Archive for the ‘Fuel’ Category

(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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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.

Pump Price Trends Falling into Place for Autumn

September 9th, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs

Gas prices continue to trend – slowly, but surely – cheaper with half of all states seeing pump prices drop two-cents on the week. This caused the national average to push cheaper by a penny down to $2.56. Today’s average is 11-cents less than a month ago and 28-cents cheaper than a year ago. 

In its latest weekly report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that U.S. gasoline demand saw a steady decline from 9.9 million b/d to 9.4 million b/d, a reading typical for the start of fall. In addition to the drop in demand, EIA data also shows that domestic gasoline stocks fell by 2 million bbl, which is mostly attributed to exports.

“Gasoline demand in early September generally declines alongside stock levels as refineries prepare for the switchover to winter-blend gasoline and undergo maintenance,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “These typical trends mean savings for motorists, leading the way for potentially some of the cheapest gas prices at the end of the year.”

While state averages range from as expensive as $3.65 in Hawaii to as cheap as $2.16 in Mississippi, nearly all state averages are 20-55 cents cheaper than this time last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Ohio (-13 cents), Illinois (-7 cents), Michigan (+4 cents), New Jersey (-4 cents), Washington, D.C. (-4 cents), Rhode Island (-4 cents), Maryland (-4 cents), Massachusetts (-3 cents), Connecticut (-3 cents) and Indiana (+3 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.16), Louisiana ($2.17), Alabama ($2.20), Arkansas ($2.23), South Carolina ($2.23), Oklahoma ($2.25), Tennessee ($2.25), Texas ($2.27), Missouri ($2.28) and Virginia ($2.29).

South and Southeast

Gas prices in Florida are inching down toward pre-Hurricane Dorian pump prices. Ahead of the storm, Florida’s average spiked eight cents from $2.36 to $2.44. Today’s state average is $2.42. Georgia and South Carolina saw minimal impact from the storm.

On the week, all states have cheaper or stable gas prices – by as much as three cents. Across the region, state averages range between $2.16 – $2.42.

Gas prices in the coming week may see volatility due to fluctuation with gasoline stocks. While regional refinery utilization holds strong at 95%, gasoline stocks dropped by 3.2 million bbl in the EIA’s latest report. That sinks total stock levels to 77.1 million, which is the lowest level at the end of August for the region since 2015. The draw can be attributed to an increase in exports, which is a trend typically seen in the fall. The fluctuation in stocks could lead to some slight increases at the pump this week, but likely only by a few cents. 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Compared to a year ago, pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are 22 to 55 cents cheaper, with Delaware (-55 cents) having the largest change in the country. Maryland (-42 cents) and Washington, D.C. (-37 cents) also land on the top 10 list for largest yearly decreases.

The yearly gas price gap is likely only to widen more. with all states in the region seeing gas prices decrease or remain stable on the week.

Prices should remain mostly stable or cheaper for the coming week as the latest EIA data reports increases in regional gasoline stocks. Additionally, regional refinery utilization bumped up for the week ending August 30. Stocks have been consistently building for the past five weeks, up from 59.1 million bbl to 65 million bbl. However, at 65 million bbl, supplies still lag behind year-ago levels but are ahead of the five-year average. 

Great Lakes and Central States

While gas prices are 13 cents cheaper on the week in Ohio ($2.47), motorists in Michigan ($2.64) are paying nearly a nickel more compared to last Monday. Also seeing increases at the pump at the start of the workweek: Indiana (+3 cents), Kansas (+1 cent) and Missouri (+1 cent). Volatility is no stranger to the Great Lakes and Central States, where gas prices can fluctuate either way despite strong gasoline stock levels and healthy demand.

For the past three weeks, gasoline stocks have hovered at the 51 million bbl mark while regional refinery utilization stabilized mostly at 100%, according to the EIA. These two factors should ultimately keep gas prices cheaper for the region for the coming weeks with the exception of typical volatility mostly in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.

