Posts Tagged ‘AAA’

Julie HallINRIX predicts travel times during the holiday week will double compared to normal trips

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 21, 2018) – A record-breaking 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Independence Day holiday, an increase of more than 5 percent compared with last year and the highest number since AAA started tracking 18 years ago. For the 39.7 million Americans planning a Fourth of July road trip, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predicts travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. could be twice as long than the normal trip, with Tuesday being the busiest day.

Additional Resources

“This Independence Day will be one for the record books, as more Americans take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways than ever before,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing. “Confident consumers with additional disposable income will look to spend on travel this holiday, building on an already busy summer travel season.”

In addition to strong economic variables, the expected increase in travelers this year is helped by Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, giving travelers more flexibility to schedule a trip the weekend before or after the holiday. The Independence Day holiday period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.

By the Numbers: 2018 Independence Day Holiday Travel Forecast

  • Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 39.7 million – will hit the road this Independence Day, 5.1 percent more than last year.
  • Planes: A record-breaking 3.8 million people will travel by air, a 7.9 percent increase and the ninth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.
  • Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 5.8 percent to a total of 3.5 million passengers.

Drivers Beware: Terrible Tuesday

INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the worst congestion over the holiday week on Tuesday, July 3 in the late afternoon – as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Travel times could increase two-fold in the major metros across the U.S., with drivers in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. experiencing the most significant delays.

“With a record-level number of travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays around major metros,” says Scott Sedlik, general manager and vice president – public sector, INRIX. “Although travel times are expected to nominally increase throughout the week, Tuesday afternoon will hands down be the worst time to be on the road. Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commuting hours altogether or consider alternative routes.”

Worst Days/Times to Travel
Metro Area Worst Day for Travel Worst Time for Travel Delay Multiplier of Normal Trip
San Francisco, CA Tuesday, July 3 3:00 – 6:00 PM 1.7x
Seattle, WA Tuesday, July 3 3:00 – 6:00 PM 1.8x
Detroit, MI Tuesday, July 3 3:30 – 5:30 PM 1.6x
Los Angeles, CA Tuesday, July 3 3:30 – 5:30 PM 2x
Boston, MA Tuesday, July 3 3:30 – 6:30 PM 1.8x
New York, NY Tuesday, July 3 3:30 – 6:30 PM 2.3x
Atlanta, GA Tuesday, July 3 4:00 – 6:00 PM 1.6x
Chicago, IL Tuesday, July 3 4:00 – 6:00 PM 1.7x
Washington, DC Tuesday, July 3 4:00 – 6:00 PM 2.1x
Houston, TX Tuesday, July 3 4:30 – 6:30 PM 1.8x
      Source: INRIX

Gas Prices Starting to Stabilize Heading into Independence Day
Gas prices have slowly but steadily started to fall since the 2018 high of $2.97 set over Memorial Day weekend. Since then, the national gas price has dropped nine cents to $2.88 (as of June 20), which is 59 cents more than one year ago. However, the higher prices are having little effect on travelers this Independence Day, with record number of travelers still planning to hit the road this year.

Travelers Paying Less for Airfare, More for Car Rentals and Hotels
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, travelers taking to the skies will pay an average $171 for a round-trip flight along the top 40 domestic routes. That is the lowest Independence Day airfare in five years, and 9 percent less than last year.

However, travelers can expect to pay more to rent a car and stay at mid-range hotels this Independence Day. At $66, the average daily cost of a car rental is a slight increase of 2 percent over last year. The average nightly rate at AAA Two Diamond hotels is $147, 11 percent more than last year, while AAA Three Diamond hotels will average $187, a 2 percent year-over-year increase.

Theme Parks and Europe are Major Draws this Independence Day
This Independence Day, travelers will flock to theme parks in Orlando and southern California, while many others are heading west. Alaska cruises departing from Seattle, Anchorage and Vancouver round out the top five U.S. travel destinations for the holiday. For those venturing overseas, Europe is a major draw, with Rome, London, Dublin and Paris all making the list of top international travel destinations for Independence Day.

Top Domestic Travel Destinations Top International Travel Destinations
1.    Orlando, Florida 1.    Rome, Italy
2.    Anaheim, California 2.    London, England
3.    Seattle, Washington 3.    Dublin, Ireland
4.    Anchorage, Alaska 4.    Vancouver, Canada
5.    Honolulu, Hawaii 5.    Paris, France

Source: AAA’s advance travel bookings

AAA to Rescue More Than 362,000 Motorists
AAA expects to rescue more than 362,000 motorists at the roadside around the Independence Day holiday. Dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown.

Download the AAA Mobile App Before Independence Day
Before heading out on a trip for Independence Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find nearly 59,000 AAA Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained inspectors to evaluate each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Inspected & Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2018 Independence Day holiday travel forecast is available here.

About AAA:

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

About INRIX:
INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics. Leveraging big data and the cloud, INRIX delivers comprehensive services and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small. Learn more at INRIX.com.

Gas Prices Trend Cheaper, but Increases are Likely Looming

June 18th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

On the week, the national gas price average is two cents cheaper at $2.90. Today’s national average is only one cent more expensive than a month ago, but 60 cents more expensive than a year ago.

Nationwide, 44 states have less expensive or steady gas price averages compared to last Monday. However, the cheaper trend may be reversing. Gasoline demand spiked in the latest Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report, in fact setting a new all-time record at 9.88 million b/d for the week ending June 8. As demand skyrockets, U.S. gasoline inventories plummeted 2.27 million bbl, to land total inventories at 237 million bbl, which is 5.7 million below stocks last year at this time.

“If demand continues to strengthen and inventories decrease in the weeks ahead, motorists can expect gas prices do a reversal and start to increase again,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA gas price expert. “AAA expects the national gas price average to range between $2.85 and $3.05 through Labor Day, likely seeing the summer’s highest prices in June.”

Moving into this week, another factor that will influence gas prices in the near and long-term will be outcomes from the June 22 OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria. The cartel, along with other major producers including Russia, will discuss increasing oil production ahead of the year-end scheduled dissolution of its production reduction agreement. Some reports indicate that OPEC could be looking at an increase of 300,000 to 600,000 b/d to help ease global crude price gains that have grown since the cartel put its production reduction agreement into place at the beginning of 2017. An increase in production would likely decrease crude oil prices and encourage cheaper gas prices.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($3.73), California ($3.71), Washington ($3.45), Alaska ($3.43), Oregon ($3.32), Nevada ($3.31), Utah ($3.19), Idaho ($3.19), Connecticut ($3.11) and Arizona ($3.07).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Ohio (-10 cents), Florida (-5 cents), Delaware (-5 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Virginia (-5 cents), Utah (+4 cents), Maryland (-4 cents), Iowa (-4 cents), Kansas (-4 cents) and Illinois (-4 cents).

