Posts Tagged ‘AAA’

The national gas price average may have held flat on the week at $2.25, but just a three cent drop would bring the U.S. average to the lowest since December 2016. However, as crude oil prices continue to climb it does not look like pump prices will drop much lower than we’ve seen so far this year.

“Crude oil prices have increased by $5/bbl since the beginning of the year, but over-supply of crude in the market and low demand have helped to keep the national average relatively stable,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Crude oil prices will be a dominant factor towards determining if motorists will see slightly cheaper or more expensive pump prices in coming weeks.”

On the week, state gas price averages fluctuated with a handful of southern and mid-western states seeing gas prices increase, though the majority of states saw averages decrease or hold flat. Today’s national gas price average is nine cents cheaper than a month ago and 29 cents less expensive than a year ago.

Quick Stats 

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Kentucky (+7 cents), Florida (+6 cents), Utah (-6 cents), Louisiana (+5 cents), Wyoming (-5 cents), Illinois (+4 cents), Oregon (-4 cents), Vermont (-4 cents), Washington (-4 cents) and Alabama (+3 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Missouri ($1.90), Arkansas ($1.94), Oklahoma ($1.94), Mississippi ($1.95), Texas ($1.96), Alabama ($1.96), South Carolina ($1.97), Kansas ($1.98), Louisiana ($1.99) and Tennessee ($2.02).

South and Southeast

With the exception of New Mexico (-2 cents), all states in the South and Southeast saw gas price averages increase on the week. Florida (+6 cents) and Louisiana (+5 cents) saw the largest increases of any state in region and the country on the week. All other states averaged a two or three cent increase. Despite the jumps at the pump, the region continues to lay claim to the cheapest gas price averages in the country. A motorist can find gas for $2 or below at 3 in 4 gas stations in every South and Southeast state except New Mexico, Georgia and Florida.

Part of this week’s pump price increase could be attributed to lingering impacts from the 2018 hurricane season causing localized tight gasoline supply and higher transportation costs. Last week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration extended emergency declarations citing “ongoing emergency conditions” stemming from both Hurricane Florence and Michael for six states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that regional gasoline stocks have built week-over-week since the end of November. The latest EIA report says stocks for the South and Southeast measure at their highest level on record at 90 million bbl.

Rockies

For a second week, Utah (-6 cents), Wyoming (-4 cents) and Idaho (-3 cent) appear on the top 10 list of states with the biggest changes. Motorists in the region are seeing a real cost savings – as much as 65-cents – compared to this summer, when the majority of the region was consistently above $3/gal. Today’s averages are all at $2.50 or cheaper: Utah ($2.43), Idaho ($2.43), Wyoming ($2.41), Montana ($2.280) and Colorado ($2.09).

Gasoline stocks in the region decreased by 282,000 bbl, wiping out the bulk of the previous week’s build. Regardless, total stocks sit at a healthy 7.2 million bbl for the region.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pump prices continue to fluctuate, though modestly, for motorists filling up in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. The majority of states saw gas prices decrease as much as four cents on the week. However, the number of states seeing gas price average increases is growing, up two from the previous week to total six states with increases: Delaware (+3 cents), Tennessee (+2 cents), North Carolina (+2 cents), Virginia (+2 cents), Maryland (+2 cents) and New Jersey (+1 cent).

Gasoline stocks in the region have jumped by a staggering 5 million bbl since the end of December, per EIA data for the week ending January 11. An increase in the winter months is not uncommon, but it’s a vast difference from the same time period last year that only saw a 2 million bbl increase. The surge in stocks, attributed to imports and low demand, combined with a 5 million bbl year-over-year surplus is helping to keep any fluctuation in the region modest.

 

Great Lakes and Central

Eleven of the top 15 states with the largest year-over-year difference in pump prices are Great Lakes and Central states: Iowa (-48 cents), Michigan (-48 cents), Nebraska (-47 cents), Wisconsin (-46 cents), Illinois (-44 cents), Minnesota (-44 cents) Indiana (+42 cents), Missouri (-41 cents), Kansas (-40 cents), North Dakota (-38 cents) and Ohio (-37 cents).