Rockies

Motorists in Colorado ($2.57) are paying three cents more to fill-up on the week – the only state in the region to see an increase at the pump. Utah and Idaho prices are both three cents cheaper. Pump prices were stable on the week in Wyoming ($2.68) and Montana ($2.72).

All states in the region rank among the top 15 most expensive gas prices in the country with the exception of Colorado, which ranks 20th. That being said, pump prices across the region are on average 33 cents less than this time last year.

Gasoline stocks saw a small build of 54,000 bbl to bump regional stock levels to 7.5 million. The EIA data also reports held regional refinery utilization is strong at 102%. In fact, since mid-July regional refinery utilization has been at or above the 100% mark for six weeks. This ultimately has contributed to higher stock levels and lower gas prices for motorist in the Rockies states.

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. Hawaii ($3.65) and California ($3.63) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.19), Nevada ($3.11), Oregon ($3.04), Alaska ($2.95) and Arizona ($2.88) follow. Most state averages in the region have decreased on the week. However, California and Arizona saw increases at a penny each.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on Aug. 30 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks decreased by 600,000 bbl. The total level is now 28.4 million bbl, which is in line with stock levels at the end of August 2018. Prices in the region will likely decline this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 22 cents to settle at $56.52. Domestic crude prices rose last week after the EIA reported that total domestic crude inventories fell by 4.8 million bbl. At 423 million bbl, stocks are approximately 21.5 million bbl higher than were they were at the end of August 2018. Higher inventory levels have helped to keep oil cheaper this year over last, but if EIA’s report this week shows that stocks continue to shrink, prices could end the week higher again. Alternatively, if ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China escalate, crude prices could fall.   

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.

On the week, gas prices are as much as nine cents cheaper in every state except California, (+5 cents), Florida (+4 cents), Ohio (+2 cents) and South Carolina (+1 cent).

Hurricane Dorian has been the driver for the increases in Florida and, most likely, South Carolina.

“As an east coast storm, Hurricane Dorian is not threatening major oil and gas infrastructure so its impact is localized to its path along the East Coast,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “For the rest of the country, demand, which remains high, is chipping away at supply, but not at a high enough rate to increase gas prices.”

Today’s national average is $2.57, which is a penny cheaper than last week, 14-cents less than a month ago and 26-cents cheaper than a year ago.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Louisiana ($2.18), Mississippi ($2.18), Alabama ($2.21), South Carolina ($2.24), Arkansas ($2.25), Tennessee ($2.26), Oklahoma ($2.26), Missouri ($2.27), Texas ($2.27) and Virginia ($2.31). 
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Washington, D.C. (-10 cents), Michigan (-9 cents), Delaware (-7 cents), California (+5 cents), Maryland (-5 cents), Texas (-5 cents), Florida (+4 cents), Nebraska (-4 cents), New Jersey (-4 cents) and Iowa (-3 cents).

South and Southeast

Hurricane Dorian drove Florida’s gas price average up four-cents on the week and is starting to impact pump prices in Georgia and South Carolina by pennies. Some gas stations in the Sunshine state were reporting fuel shortages, due to motorists filling-up ahead of the storm. Those shortages will be short-lived as fuel will be re-supplied once tanker trucks can travel into any impacted areas.

The rest of the region has not been impacted by the hurricane and on the week gas prices are as much as a nickel cheaper in Texas. Most states saw prices push cheaper by two to three cents. At $2.18, Louisiana and Mississippi carry the cheapest gas price averages in the country.

The region saw a nearly 3 million bbl draw on gasoline stocks in the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report for the week ending Aug. 23. That drop brought total levels down to 80 million bbl, which is the lowest regional supply level since mid-April of this year. Regardless, it is a healthy supply level and provides the ability to replenish any shortages in Florida.

Great Lakes and Central States

Most states in the Great Lakes and Central region have gas price averages that are two to four cents cheaper than last week. Michigan (-9 cents) and Ohio (+2 cent) are the outliers. Illinois ($2.71) carries the most expensive average followed by Ohio ($2.59) and Michigan ($2.58). On the other side of the coin, Missouri ($2.27), Kentucky ($2.32) and Kansas ($2.32) are the cheapest in the region.