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the country, with all states on the top 10 most expensive list: Hawaii ($3.73), California ($3.71), Washington ($3.45), Alaska ($3.43), Oregon (3.32), Nevada ($3.31) and Arizona ($3.07). On the week, prices continue to mostly decline in the region by a penny or two. However, Hawaii and Alaska each increased by a penny.

According to EIA data for the week ending on June 8, inventories of gasoline grew by 400,000 bbl to reach 31.5 million bbl. Although inventories in the region now sit at their highest level for the second week of June since 2001, ongoing planned maintenance at Shell’s 158,000 b/d Martinez, CA refinery in the Bay area may restrict supplies this week.

Great Lakes and Central

Finding cheaper gas prices at the pump continues this week for the bulk of motorists in the Great Lakes and Central states. Ohio (-10 cents) tops the chart for the biggest weekly change in gas price averages in the country. Also making an appearance on the top 10 changes list: Iowa (-4 cents), Kansas (-4 cents) and Illinois (-4 cents). However, gas prices are more expensive for three states on the week: Indiana (+5 cents), Michigan (+2 cents) and Missouri (+1 cent).

Some states in the region are paying a hefty year-over-year increase. Indiana’s gas price is 80-cents more expensive than last year – the highest of any state in the country and region. Other states at the 55-cent or more mark include Michigan (+70 cents), Illinois (+64 cents), North Dakota (+62 cents), Missouri (+61 cents), Kentucky (+59 cents), Kansas (+58 cents), Wisconsin (+58 cents), Idaho (+57 cents), Ohio (+57 cents), South Dakota (+56 cents) and Minnesota (+56 cents).

Inventory levels bumped up slightly by 300,000 bbl on the week. Levels sit at the 52.5 million mark according to EIA.

South and Southeast

Florida (-5 cents) has the second largest decrease of any state in the country this week. The sunshine state and Georgia carry the most expensive gas price average, $2.77, of all states in the South and Southeast. On the week, state gas price averages are cheaper across the region with Oklahoma seeing the smallest drop at two cents.

For another week, the top six least expensive gas price averages in the country reside in the South and Southeast: South Carolina ($2.55), Mississippi ($2.58), Alabama ($2.58), Louisiana ($2.60), Oklahoma ($2.61) and Arkansas ($2.63).

Falling nearly 1.8 million bbl, the South and Southeast inventory levels dropped to 80 million bbl. However, levels sit just one million below last year at this time, according to EIA data.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are one to five cents cheaper across all states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region with Delaware (-5 cents), Virginia (-4 cents), Maryland (-4 cents) and New Jersey (-4 cents) seeing the largest drops on the week. Even with the cheaper pump prices, four states continue to sell gas for $3 or more: Connecticut ($3.11), New York ($3.05), Pennsylvania ($3.04) and Washington, D.C. ($3.01).

Today’s gas prices are 50 to 64 cents more expensive compared to last year at this time with West Virginia seeing the smallest and Connecticut seeing the largest increases year-over-year.

Regional gasoline inventories fell to 65.6 million bbl after a 1.3 million bbl drop on the week. This latest decrease brings the year-over-year deficit for the region to 3.4 million bbl, according to EIA data.

Rockies

On the week, gas prices increased four cents in Utah ($3.19) and a penny in Wyoming ($2.93). Gas prices dropped two cents in Colorado while remaining stable in Montana ($2.95) and Idaho ($3.19). Utah and Idaho continue to carry the most expensive gas prices in the region and among the priciest in the country. The states are the seventh and eighth, respectively, most expensive in the country.

Motorists in the Rockies are paying, on average, 54 to 62 cents a gallon more compared to prices this time last year.

Inventories built by a small 92 bbl on the week. According to EIA data, levels register close to 6.9 million bbl, which is about 680,000 bbl less than this time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased $1.83 cents to settle at $65.06. Oil prices trended marginally higher last week because of a stronger dollar. Looking ahead, this week’s prices will likely see fluctuation ahead of Friday’s OPEC meeting.

According to EIA’s latest weekly petroleum status report, total U.S. production jumped to around 10.9 million b/d, up about 100,000 b/d on the week. However, total crude inventories fell by 4.1 million bbl. Increasing crude exports supported the drop. Last week, exports of crude oil stood at 2.03 million b/d, a week-on-week gain of 316,000 b/d.

Domestic investment in crude production continues to grow. Last week, the U.S. added another oil rig, bringing the current total to 863. When compared to last year’s rig count at this time, there are 116 more active rigs today.

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.

WASHINGTON (June 13, 2018) – Consumers are spending $69 more a month to fill-up compared to last summer. According to AAA, gasoline expenses are accounting, on average, for seven percent of an American’s 2018 annual income, a one and half percent increase since summer of 2017. With strong summer consumer gasoline demand expected in the months ahead, AAA says motorists can expect little relief at the pump with the national gas price average ranging between $2.85 – $3.05 through Labor Day.

“Motorists can expect to spend at least $250 more on gas this season, but that won’t stop them from traveling. Summer is synonymous with road trips and vacation and we are not going to see Americans are giving up this pastime this year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The higher gas prices may just encourage travelers to shorten their driving distance. While others may pinch pennies by eating out less or finding more free family-fun activities while on vacation.”

According to a AAA survey conducted earlier this year, only one in three (33 percent) respondents said they would change travel plans if gas prices hit $3, while nearly half (47 percent) say $3.50 would be the game changer for their summer plans.

Then and Now Price Points: June 2017 vs. June 2018

As vacationers hit the road, they will find a quarter (25 percent) of all gas stations across the country are selling gas for more than $3/gallon. That is a stark difference from one year ago when only 5 percent of stations touted the $3 or more mark. The chart below compares the percentage of stations per state selling gas for $3.01 or more today versus one year ago.