On the week, states in the region saw prices drop a penny, hold steady or increase. Six states have more expensive gas price averages to start the work week: Kentucky (+7 cents), Illinois (+4 cents), Nebraska (+2 cents), Iowa (+2 cents), Kansas (+1 cent) and Ohio (+1 cent).

With a 3 million bbl build, regional gasoline stocks sit at 60 million bbl. This is a level not seen in 10 months and is uncharacteristically high for this time of the year. With major winter weather pounding much of the region over the weekend and fewer motorists on the road, gasoline demand has the potential to drop, in turn increasing stocks in the next EIA report.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region continue to pay the highest pump prices in the nation, with all of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. California ($3.27) and Hawaii ($3.27) are tied for the most expensive market in the nation, followed by Washington ($2.95), Alaska ($2.92), Nevada ($2.88), Oregon ($2.83) and Arizona ($2.55). While expensive, prices are falling, with all state averages moving lower on the week: Oregon (-4 cents) and Washington (-4 cents) saw the largest drops.

EIA’s recent weekly report showed that West Coast gasoline stocks grew by approximately 800,000 bbl to 31.5 million bbl during the week ending on January 11. However, stocks are approximately 3.2 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.73 to settle at $53.80. Oil prices saw their third consecutive week of increases after the market responded positively to news that the U.S. and China are making progress in resolving their trade dispute. More indicators of economic progress could help buoy crude prices this week; however, increasing fear about slowed global economic growth throughout 2019 could suppress prices as market observers wonder if global crude demand will suffer. Additionally, OPEC released a list of specific production cuts from its members and other members of its global pact to cut global production by 1.2 million b/d for the first 6 months of 2019. The list has helped to bolster market confidence in seeing the global glut of crude decline, which will ultimately help to increase crude prices.

In related news, EIA’s weekly report showed that total domestic crude inventories fell last week by 2.6 million bbl to 437.1 million bbl. However, the current inventory level is 24.4 million bbl more than last year at this time. Domestic crude production also hit a new all-time record high, since EIA began reporting the rate in 1983, at 11.9 million b/d last week. Additionally, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that last week, the U.S. lost 21 rigs, bringing the total rig count to 852. When compared to last year at this time, there are 105 more rigs this 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 a penny more expensive on the week, the national gas price average ($2.25) increased for the first time since October. Despite the increase, today’s average is still cheaper month-over-month (-14 cents) and year-over-year (-28 cents).

“The price of crude oil has been slowly, but steadily increasing since the beginning of the year, which is starting to push up pump prices,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The price per barrel (WTI) increased $3 from last Monday to close on Friday to settle at $51 per barrel.”

Last week saw not only more expensive crude oil, but a sizeable build in U.S. gasoline stocks and a small increase in demand. Overall demand has been low lately, contributing to the growth in stocks and helping to keep gas prices lower despite increasing crude prices.

Quick Stats 

  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Montana (-33 cents), Idaho (-32 cents), Colorado (-32 cents), Wyoming (-31 cents), Utah (-29 cents), Hawaii (-27 cents), South Dakota (-24 cents), North Dakota (-22 cents), New Mexico (-21 cents) and Minnesota (-20 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest yearly decreases are: Michigan (-57 cents), Illinois (-53 cents), Iowa (-49 cents), Indiana (-48 cents), Wisconsin (-45 cents), Nebraska (-45 cents), Ohio (-44 cents), Kentucky (-43 cents), Minnesota (-41 cents) and Kansas (-40 cents).