Indiana (-35 cents), Kentucky (-23 cents) and Illinois (-22 cents) lead the nation with the largest monthly decreases. Ohio (-21 cents), Wisconsin (-19 cents) and Missouri (-19 cents) round out this top 10 list.

Gasoline stocks remain stable at 51 million bbl, the healthiest supply level seen since April for the Great Lakes and Central states region. Regional refinery utilization hit 100% in the EIA’s latest report. The high refinery rate and healthy stock level are working together to push prices cheaper for most of the region, a trend that should continue into September.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Four Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states land on the top 10 list for largest weekly decreases: Washington, D.C. (-10 cents), Delaware (-7 cents), Maryland (-5 cents) and New Jersey (-4 cents). All states have cheaper gas prices, with a penny being the smallest decline since last Monday.

As gas prices decline for the region, New York ($2.76) is the only state in the region to land on the top 10 most expensive state list this week. Connecticut ($2.73) ranks as the 11th highest average in the country and Pennsylvania ($2.71) is 13th. Tennessee ($2.26) has the cheapest average in the region.

Regional gasoline stocks added 1.6 million bbl for the week ending Aug. 23.  At 63.9 million bbl, stock levels are at their highest point in three months and on par with levels this time last year. This is positive news for the region in light of stock decreases seen earlier this summer due to the fire and explosion at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery in Pennsylvania. With regional refinery utilization down to 66%, it’s likely that most of the increase in supply is a result of imports.

Rockies

Utah (-4 cents) had the largest decrease in the region on the week followed by Idaho (-3 cents). Meanwhile, pump prices in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana only decreased by a penny or two. At $2.54, Colorado saw no movement.

Compared to this time last year, gas prices are at least 30-cents cheaper in all states except one: Idaho (-45 cents), Utah (-37 cents), Colorado (-33 cents), Wyoming (- 30 cents) and Montana (-22 cents).

EIA data reports regional refinery utilization increased for another week, this time to 102%, though gasoline stocks dipped by about 200,000 bbl down to 7.4 million bbl. As utilization holds strong, gas prices will continue to be cheaper for motorists in the Rockies region.

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 ($3.65) and California ($3.62) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.19), Nevada ($3.12), Oregon ($3.04), Alaska ($2.96) and Arizona ($2.82) follow. Most state averages in the region have decreased on the week, with Alaska (-2 cents) seeing the largest decline. However, California (+5 cents) saw the largest increase.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on Aug. 23 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks decreased by 600,000 bbl. The total level is now 29.02 million bbl., which is more than 700,000 bbl higher than last year at this time. The higher level could help prices stabilize if there is an increase in gas demand in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased by $1.61 to settle at $55.10. Crude oil prices saw some gains last week following EIA’s weekly report that showed crude oil stockpiles had decreased by 10 million bbl. However, worries about the impact of Hurricane Dorian drove crude oil prices down late last week. Closing out the week, crude oil futures fell 3% ahead of the hurricane’s landfall with fears that its impact could dampen demand. Market watchers will continue to track the progress of Hurricane Dorian as it strengthens throughout the week and batters Florida and the east coast.

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.

At $2.59, the national gas price average is poised to be potentially the cheapest Labor Day weekend average in three years. Today’s average is already nearly a quarter cheaper than during last year’s holiday ($2.83) and four cents cheaper than 2017’s Labor Day ($2.63).

“For Americans who bookend summer with road trips, they will find gas prices this coming weekend that are cheaper than this past Memorial Day and last year’s Labor Day holiday,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “At the start of the week, two-thirds of all states have gas price averages that are nearly a quarter cheaper than last year.”