State June 2017: Percentage of
gas station selling $3.01+
June 2018: Percentage of
gas station selling $3.01+
Alabama 0% 0%
Alaska 23% 100%
Arizona 1% 70%
Arkansas 0% 1%
California 53% 100%
Colorado 0% 13%
Connecticut 0% 82%
Delaware 0% 1%
District of Columbia 5% 36%
Florida 0% 4%
Georgia 0% 2%
Hawaii 34% 100%
Idaho 0% 99%
Illinois 0% 33%
Indiana 0% 5%
Iowa 0% 4%
Kansas 0% 0%
Kentucky 0% 15%
Louisiana 0% 1%
Maine 0% 12%
Maryland 0% 11%
Massachusetts 0% 20%
Michigan 0% 28%
Minnesota 0% 0%
Mississippi 0% 0%
Missouri 0% 0%
Montana 0% 15%
Nebraska 0% 11%
Nevada 11% 97%
New Hampshire 0% 2%
New Jersey 0% 26%
New Mexico 0% 19%
New York 1% 60%
North Carolina 0% 1%
North Dakota 0% 11%
Ohio 0% 0%
Oklahoma 0% 1%
Oregon 2% 98%
Pennsylvania 0% 66%
Rhode Island 0% 33%
South Carolina 0% 0%
South Dakota 0% 18%
Tennessee 0% 0%
Texas 0% 3%
Utah 1% 98%
Vermont 0% 4%
Virginia 0% 1%
Washington 12% 100%
West Virginia 0% 1%
Wisconsin 0% 4%
Wyoming 0% 25%

 

Don’t Let Your Tank Break Your Bank.

For when you are behind the wheel this summer, AAA offers these tips to improve your driving to get better gas mileage:

  • Observe the speed limit. Not only is it safer, it can help you save money.
  • Lose the weight. The heavier your car, the more fuel it uses.
  • Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts.
  • Drive during cooler parts of the day. Cooler, denser air can boost power and mileage.
  • Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low pressure reduces fuel economy and can damage tires.

The Outliers

Gas prices have shown some positive downward movement at the start of the month, but it is too early to determine if this is a trend. AAA has identified the following outliers that have the ability to drive gas prices – up or down – in the coming months.

  • OPEC – This year, global demand has outpaced global supply, which has driven the cost of crude oil to near-three year highs of $72/bbl in May. Since Memorial Day there have been conflicting reports that OPEC – which made a pact with other large producers to cut crude production in 2017 to help drain the then-glut of global supply – may or may not increase production to help ease supply concerns. The speculative news is already having a volatile impact, driving the price of crude down to $64/bbl and up to as high as $65/bbl levels in June. OPEC may announce a decision on increasing supply at its next meeting on June 22 in Vienna, Austria. Should OPEC and its partners increase supply motorists would likely see pump prices decrease late summer.
  • OPEC may announce a decision on increasing supply at their next meeting on June 22 in Vienna, Austria. Should OPEC and its partners increase supply motorists would likely see pump prices decrease late summer.
  • Hurricanes – Hurricane season is underway (June 1 – November 30). According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is a 75 percent chance of a “near- or above-normal” level of major storms this year. Moreover, NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70 percent chance of 10-16 named storms – of which five to nine could become hurricanes with winds of at least 74 miles per hour. The mere threat of a storm could force oil and gasoline companies, especially along the Gulf Coast, to halt gas operations, potentially leading to spikes in gas prices and limited regional supply.
  • Exports – Gasoline exports from the U.S. have grown throughout 2018. In fact, the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) final measurement for March 2018 showed that exports hit 951,000 b/d and became the highest March rate on record. This trend is likely to continue throughout the summer, growing closer to one million b/d, which could help boost gas prices domestically because of robust demand. More than half of the U.S. gasoline exports go to Mexico, according to EIA.
  • Demand – According to the EIA’s latest reading for consumer gasoline demand, March 2018 saw nearly 9.45 million b/d, representing the strongest demand measurement for a March on record and a one percent increase from last year. AAA expects the high and potentially record-breaking consumer demand trend to continue through the summer, pushing prices higher.

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.

About AAA: As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 36 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

Pump Prices Continue to Decline as U.S. Demand Dips

June 11th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

At $2.92, the national gas price average has dropped four cents since the beginning of June. Today’s average is three cents less than a week ago, six cents more than a month ago and 58 cents more expensive than a year ago. On the week, only eight states saw prices increase while all others dropped by as much as 13 cents or remained stable.

“Gas prices continue to dip across the country, but remain nearly 50-cents more expensive than last summer in every state,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA gas price expert. “The higher prices seem to be influencing driving habits. While consumer gasoline demand remains strong, it is slowing and not growing.”

Dropping by 713,000 b/d, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that demand registers – for the first time since mid-January – just under 9 million b/d. This is surprising, as levels have consistently measured above the 9 million mark every week in June since 2015.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.58), Mississippi ($2.61), Alabama ($2.61), Oklahoma ($2.62), Louisiana ($2.62), Arkansas ($2.65), Tennessee ($2.67), Missouri ($2.68), Virginia ($2.70) and Kansas ($2.73).

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Indiana (-13 cents), Illinois (-7 cents), Delaware (-7 cents), District of Columbia (-7 cents), Florida (-6 cents), Maryland (-5 cents), Virginia (-4 cents), New Jersey (-4 cents), Wisconsin (-4 cents) and Maine (-4 cents).

 

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the highest in the country, all topping out above $3.00 per gallon: California ($3.72); Hawaii ($3.71); Washington ($3.46); Alaska ($3.43); Oregon (3.34); Nevada ($3.33); and Arizona ($3.07). On the week, prices continue to mostly decline in the region by a penny or two. However, Arizona (+1 cent) and Alaska (+2 cents) saw increases, while Oregon (-2 cents) saw the largest decrease in the region.

According to EIA data for the week ending on June 1, inventories of gasoline fell by 200,000 bbl to reach 31.1 million bbl. When compared to a year ago, levels are still up more than 3 million bbl and could contribute to price stabilization in coming weeks.

Great Lakes and Central

The majority of states in the Great Lakes and Central region are seeing cheaper gas prices on the week. Indiana (-13 cents) saw the only double-digit drop in the country, which brings the state’s gas price average ($2.87) well under the $3 mark it was at last Monday. Other notable week-over-week pump price decreases in the region: Illinois (-7 cents), Wisconsin (-4 cents) and Iowa (-4 cents). However, not every state is seeing this trend. Four states saw prices jump including Kansas (+2 cents), Ohio (+2 cents), Michigan (+2 cents) and South Dakota (+1 cent). With the weekly increase, Michigan’s gas price average is at the $3 mark, making the state’s average the second most expensive in the region behind Illinois ($3.02).

Inventory levels continue to hold slightly above the 52 million bbl mark. According to the latest data released by the EIA, this is the lowest inventory levels of the year for the region and about 2.6 million bbl below levels at this time last year.

