for $5/bbl more than on Friday’s closing, up to $61/bbl – a price point for crude not seen since May.

“Americans can expect local pump prices to start to increase this week. The jump could end up being as much as a quarter per gallon throughout this month,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Whether this is a short or long term trend will be determined by the price of crude oil prices and how quickly the facilities in Saudi Arabia can recover and get back online.”

Damage to the facilities is still being accessed, but there is no word if it will be days, weeks or even months before infrastructure is repaired. To ease concerns, President Trump said he has authorized the release of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Other Saudi-oil-consuming countries also have emergency reserves to help back-fill the global loss, if needed.

Notably, the U.S. currently depends less on crude imports from Saudi Arabia. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report showed that the U.S. imported the least amount of crude oil from Saudi this decade. In the first half of this year, on average the U.S. imported about 18,000 bbl compared to 35,600 bbl in the first half of 2017.

While U.S. gasoline stock levels have been decreasing the past few weeks, total domestic stocks sit at 228 million bbl, which is ahead of the five-year average for this time of year by several million bbl. Today’s national gas price average is 7 cents cheaper than last month and 28 cents cheaper than this time last year. But these gaps are likely to shrink as the market adjusts to the news and crude oil prices increase.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Ohio (+13 cents), Michigan (-9 cents), Delaware (+9 cents), Illinois (+6 cents), New Mexico (+5 cents), Georgia (+4 cents), Colorado (+4 cents), Utah (-3 cents), Oklahoma (+3 cents) and Louisiana (+3 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.18), Louisiana ($2.20), Alabama ($2.22), South Carolina ($2.22), Arkansas ($2.24), Texas ($2.26), Tennessee ($2.27), Oklahoma ($2.28), Virginia ($2.28) and Missouri ($2.29).

South and Southeast

On the week, motorists in the South and Southeast are seeing volatility, though it is not overly drastic. New Mexico (+5 cents), Georgia (+4 cents), Oklahoma (+3 cents) and Louisiana (+3 cents) rank among the top 10 states with the largest weekly changes. A total of six states saw prices increase between two to five cents since last Monday, while the remaining states saw prices decrease by a few pennies. State averages range from $2.18 to $2.42.

Part of the pump price increases for the six states can be attributed to gasoline stocks, which decreased for a second week. The latest draw was 1.1 million bbl, dropping total levels to 76 million bbl, which is the lowest stock level seen since the end of 2017, according to EIA data. Stocks are likely to continue to decline given the weekend news of the Saudi attack. Falling stocks paired with a likely increase in crude oil prices will likely lead to more expensive gas prices for the region.

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices range from as much as 13 cents more expensive to nine cents cheaper in the region on the week. Ohio (+13 cents) and Michigan (-9 cents) saw the biggest weekly changes in the region and the country. Gas prices are noticeably more expensive in Illinois (+6 cents), while Kansas (+2 cents), Missouri (+1 cent), Indiana (+1 cent), Kentucky (+1 cent) and Nebraska are more expensive but just by a couple of pennies.

Gasoline stocks built by a significant 1.6 million bbl in EIA’s latest report. That increases total stocks for the Great Lakes and Central States to 53 million bbl, which is on par with levels this time last year. Regional refinery utilization remains strong at 100%, which should ultimately lead to cheaper gas prices for the region. However, any major jumps in crude oil prices may reverse this trend and lead to more expensive gas prices nationally and in the region.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The majority of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states have gas prices that are cheaper or stable compared to last week. Only four states saw upward movement at the pump this week: Delaware (+9 cents), Maryland (+3 cents), Tennessee (+2 cents) and Pennsylvania (+1 cent). With a three cent decrease, Connecticut ($2.68) saw the largest change in pump prices. At the start of the week, New York ($2.72) has the most expensive average of all states in the region and ranks as the 10th most expensive in the country.

Gasoline stocks drew down by a significant 1.4 million bbl, dropping levels to 63.6 million bbl. Stocks in the region have mostly been building as of late, though slowly since July. This is the largest draw seen during this timeframe and measures at a 3.1 million bbl deficit compared to this time last year. It is likely more states will see fluctuation in the week ahead, especially as crude oil increases.

Rockies

Colorado (+3 cents) was the only state in the region to see an increase at the pump this week. Utah (-3 cents) saw the largest decrease followed by Wyoming (-2 cents), Idaho (-1 cent) and Montana (-1 cent). The Rockies region is averaging pump prices at $2.70/gallon.

The region’s stock dropped by 100,000 bbl to measure at 7.4 million bbl in EIA’s latest report. In addition, regional refinery utilization fell from 102% down to 94% signaling that stocks are positioned to further decrease and likely push regional gas prices more expensive.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are the highest in the nation, with all states in the region landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. Hawaii ($3.64) and California ($3.63) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.18), Nevada ($3.10), Oregon ($3.03), Alaska ($2.95) and Arizona ($2.83) follow. All state averages in the region have marginally decreased on the week. Hawaii, Washington, Nevada and Oregon saw the largest decreases at a penny each.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on September 9, showed that total West Coast motor gasoline stocks climbed by 300,000 bbl to 28.7 million bbl. The increase is a reversal from the previous four-week period that saw total stockpiles decrease by about 3.5 million bbl. The stock growth will likely help pump prices continue to decline as motorists in the region enter the lower demand fall driving season this week. However, as with the rest of the nation, increasing crude oil prices are likely to reverse this trend.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased by 24 cents to settle at $54.85, but on Monday, the price was up to $61/bbl.

Overall, oil prices were mixed. Early in the week, oil prices fell after reports emerged that the Trump Administration is considering relaxing sanctions on Iran, which would put more oil into an already oversupplied market. However, the losses were tempered by EIA’s weekly report showing that total domestic crude inventories fell by 6.9 million bbl last week. They now sit at 416.1 million bbl, which is nearly 20 million bbl higher than were they were at this same time last year. For this week, crude prices will see increases due to increased tension in the Middle East – specifically stemming from the attacks in Saudi Arabia –  and could be bolstered by increased optimism that China and the U.S., the world’s two largest crude consumers, may be nearing a resolution to the trade war.

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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