While some states may see gas prices increase by a few pennies ahead of the holiday weekend, which isn’t atypical, any jumps will be short-term.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest yearly decreases: Idaho (-43 cents), Louisiana (-38 cents), Indiana (-38 cents), Florida (-36 cents), Kentucky (-35 cents), Delaware (-35 cents), Utah (-35 cents), Mississippi (-35 cents), Alaska (-34 cents) and Oklahoma (-34 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: Hawaii ($3.64), California ($3.57), Washington ($3.21), Nevada ($3.13), Oregon ($3.05), Alaska ($3.00), Utah ($2.85), Idaho ($2.82), Arizona ($2.81) and New York ($2.79).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are cheaper across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states by as much as a nickel, but that large drop only happened for one state: North Carolina (-5 cents). New Jersey (-4 cents) saw the second largest decline followed by these four states with a three-cent weekly decrease: Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Maryland. But the real savings for motorists in region is compared to this time last year – gas prices are at least 19 cents cheaper. Heading into Labor Day weekend last year, state gas price averages ranged from $2.59 – $3.03 whereas this year they are $2.29 – $2.79.

Despite a 1% dip in regional refinery utilization, gasoline stocks built by 781,000 bbl, per the Energy Information Administration (EIA). This is the fourth straight week that utilization fell, yet three straight weeks of stock increases. As previously reported, imports are easing concerns related to the decline in utilization due to the pending closure of a regional refinery. Stocks sit at a nearly 1 million bbl deficit compared to this time last year.

South and Southeast

Gas prices in the South and Southeast region have dipped to or below the $2.25/gallon mark for some states, which also tout the cheapest prices in the country today: Mississippi ($2.20), Louisiana ($2.20), Alabama ($2.23) and South Carolina ($2.23). More states in the region are likely to see averages this low in coming weeks. In fact, AAA expects by year-end that the region will again see $2/gallon retail prices. Currently, New Mexico ($2.48) and Georgia ($2.41) carry the most expensive averages in the region. 

On the week, all states in the region have gas prices that are cheaper by two cents to a nickel. Florida (-5 cents) saw the largest weekly decline.

The EIA reports that regional gasoline stocks drew by a little more than 1 million bbl. However, overall levels sit at a very healthy 83.2 million bbl and therefore gas prices are poised to continue to push cheaper.

Great Lakes and Central States

While Indiana (-10 cents) had the largest and only double-digit pump price decrease on the week in the region and the country, the majority of Great Lakes and Central states, saw pump prices push cheaper by as much as three cents. At $2.70, Michigan’s average increased two cents on the week and was one of only two states in the country to see an increase.

All states in the region are averaging a year-over-year pump savings of 20 cents or more except Illinois (-13 cents), which is at the lowest end of the price drop spectrum in the region.

With a 1 million bbl build, gasoline stocks increased for a third week and sit at their highest level since early April of this year, according to EIA data. Regional refinery utilization held strong at 99%, indicating that the region should expect cheaper gas prices next month with one stipulation being any refinery maintenance planned for this fall.

Rockies

On the week, gas prices declined 1 cent – 3 cents in the region. Colorado ($2.54) has the cheapest gas price average of all five states in the Rockies region while Utah ($2.85) and Idaho ($2.82) carry the most expensive. The latter two states rank as the 7th and 8th most expensive states in the country, however, they still land on the top 10 list for largest yearly changes, with differences of 43 and 35 cents less expensive, respectively.

Regional refinery utilization jumped back up to 100% in EIA’s data for the week ending Aug 16. Alongside the increase in utilization, stocks built by 200,000 to total 7.6 million bbl, the highest level since before Memorial Day. And with the end of summer tourism, stocks are likely to increase and push prices cheaper.

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. Hawaii ($3.64) and California ($3.57) are the most expensive markets in the country. Other states in the region are seeing the following prices: Washington ($3.21), Nevada ($3.13), Oregon ($3.05), Alaska ($3.00) and Arizona ($2.81). State averages in the region have decreased on the week by as much as three cents, except in Arizona, which saw a three-cent increase since last Monday and is one of only two states in the country to see pump prices push more expensive.