South and Southeast

Gas prices are getting cheaper, slowly, but surely in the South and Southeast. With this week’s drops, Florida has seen an 11-cent decrease since Memorial Day. On the week, gas prices in the region are six to one cent cheaper in every state.

The country’s cheapest gas price averages can be found in the region with these states claiming the top six least expensive spots: South Carolina ($2.58), Mississippi ($2.61), Alabama ($2.61), Oklahoma ($2.62), Louisiana ($2.62) and Arkansas ($2.65).

Gasoline inventories bumped up to 82 million bbl following this week’s 3 million bbl add, according to EIA’s latest report. This is the highest build for any region on the week and puts a 12 million bbl difference between the South and Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, the region with the second highest inventory in the country. If inventories continue to increase sustainably, motorists could see some, but not major, relief at the pump.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

With a seven-cent decrease, Delaware and Washington, D.C. have the largest drop in gas prices of all states in the region on the week. This lands Delaware and Washington, D.C. on the top 10 list of largest weekly changes in the country along with four other Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states: Maryland (-5 cents), Virginia (-4 cents), New Jersey (-4 cents) and Maine (-4 cents). Cheaper gas prices at the pump is a trend motorists are seeing across all states in the region.

With the drops, New Jersey’s ($2.96) and Rhode Island’s ($2.99) gas price averages fall below $3 while four other state averages remain above this mark: Connecticut ($3.13), Pennsylvania ($3.07), New York ($3.07) and Washington, D.C. ($3.03).

Adding a substantial 2.2 million bbl to inventories, regional levels register at 67 million bbl and are likely a factor driving gas prices down.  However, despite the build, the region has a 2 million-inventory deficit compared to EIA’s data for this time last year.

Rockies

On the week, gas prices increased a penny in Wyoming and Utah. Gas prices dropped one cent in Colorado while remaining stable in Montana ($2.95). Idaho ($3.19) and Utah ($3.15) continue to carry the most expensive gas prices in the region and among the priciest in the country. The states are the seventh and eighth, respectively, most expensive in the country.

Motorists in the Rockies are paying, on average, 54 to 62 cents a gallon more compared to prices this time last year.

For a second week, inventories have dropped, albeit by just 49,000 bbl. Levels register at 6.8 million bbl according to EIA data, which is about 800,000 bbl less than this time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 21 cents to settle at $65.74. Oil prices trended marginally lower last week following EIA’s report that crude production hit 10.8 million b/d last week. The estimate sets another weekly domestic record, which has been a reoccurring phenomenon in 2018. When compared to last year at this time, the U.S. is producing roughly 1.5 million b/d more this year.

Oil prices will continue to be volatile this week. Contributing factors include reports that OPEC may not announce an increase in crude production at the next OPEC meeting scheduled for June 22 in Vienna, Austria. Prior to Memorial Day reports speculated that OPEC would increase production, which contributed to oil prices going down. In addition, economic turmoil in Venezuela has reduced the major global crude supplier’s production rates at a time when global supply is already shrinking.

Additionally, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. added one oil rig last week, bringing the total to 862. The total is up by 121 rigs when compared to 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.

Dropping by two-cents on the week, the national gas price average is $2.95. This is the first time there has been a decrease in the national average since mid-March. The drop, albeit it small, follows the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report showing consistently strong demand although it is running slightly below (100,000 b/d less) the same week last year.

“Nearly 80 percent of Americans say the price of gasoline is too high at $3 per gallon. So it’s welcome news for motorists to see gas price averages decrease in 33 states on the week,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA gas price expert. “Crude oil prices are falling, but it likely won’t be enough to drop gas prices more significantly this summer.”

Today’s gas price average ($2.95) is 13-cents more than one month ago and 57-cents more than the beginning of June 2017. On the week, the majority of states saw decreases or hold steady, while those that saw prices jump were mostly West Coast and Rockies states.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.62), Mississippi ($2.64), Alabama ($2.65), Oklahoma ($2.66), Louisiana ($2.66), Arkansas ($2.67), Missouri ($2.69), Tennessee ($2.70), Kansas ($2.71) and Virginia ($2.74)
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Michigan (-12 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Delaware (-8 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents), Florida (-5 cents), Maryland (-5 cents), Oklahoma (-3 cents), South Carolina (-3 cents), North Carolina (-3 cents) and Virginia (-3 cents).

West Coast

Drivers in the West Coast region are paying some of the highest gas prices in the country: California ($3.73), Hawaii ($3.71), Washington ($3.47), Alaska ($3.41), Oregon (3.35), Nevada ($3.33) and Arizona ($3.06). On the week, most gas prices in the region are flat, with Alaska and Arizona seeing the largest increases at two cents each.

According to EIA data for the week ending on May 25, inventories of gasoline climbed by an astonishing 1 million bbl to 31.3 million bbl. When compared to a year ago, levels are up more than 3 million bbl and could contribute to price stabilization in coming weeks.

Great Lakes and Central

On the week, Michigan’s gas price average ($2.98) dropped 12-cents, wiping out the previous week’s increases and lands prices below $3 for the first time in nearly two weeks. Michigan’s decrease was the biggest week-over-week change in the country. Fellow Great Lakes and Central states Ohio (-10 cents) and Kentucky (-7 cents) take the country’s second and fourth spots, respectively, with the largest decreases on the week. However, not every state is seeing less expensive prices. South Dakota’s and North Dakota’s state average (+2 cents) jumped since last Monday.

In the region, motorists will find the most expensive state gas prices averages in Illinois ($3.09), Indiana ($3.00) and Michigan ($2.98). The cheapest state averages can be found in Missouri ($2.69), Kansas ($2.71) and Ohio ($2.77).

Following EIA’s previous report of a regional 1.7 million bbl draw, gasoline inventories built in the latest report by 67,000 bbl on the week in the Great Lakes and Central states region. At the 52 million bbl mark, total inventories are on par with levels the past two years at this time. EIA data shows that levels fluctuate between 48-55 million bbl during the summer months.

South and Southeast

Florida (-5 cent), Oklahoma (-3 cent) and South Carolina (-3 cent) land on the top 10 list with the biggest weekly decreases. Gas price drops in the South and Southeast have been few and far between in the past two months. In the region, Texas was the only state to see gas prices increase. All other states saw prices moderately decrease or hold steady on the week.

The South and Southeast region is home to the top five cheapest gas price averages: South Carolina ($2.62), Mississippi ($2.64), Alabama ($2.65), Oklahoma ($2.66) and Louisiana ($2.66)

Gasoline inventories continue to sit at nearly 79 million bbl, which is on par with levels the past two years at this time. The region saw a small draw of 24,000 bbl on the week, according to EIA’s latest report.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

For the first time in months, pump prices decreased or held steady on the week for motorists in every state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. The most notable declines: Delaware (-8 cents), Maryland (-5 cents), North Carolina (-3 cents), Virginia (-3 cents) and Tennessee (-3 cent).

In the region, Connecticut ($3.15), Pennsylvania ($3.10), Washington, D.C. ($3.09), New York ($3.09), Rhode Island ($3.01) and New Jersey ($3.00) carry the most expensive gas prices. At $2.70, Tennessee motorist are paying the cheapest on average in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.

Inventories dropped by nearly 525,000 bbl on the week in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region bringing totals to 64.7 million bbl. At the start of the summer driving season, inventories are at a 3.7 million deficit compared to last year.

Rockies

Most states in the Rockies region saw modest price jumps this week: Montana (+3 cents), Wyoming (+1 cents) and Idaho (+1 cent). Both Utah ($3.14) and Colorado ($2.90) saw prices drop by a penny.

Month over month, motorists in Colorado (+23 cents), Montana (+22 cents) and Wyoming (+19 cents) have seen sticker shock with gas prices increasing nearly a whole quarter compared to the beginning of last month (May 4). Planned seasonal refinery maintenance in the region has contributed to higher gas prices.

The region’s total inventories continue to measure at 6.9 million bbl, which is relatively unchanged on the week. EIA historical data shows that during the 2016 and 2017 summer season, inventories fluctuated between 6.3 and 7.5 million bbl.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped $1.23 to settle at $65.81. Crude prices fell at the end of the week because the dollar gained amid news of continued growth in the total number of jobs across the country. Earlier in the week, crude prices rose briefly after EIA’s weekly petroleum report showed that crude inventories fell by 3.6 million bbl.

Last week, EIA also released final crude production rates for March 2018, revealing that it hit a record-breaking 10.47 million b/d. The rate increased by 223,000 b/d from February 2018. Continued growth in crude production may reduce crude prices as it signals that supply is growing alongside strong global crude demand.

This continued crude production growth will put another spotlight on OPEC’s supply reduction agreement with its partners, which has been in place since the beginning of 2017. The agreement, which includes production from Russia, is set to expire at the end of 2018. However, member countries of OPEC and Russia have been discussing potentially easing supply limits ahead of the agreement’s dissolution at the end of the year. If the cartel and its partners decide to increase crude output, they will likely announce the decision on June 22 at the next OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria.

Additionally, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. added two oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 861. The total is up by 128 rigs when compared to 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.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 30, 2018) –More than 1,050 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver in 2016 during the 100 Deadliest Days, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. That is an average of 10 people per day – a 14 percent increase compared to the rest of the year, according to data analyzed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. As school lets out for summer, AAA stresses the importance of preparing and educating inexperienced teen drivers for some of the most dangerous driving days of the year.

Additional Resources

“The number of fatal crashes involving teen drivers during the summer is an important traffic safety concern and research shows that young drivers are at greater risk and have higher crash rates compared to older and more experienced drivers,” said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director. “Through education, proper training, and involvement of parents, we can help our young drivers to become better and safer drivers, which in turn keeps the roads safer for everyone.”

Speed and nighttime driving are significant factors contributing towards the number of crashes, and subsequently fatalities, involving teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days (statistics based on 2016 NHTSA FARS data as analyzed by the AAA Foundation):

Nighttime Driving

  • 36 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involving teen drivers occurred between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
  • 1 in 10 of all motor vehicle nighttime crash fatalities involved a teen driver
  • Data show a 22 percent increase in the average number of nighttime crashes per day involving teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days compared to the rest of the year 

Speeding

  • 1 in 10 of all motor vehicle speed-related fatalities involved a teen driver
  • 29 percent of all motor vehicle deaths involving a teen driver were speed-related

“Not only are risks, like nighttime driving, a particular danger to young drivers, nearly every state also has a law restricting how late teens may be out on the roads,” said Richard Romer, AAA Manager of State Relations. “This is a timely reminder for parents to be actively involved in their teen’s learning-to-drive process, understanding the risks and to be educated on their state’s teen driving law.”

In preparation for the dangerous summer driving period, AAA encourages parents to educate their teens and themselves about risky driving behavior.  Parents should:

  • Discuss with teens early and often the dangers of risky driving situations, such as speeding and nighttime driving.
  • Teach by example and minimize your own risky behavior when behind the wheel.
  • Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers. Consider setting driving limits that are stronger than a state’s law, and enforce those limits.

TeenDriving.AAA.com has a variety of tools, including licensing and state law information, to help prepare parents and teens for not only the dangerous summer driving season, but also all year long. The site also features new interactive widgets highlighting teen driving risks, as well as a social host quiz. The online AAA StartSmart program also offers great resources for parents on how to become effective in-car coaches as well as advice on how to manage their teen’s overall driving privileges.

Strengthening teen driving laws to increase roadway safety is a top priority for AAA. The Association’s advocacy efforts are helping to protect teens by working to pass graduated driver licensing laws, including seat belt requirements, wireless device bans and nighttime driving and passenger restrictions, in states across the country.

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.

About AAA: As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Find more information on AAA clubs at AAA.com.

Over the long holiday weekend, the national gas price average has held steady for five days at $2.97, signaling that prices may be stabilizing as we head into June. This development comes as crude oil prices start to fall following some of the highest prices in three-years.

“At the start of the holiday weekend, reports indicated that OPEC may raise production levels to help ease global supply concerns. The announcement immediately brought down the price of crude – which has dropped nearly $3/bbl since Thursday,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “This is welcome news to motorists who have not only seen pump prices increase, on average, 16-cents since the beginning of May, but are paying the highest prices to fill up since 2014.”

Gas prices, however, remain very expensive. On the week, three states have been added to the list of states with a gas price average of $3 or more – making for 17 states in total. Another four states are just pennies away from joining this list, including Indiana, Maryland, New Mexico and Massachusetts.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly increases are: Wisconsin (+27 cents), Colorado (+26 cents), Minnesota (+25 cents), North Dakota (+24 cents), Illinois (+23 cents), Wyoming (+23 cents), Michigan (+23 cents), Montana (+22 cents), New Mexico (+21 cents) and Connecticut (+20 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: California ($3.74), Hawaii ($3.71), Washington ($3.46), Alaska ($3.40), Oregon ($3.35), Nevada ($3.33), Idaho ($3.18), Connecticut ($3.15), Utah ($3.15) and Pennsylvania ($3.12).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are the highest in the nation: California ($3.74), Hawaii ($3.71), Washington ($3.46), Alaska ($3.40), Oregon (3.35), Nevada ($3.33) and Arizona ($3.05). On the week, all gas prices in the region are up, with Arizona (+5 cents) seeing the largest increase. Washington, Alaska and Oregon were close behind as each state saw their average increase by four cents.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report for the week ending on May 18, inventories of gasoline climbed by 500,000 bbl to 30.2 million bbl. When compared to a year ago, levels are up over 1 million bbl.