The EIA’s report for the week ending on August 16 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks decreased slightly from 30.2 million bbl to 29.6 million bbl. Additionally, the report showed regional refinery utilization rose to 96.6% giving an indication of future production capability. If there is a supply disruption or increase in demand this week, pump prices in the region could increase moderately because of tighter stock levels.  

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased by $1.15 to settle at $54.17. Crude prices strengthened after the EIA revealed that total domestic crude inventories fell by 2.7 million bbl. Then on Friday, crude oil prices took a downward turn as a result of continued trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Reuters reported that oil prices fell more than 2% on Friday after China unveiled retaliatory tariffs against $75 billion worth of U.S. goods. In response, President Trump tweeted that he would raise tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods from 25 to 30 percent on October 1. He also added that a tariff announced earlier this year and scheduled to go into effect on September 1 would now be raised to 15 percent. Market watchers will keep a close eye on U.S.-China trade talks and the impact increasing tariff costs could have on global crude oil demand. If the trade tension between the countries continues, crude prices will likely decline further.

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.

Cheap Crude Oil Paves Way for Significant Savings at the Pump

August 22nd, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs

AAA Forecasts National Gas Price Average to Land at $2.40 or Lower This Fall

WASHINGTON (August 22, 2019) – When filling-up at the pump this fall, the majority of U.S. motorists will find savings of potentially more than 25-cents/gallon compared to this summer. The national gas price average, which is already 15-cents cheaper than just five weeks ago, is poised to continue pushing less expensive due to several factors, including less expensive crude oil prices, the drop-off in gasoline demand after Labor Day and the move to winter-blend gasoline. AAA forecasts the national average to drop to $2.40 or lower this fall and offers motorists easy tips to maintain fuel efficiency throughout the year.

Additional Resources

“AAA predicts that fall gasoline prices will be significantly less expensive than this summer with motorists finding savings in every market across the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Many factors are driving this decrease, but the low price of crude oil is chief among them.”

AAA forecasts crude prices to range between $50 and $60 per barrel this fall. That is a considerable drop from last fall when prices ranged between $60 and $75. Why so cheap? Current total domestic crude inventories sit at 438.9 million bbl, which is 31.5 million bbl higher than last year at this time. The continued glut of oil encouraged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners to extend their 1.2 million b/d production reduction agreement through the end of the year. However, so far, reduced supply from OPEC and its partners has not led to a sustained higher price for crude.

As always, hurricane season has the potential to cause declining gas prices to shoot back up. This month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that 2019’s Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be above normal, with 10 to 17 named storms, including five to nine hurricanes. The mere threat of a hurricane making landfall can shutter domestic crude production, leading to spikes in crude and gasoline prices. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused the national gas price average to jump 30-cents in a matter of days.

Fall Regional Outlooks

  • West Coast: This region is consistently home to the most expensive markets in the country, even though the crude refinery utilization rate in the region has grown to nearly 97 percent this summer. Growing stocks have helped to push prices lower across the region. Gas is $3.01 or more in all seven states in the region except Arizona. As fall brings lower demand for gasoline, AAA expects the West Coast to see gas prices drop, in light of higher stock levels, during the months ahead.
  • Great Lakes and Central States: Gasoline stocks and regional refinery utilization have seen mostly weekly increases, with the exception of a few, throughout the summer. Moving into the fall, refinery utilization will likely slow as demand hits a post-summer slump and refineries make the switch to winter-blend gasoline production and undergo planned maintenance. Prices should push cheaper, but that won’t stop the typically volatile region from being susceptible to sudden price shocks
  • Mid-Atlantic and Northeast: Total gas stocks in the region sit at 61 million bbl, which is 3 million bbl less than last year this time. Part of the year-over-year deficit stems from the pending closure of Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), the largest refinery on the East Coast. This would usually lead to a spike in gas prices. However, gasoline imports are easing supply concerns and keeping retail gasoline prices moving lower. Though any further supply disruptions could cause prices in the region to spike temporarily.
  • South and Southeast: This summer, the region has averaged a gasoline stock level of nearly 84 million bbl, with healthy regional refinery utilization rates, which have helped keep gas prices low. Motorists in the South and Southeast can expect to find savings at the pump this fall, potentially even under $2/gallon by year-end, barring any major hurricanes.
  • Rockies: Typically gas prices skew their highest for the Rockies region during summer tourism season. That was no different this year. However, prices were significantly cheaper than summer 2018 – Utah and Idaho’s averages priced under $3/gallon for all of July, compared to a high of $3.22 in 2018. As the tourist season winds down and demand slows, gas prices may see some fluctuation, but overall, motorists can expect prices to remain steady as gasoline stocks sit at their highest level – 7.5 million bbl – recorded by the EIA for the month of August.