Great Lakes and Central

With a 10-cent increase, Michigan has the largest week-over-week increase in the country followed by Illinois (+7 cents). Also seeing large jumps in the region on the week with five-cent increases are: Wisconsin, Nebraska and North Dakota. All other states saw prices increase one to four cents since last Tuesday.

Indiana ($2.98) is just two-cents away from hitting the $3 threshold and joining Illinois ($3.11) and Michigan ($3.09).

Plunging 1.7 million bbl, gasoline inventories in the Great Lakes and Central states sit at their lowest levels of the year (52.6 million bbl). According to EIA data, this past January was the last time the region saw inventories under 53 million bbl.

South and Southeast

After a week of steady gas prices, Floridians ($2.91) are paying, on average, six-cents more a gallon to fill up. That is the third biggest weekly increase in the country on the week. With a nickel jump, Georgia has the fourth biggest increase of all states.

Comparing gas price averages in the South and Southeast to a year ago, Louisiana has the smallest increase at 53-cents, while New Mexico (67-cents) touts the biggest year-over-year increase.

With a 770,000 bbl add, the South and Southeast’s gasoline inventories sit at nearly 79 million bbl, a healthy measure for May, which historically fluctuates between 76 – 82 million bbl this time of year.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are as much as a nickel more expensive on the week in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region with Rhode Island and Tennessee seeing this price jump. West Virginia saw the smallest increase at two-cents.

Year-over-year, Connecticut (+64 cents) and Rhode Island (+63 cents) are seeing the largest increases in the region. Both of these states have gas price averages of $3 or more, $3.15 and $3.02, respectively, along with Pennsylvania ($3.12), Washington, D.C. ($3.10), New York ($3.10) and New Jersey ($3.02).

Inventories increased by a substantial 2 million bbl on the week – the largest add of any region according to the EIA. At 65.2 million bbl in total, inventories are among the healthiest levels of the year, yet a nearly 5 million bbl deficit compared to late May 2017.

Rockies

With a nickel increase, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana are among the top 11 states in the country with the biggest pump price jumps on the week. As the region enters heavy tourism season, motorists in these states, as well as Utah and Idaho, can expect prices to continue to increase. Currently gas prices across the region are: Idaho ($3.18), Utah ($3.15), Montana ($2.92), Colorado ($2.91) and Wyoming ($2.89).

The latest EIA report shows a nearly 250,000 bbl build on the week. At 6.9 million bbl in total, inventories sit more than a half a million barrels below levels at this time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI fell $2.83 cents to settle at $67.88. Oil prices fell following reports that OPEC may increase output by about 1 million b/d ahead of schedule in order to ease continued crude price growth as economic turmoil in Venezuela and renewed U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran could further reduce global supply. Energy ministers from Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates met in St. Petersburg, Russia, last week to review the status of their global oil supply reduction agreement, which has helped to decrease global oil supplies and raise prices since the beginning of 2017. The pact is scheduled to dissolve at the end of 2018. If OPEC and its partners announce a supply increase, it will likely occur at the next OPEC meeting on June 22 in Vienna, Austria.

Oil prices also declined after EIA’s weekly report showed that total crude inventories grew by 5.7 million bbl. A decrease in crude exports, an increase in imports and record-breaking crude production contributed to the inventory growth. The news was a surprise to the market, which expected to see inventories decline in the run-up to Memorial Day weekend. If the trend continues in the weeks to come, crude prices may continue to edge lower. At 438.1 million bbl, stocks are 78.2 million bbl lower than they were at this time last year.

Additionally, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. added 15 oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 859. The total is up by 137 rigs when compared to 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.

AAA: American Trust in Autonomous Vehicles Slips

May 22nd, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 22, 2018) – Following high-profile incidents involving autonomous vehicle technologies, a new report from AAA’s multi-year tracking study indicates that consumer trust in these vehicles has quickly eroded. Today, three-quarters (73 percent) of American drivers report they would be too afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, up significantly from 63 percent in late 2017. Additionally, two-thirds (63 percent) of U.S. adults report they would actually feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle while walking or riding a bicycle.

“Despite their potential to make our roads safer in the long run, consumers have high expectations for safety,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Our results show that any incident involving an autonomous vehicle is likely to shake consumer trust, which is a critical component to the widespread acceptance of autonomous vehicles.”

Additional Resources

Surprisingly, AAA’s latest survey found that Millennials – the group that has been the quickest to embrace automated vehicle technologies — were the most impacted by these incidents. The percentage of Millennial drivers too afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle has jumped from 49 percent to 64 percent since late 2017, representing the largest increase of any generation surveyed.

“While autonomous vehicles are being tested, there’s always a chance that they will fail or encounter a situation that challenges even the most advanced system,” said Megan Foster, AAA’s director of Federal Affairs. “To ease fears, there must be safeguards in place to protect vehicle occupants and the motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians with whom they share the road.”

AAA supports thorough testing of automated vehicle technologies as they continue to evolve, including testing under progressively complicated driving scenarios and under varying conditions, but not at the expense of safety. Additionally, to help prevent the accidental misuse of the systems, AAA advocates for a common sense, common nomenclature and classification system, and similar performance characteristics of future autonomous vehicle technologies.

“There are sometimes dozens of different marketing names for today’s safety systems,” continued Brannon. “Learning how to operate a vehicle equipped with semi-autonomous technology is challenging enough without having to decipher the equipment list and corresponding level of autonomy.”

To help educate consumers on the effectiveness of emerging vehicle technologies, AAA is committed to the ongoing, unbiased testing of automated vehicle technologies. Previous testing of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking technology and lane keeping systems has shown both great promise and great variation. Future AAA testing will look at how well systems work together to achieve higher levels of automation.

AAA provides more than 58 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 36 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

Gas prices jumped 12 cents over the past 14 days, and six-cents since last Monday, landing the national average at $2.93 – the highest price point going into the Memorial Day weekend since 2014.

 

 

 

 

Previous Memorial Day Weekend Average Price National Gas Price
May 22 – May 26, 2014 $3.65
May 21 – May 25, 2015 $2.74
May 26 – May 30, 2016 $2.32
May 25 – May 29, 2017 $2.37

 

“AAA forecasts nearly 37 million travelers will hit the road for the holiday weekend. Compared to an average of the last three Memorial Day weekends, pump prices are nearly 50 cents more expensive and climbing,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Trends are indicating that this summer is likely to bring the national average to at least $3/gallon.”

Today, 14 states tout an average of $3.00 or more. Outside of the typical West Coast states, Idaho and Utah, this count includes six Northeast and Mid-West states: Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, D.C., Illinois and Michigan. In addition, Arizona, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are all within four-cents of hitting the $3 mark.

Quick Stats

  • The largest monthly increases are: Minnesota (+28 cents), Wisconsin (+27 cents), Missouri (+25 cents), Connecticut (+23 cents), Delaware (+23 cents), Illinois (+23 cents), Wyoming (+22 cents), Kansas (+22 cents), Arizona (+21 cents) and Texas (+21 cents).
  • The nation’s topten most expensive markets are: California ($3.71), Hawaii ($3.68), Washington ($3.41), Alaska ($3.36), Nevada ($3.32), Oregon ($3.31), Idaho ($3.16), Utah ($3.14), Connecticut ($3.11) and Pennsylvania ($3.08).

West Coast

The West Coast region is home to the states with the highest gas prices in the nation: California ($3.71), Hawaii ($3.68), Washington ($3.41), Alaska ($3.36), Nevada ($3.32), Oregon ($3.31) and Arizona ($3.00). On the week, prices in the region have all increased. Arizona (+6 cents) saw the largest increase, while Washington and Alaska are close behind with each state’s average for unleaded regular gasoline increasing by four cents.

Motorists in Arizona (+70 cents) are seeing the largest year-over-year increase in the region and the second largest weekly increase in the country. Of West Coast states, California (+66 cents) and Hawaii (+62 cents) join Arizona on this top 10 list this week.

For the week ending on May 11, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed that gas stocks fell by approximately 200,000 bbl to 29.7 million bbl. Current inventory levels are 600,000 stronger than they were at the same time last year, with increasing imports helping to buoy inventories. Imports increased by 50,000 bbl to 117,000 bbl last week.

Great Lakes and Central

As gas prices continue to increase across the country, two Great Lakes and Central states have averages of $3 or more: Illinois ($3.04) and Michigan ($3.00). At $2.95, Indiana may hit the $3/gal mark before June arrives.

On the week, seven states made their way on to the Top 10 list with the biggest increases: Indiana (+9 cents), Minnesota (+9 cents), Wisconsin (+9 cents), North Dakota (+9 cents), Kansas (+8 cents), Michigan (+8 cents) and Illinois (+8 cents).

In the region, motorists in Illinois (+65 cents) and Indiana (+63 cents) are seeing the largest year-over-year difference in gas price averages.

Gasoline inventories have been declining week-over-week for two months. However, with the latest draw (1.6 million bbl), gasoline inventories measure at 54 million bbl, which is about one million more than this time last year.

South and Southeast

The South and Southeast continue to tout the cheapest gas in the country, but prices are at least 50-cents more expensive than this time last year. The chart below lists the five cheapest gas price averages in the region on May 21, 2017 compared to today, May 21, 2018:

State May 21, 2017 May 21, 2018 Price Difference
South Carolina $2.05 $2.64 +59 cents
Mississippi $2.09 $2.61 +52 cents
Alabama $2.09 $2.62 +53 cents
Arkansas $2.10 $2.64 +54 cents
Oklahoma $2.10 $2.66 +56 cents

 

Following the previous week’s 10-cent increase, Florida’s gas price average held steady on the week at $2.82. However, all other states are seeing prices continue to climb with the start of the work week: New Mexico (+8 cents), Texas (+8 cents), Georgia (+7 cents), Louisiana (+7 cents) Oklahoma (+6 cents), Arkansas (+6 cents) and South Carolina (+6 cents).

With a 1 million bbl draw, the South and Southeast regions have dialed back on gasoline inventories for a third consecutive week. Inventory levels fall to 78 million bbl – the lowest inventory level for this week in May since 2016.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are 3- to 7-cents more expensive on the week for Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. New York and Connecticut both saw the largest jump of seven cents followed by these states that saw  a six-cent increase: Maryland, Washington, D.C. and North Carolina.

State gas price averages for Connecticut ($3.11), Pennsylvania ($3.08), New York ($3.07) and Washington, D.C. ($3.06) remain above the $3/gallon price point with New Jersey ($2.99) likely to join this list potentially by Memorial Day and Rhode Island ($2.96) not far behind.

Compared to a year ago, Delaware (+63 cents) and New Jersey (+62 cents) state gas price averages have the biggest increases of all states in the region.

Despite a nearly 675,000 bbl draw, inventories continue to measure above the 63 million bbl level. That being said, compared to this time last year, inventories are at a 7 million bbl deficit in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.

Rockies

Utah (-1 cent) was the only state in the country and region to see gas prices drop on the week. Even with that slight decrease, however, Utah ($3.14) and Idaho ($3.16) continue to make an appearance on the Top 10 list of states with the most expensive gas price averages on the week. They also land on the Top 10 list with the largest year-over-year difference in gas price averages. Utah (+71 cents) leads the nation and Idaho (+61 cents) ranks 10th.

Montana (+8 cents) leads the region with the biggest spike in prices on the week, followed by Colorado (+7 cents) and Wyoming (+5 cents). Motorists can expect to see prices continue to increase as tourism seasons kicks off in the Rockies region, which traditionally means inventory dwindles to the lowest levels of the year.

At 6.6 million bbl, inventories are at the lowest for the year and 1.1 million bbl below levels this time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI fell 21 cents to settle at $71.28. Oil prices edged higher last week following the release of EIA’s weekly petroleum report that showed total crude inventories dropped by 1.4 million bbl. If this week’s EIA report shows another inventory draw, we can expect crude prices to continue climbing.

Additionally, at 2.57 million b/d, crude exports last week saw the highest rate ever recorded by EIA. The new record rate was 690,000 b/d more than the previous week and 1.48 million b/d more than this time last year. The surge in exports is attributed to growth in domestic crude production and Congress and the Obama Administration lifting the 40-year crude export ban in 2015.