Boost your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency

In addition to cheaper gas prices, there are other ways to save at the pump and boost your vehicle’s fuel efficiency this fall.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Americans drive an average 11,498 miles per year, and annual per-vehicle gasoline use totals approximately 462 gallons. Poorly maintained vehicles are less efficient and use more fuel. To maintain fuel efficiency for your car, AAA recommends checking the owner’s manual for the recommended maintenance schedule, and keep the following in mind:

  • Perform required maintenance as specified. Keeping tires properly inflated, moving components adequately lubricated, and ignition and emission systems in good operating condition will help ensure maximum fuel efficiency and extend the life of your vehicle.
  • Change engine oil at the intervals indicated by the in-car maintenance reminder system or factory schedule. Use an “energy-conserving” oil that meets the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Keep tires inflated at the proper pressure. Use the figures on the tire information decal on the driver’s door jamb — not the one molded into the tire’s sidewall. Under-inflated tires reduce fuel economy and can be a safety hazard.
  • Check the engine air filter at every oil change. A dirty filter won’t affect fuel economy on a modern fuel-injected car, but it will reduce engine performance.
  • Engine spark plugs must be in good condition. Some types last for 100,000 miles, but others need to be replaced more often.

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.

Demand at All-Time High, Slowing Pump Price Decreases

August 19th, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs

Summer may be ending, but gasoline demand is soaring to new heights. In its latest reading (for the week ending Aug. 9), the Energy Information Administration (EIA) recorded demand at 9.93 million b/d, the highest since the agency began recording data in 1991. As demand jumped, gasoline stocks fell by 1.4 million bbl and pump prices slowed their decline on the week.

“Pump prices continue to trend cheaper for most motorists across the country, though the rate at which they are declining slowed in the last week with a handful of states only seeing a nickel decline at the most,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Demand recorded at a surprising all-time high, but it is expected to drop in the coming weeks as summer comes to an unofficial end.”

Today’s national average is $2.61, which is three cents cheaper than last week, 17-cents less than a month ago and 22-cents cheaper than a year ago. Nearly half of all gas stations in the country are selling gas for $2.50 or less.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: North Carolina (-5 cents), Maryland (-5 cents), Georgia (-5 cents), Washington, D.C. (-5 cents), Texas (-5 cents), Missouri (-5 cents), South Carolina (-5 cents), Tennessee (-5 cents), New Jersey (-5 cents) and Virginia (-5 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Louisiana ($2.23), Mississippi ($2.24), South Carolina ($2.26), Alabama ($2.27), Arkansas ($2.29), Oklahoma ($2.30), Tennessee ($2.32), Texas ($2.33), Missouri ($2.34) and Kansas ($2.36).

South and Southeast

States in the South and Southeast carry among the cheapest gas prices in the country and some saw large declines on the week. Three state averages decreased by a nickel and land on the top10 list of states with the largest weekly decreases in the country: Georgia ($2.46), Texas ($2.33) and South Carolina ($2.26).

Motorists in the region are enjoying savings at the pump compared to last year at this time. Ten South and Southeast states have gas price averages that are a quarter or more less expensive: Louisiana (-37 cents), Florida (-35 cents), Mississippi (-31 cents), Oklahoma (-30 cents), Arkansas (-28 cents), South Carolina (-27 cents), Alabama (-27 cents), New Mexico (-27 cents), Texas (-27 cents) and Georgia (-26 cents).