Steady growth in crude exports from the U.S. will likely put another spotlight on the crude reduction agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers, which is set to expire at the end of 2018. Amid strong global demand and reduced output from OPEC and its partners, including Russia, the U.S. has been able to sell more crude to foreign buyers. Moreover, although the U.S. did not add any active oil rigs last week, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the current total – 844 – is 124 more rigs than 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.

At $2.87, the national gas price average jumped six cents on the week in part due to the White House’s decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran. As a result, 36 states are seeing gas prices that are a nickel or more expensive than last Monday.

“The Administration’s move combined with the switchover to summer blend, growing global demand and shrinking supply continues to fuel pump prices as we approach the summer driving season,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “AAA predicts that the national average may reach $3/gallon this summer, especially if crude oil prices continue to increase.”

Motorists are seeing 19 percent of gas stations selling gas for $3.01 or more. Today’s gas price is 16-cents more expensive than one month ago and 53-cents more than one year ago.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: California ($3.69), Hawaii ($3.67), Washington ($3.38), Alaska ($3.31), Nevada ($3.30), Oregon ($3.28), Utah ($3.15), Idaho ($3.14), Connecticut ($3.04) and Pennsylvania ($3.04).
  • The nation’s top 10 states with the largest weekly increases are: Ohio (+15 cents), Missouri (+12 cents), Kentucky (+11 cents), Minnesota (+11 cents), Delaware (+10 cents), Florida (+10 cents), Colorado (+9 cents), Maryland (+8 cents), Oklahoma (+8 cents) and West Virginia (+8 cents).

West Coast

Drivers in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the nation: California ($3.69), Hawaii ($3.67), Washington ($3.38), Alaska ($3.31), Nevada ($3.30), Oregon ($3.28) and Arizona ($2.94). On the week, prices in the region have all increased. California and Washington saw the biggest leap at six cents each, while Alaska (+3 cents) saw the smallest increase.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) petroleum report for the week ending on May 4, the West Coast region saw a decline in gas stocks, falling by nearly 700,000 bbl to 29.85 million bbl. An increase in demand and a drop in imports, which fell by more than half from the previous high last week of 192,000 b/d to 67,000 b/d, helped gas stocks fall in the region. However, when compared to this time last year, current total stocks of gasoline in the region are higher by more than 200,000 bbl.

Great Lakes and Central

Following a week of decreases, gas prices are showing signs of volatility in the Great Lakes and Central states. On the week, Ohio gas prices jumped 15-cents when last Monday (May 7) gas prices had seen an 8 cent-decrease from the previous week. The region often sees this volatile pattern with increases and decreases from week to week. Ohio’s jump is the largest of any state in the country on the week. Also seeing large price increases in the region on the week: Missouri (+12 cents), Kentucky (+11 cents), Minnesota (+11 cents), Wisconsin (+8 cents), Iowa (+8 cents), Nebraska (+8 cents), North Dakota (+8 cents), Illinois (+7 cents) and Michigan (+7 cents).

With a 328,000 bbl draw, gasoline inventories continue to dwindle in the Great Lakes and Central states. Despite more than two months of declines, however, total gasoline inventories are nearly 1 million bbl above last year’s levels measuring at 56 million bbl.

South and Southeast

Florida (+10 cents) saw the largest jump in gas price averages on the week in the region and had the sixth largest jump in the country. Also seeing noticeable spikes in the last seven days: Oklahoma (+8 cents), Texas (+6 cents), New Mexico (+5 cents) and Arkansas (+5 cents).  The remaining states saw moderate jumps or no price change (Georgia).

At $2.56, Mississippi carries the least expensive gasoline in the country and the region, followed by Louisiana ($2.57), Arkansas ($2.58), South Carolina ($2.58), Alabama ($2.58) and Oklahoma ($2.59).

The South and Southeast region took the largest draw in the country with 2.7 million bbl on the week. With the draw, levels fall to 79 million bbl – the lowest inventory level the region has seen since the beginning of December 2017.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Hitting the $3 mark, Connecticut ($3.04), New York ($3.00) and Washington, D.C. ($3.00) join Pennsylvania ($3.04) as some of the top 12 states with the most expensive gas prices in the country. These four states are also the only states on the east coast with gas price averages at $3 or more.

Prices are more expensive on the week across the region with Delaware (+10 cents), Maryland (+8 cents) and West Virginia (+8 cents) seeing the largest jumps on the week.

Inventories continue to grow in the region and measure at 68 million bbl. On the week, 1.8 million bbl were added to inventory. The region was the only one in the country to see inventories plus up.

Rockies

Jumping 10-cents on the week, Colorado ($2.75) lands on this week’s top 10 list of states with the largest increases. Prices continue to increase across the region: Wyoming (+6 cents), Utah (+6 cents), Montana (+5 cents) and Idaho (+3 cents).  At $3.15, Utah carries the most expensive state average in the region, followed by Idaho ($3.14). Both state averages are among the 10 most expensive in the country.

Inventories drew down for a second week by 275,000 bbl. Regional inventory sits just under 7 million bbl in total and 1.5 million blow this time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped 66 cents to settle at $70.70. Oil prices climbed to new highs for 2018 last week, following President Trump’s decision to re-impose economic sanctions on Iran and withdraw the U.S. from the Iran Nuclear Deal. Set in 2015 under the Obama Administration, the U.S. – along with the European Union, five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and Germany – entered into the deal that lifted economic sanctions on Tehran in exchange for the country downsizing its nuclear program. Some of the pre-2015 sanctions targeted the Iranian energy sector and impeded Iran’s ability to sell oil. With those sanctions being re-imposed in the next 3-6 months, Iran’s crude exports are forecasted to decrease, contributing to already declining global crude supplies amid growing global demand. Increased fears of instability in the region may push oil prices even higher this week.

Crude prices may also increase if EIA’s weekly report shows another drop in domestic crude inventories.  Last week, the report revealed that U.S. crude inventories fell by 2.2 million bbl. At 433.8 million bbl, inventories around the country are approximately 88.8 million bbl lower than were they were in May 2017. Domestic inventories have fallen steadily since OPEC and other large producers, including Russia, have reduced their combined output since the beginning of 2017. The agreement is set to expire at the end of this year, as U.S. production continues to climb. It shows no signs of slowing anytime soon, with Baker Hughes, Inc. reporting that the U.S. gained 10 oil rigs last week. The total, 844, is 132 more rigs than 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.

Podcasts

B-Roll

YouTube Videos

AAA Senior Driver Expos

NewsRoom Video Gallery

Media: Find and Download AAA Videos and B Roll.