The region’s refinery utilization rate (96%) and gasoline stock levels (84 million bbl) both held steady from the previous week according to the latest EIA data. Stock levels have been mostly increasing since mid-July and sit at a 4.2 million bbl surplus compared to this time last year. This likely means continued pump price decreases heading into September.

Great Lakes and Central States

The majority of motorists in the Great Lakes and Central states saw gas prices decrease on the week. However, Michigan (+6 cents) and Ohio (+2 cents) are the region’s and country’s outliers, being the only two states to see increases. This follows significant double-digit decreases each state saw the week prior: Ohio (-19 cents) and Michigan (-12 cents). However, this is not unordinary behavior in a region with high volatility.

All states in the region have gas price averages that are double-digits cheaper than a month ago. At a quarter or more cheaper, Illinois (-32 cents), Indiana (-26 cents) and Kentucky (-25 cents) tout the largest monthly decreases in the country.

Gasoline stocks remain at a healthy 50.1 million bbl. In the week ahead, gas prices may see little movement at the pump if gas stocks continue to hold steady. Regional refinery utilization remains strong with the EIA reporting a rate of 99% in their latest report. 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

In the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region, gas prices are as much as a nickel cheaper than last week. North Carolina ($2.43), Maryland ($2.53), Washington, D.C. ($2.77), Tennessee ($2.32), New Jersey ($2.68) and Virginia ($2.37) rank among the top 10 states with the largest weekly decreases in the county and all saw gas prices drop by a nickel.

At the start of the workweek, state gas price averages in the region range between $2.81 and $2.32.

Regional gasoline stocks saw a nearly half a million bbl build despite refinery utilization declining for a third straight week, down 4% to 70%, per EIA data. Gas prices are decreasing among stable stocks and utilization thanks to imports backfilling supply since the largest refinery on the East Coast will be shutting down in the near future.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rockies saw modest movement  – three cents or less declines – at the pump since last Monday: Idaho (-3 cents), Montana (-3 cent), Utah (-3 cents), Colorado (-2 cents) and Wyoming (-2 cents).

Compared to a month ago, gas prices are cheaper in the region, but not as significantly cheaper as much of the country is seeing. With nine-cent monthly differences, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Utah rank among the top 10 states with the smallest monthly decrease.

EIA data reports regional refinery utilization dropped 5%. However, as the region was carrying a rate more than 100% in the past few weeks, this move only drops the current rate to 98.7%. Stocks dipped slightly (45,000 bbl) to now measure at 7.4 million bbl. Thanks to a summer of strong refinery runs, stocks sit close to a 1 million bbl surplus.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are the highest in the nation, with most states in the region landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. Hawaii ($3.64) and California ($3.59) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.23), Nevada ($3.16), Oregon ($3.08) and Alaska ($3.03) follow. Arizona ($2.78) is the only state in the region to not be included in the list. Most state averages in the region have decreased on the week, with Nevada (-4 cents) seeing the largest decline.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on August 9 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks sit at 30.2 million bbl, falling by 1.5 million bbl from the previous week. The current level is approximately 100,000 bbl lower than last year at this time, which could cause prices to increase moderately if there is any disruption in supply or an increase in gas demand in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 40 cents to settle at $54.87. Crude prices rose at the end of last week after sustaining heavy losses for two days. The losses came as a result of continued market worries about crude demand slumping this fall as a result of the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China, the world’s two largest oil consuming countries. If the trade dispute continues this week, crude prices may see further declines.

Additionally, last week OPEC trimmed its global oil demand forecast, citing a slowing economy. OPEC now calculates that this year’s crude demand growth will hit 1.1 million b/d on a year-over-year basis. The new rate reflects a slight dip of 40,000 b/d due to a slowdown in global demand trends in the first half of 2019.

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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