Great Lakes and Central

Pump prices are rising across the Great Lakes and Central states with Ohio (+8 cents), Indiana (+8 cents), Missouri (+7 cents), Michigan (+6 cents), Iowa (+6 cents) and Kentucky (+4 cents) seeing the largest jumps in the region on the week. With these increases, many states’ averages have surpassed the $2/gal mark except for Missouri ($1.89) and Kansas ($1.97), though motorists can still find gas below the $2/mark in many states in the region.

For the sixth straight week, gasoline inventories built, adding a staggering 2.7 million bbl in the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Total stocks sit at 57 million bbl – a 4 million bbl year-over-year surplus.

Rockies

All states in the Rockies region, with the exception of Montana, make an appearance on the top 10 list of states with the biggest changes on the week: Wyoming (-8 cents), Colorado (-7 cents), Idaho (-7 cent) and Utah (-6 cents). For a second week, these four states saw some of the largest weekly decreases in the country. While not as large, Montana (-2 cents) saw a decrease as well.

Compared to a month ago, gas prices are nearly 40-cents cheaper in the region. In fact the top states with the largest month-over-month difference are all of the Rockies states: Montana (-33 cents), Idaho (-32 cents), Colorado (-32 cents), Wyoming (-31 cents) and Utah (-29 cents).

At 92 percent, regional refinery utilization is at its highest in weeks and gasoline stocks built, adding 242,000 bbl. Stocks are expected to continue to build throughout the winter and gas prices are likely to remain low.

South and Southeast

Gas prices are fluctuating across the South and Southeast states with increases and decreases as much as four cents on the week. Regardless, the majority of states continue to carry the cheapest gas prices in the country, with seven states landing on the top 10 list for the least expensive gas: Arkansas ($1.90), Mississippi ($1.92), Alabama ($1.92), Louisiana ($1.92), Oklahoma ($1.93), Texas ($1.92) and South Carolina ($1.95)

Total stocks continue to measure above 89 million bbl. The week brought a small build, according to EIA data.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pump prices across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are making small jumps and decreases this week. While most states have cheaper gas prices, as much as four cents, a few states saw prices increase: Delaware (+4 cents), Tennessee (+3 cents), Maryland (+1 cent) and Pennsylvania (+1 cent).

As demand remains low, gasoline stocks continued to grow this week adding 2.5 million bbl. EIA data shows stocks sit at a 7.6 million surplus year-over-year, which should help to keep any increases minimal for the winter.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region remain among highest in the nation, with all of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. California ($3.28) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by Hawaii ($3.26), Washington ($2.99), Alaska ($2.94), Nevada ($2.90), Oregon ($2.88) and Arizona ($2.59). While expensive, prices are falling, with all state averages moving lower on the week: Alaska (-8 cents) and Washington (-5 cents) saw the largest drops.

EIA’s recent weekly report showed that West Coast gasoline stocks surged by approximately 2.4 million bbl to 30.7 million bbl during the week ending on January 4, the largest one-week build in nearly 26 years. However, stocks are approximately 2.7 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased $1.00 to settle at $51.59. Although they ended down for the day, crude prices increased overall last week due to optimism that the trade tensions between China and the U.S. may be subsiding. Reduced trade volatility will likely help curtail stalled global economic growth that could have reduced global demand for crude. Moreover, with OPEC’s global pact with large non-OPEC crude producers (including Russia) to reduce crude production by 1.2 million b/d for at least the first six months of 2019 now in effect, the global glut of crude is expected to decline, helping to push crude prices higher. If crude prices continue to climb, motorists will likely see gas prices follow suit.

In related news, EIA reported that total domestic stocks of crude fell from 441.4 million bbl to 439.7 million bbl in its latest weekly petroleum status report. Additionally, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. lost four oilrigs last week, bringing the current total of active oilrigs to 873. When compared to the total number of active rigs at this time last year, there are 121 more rigs this 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.

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data registers gasoline demand at 8.6 million b/d for the week ending December 28 – the lowest level on record since February 2017. Despite record motor vehicle travel for the holiday, demand was down nearly 900,000 bbl, suggesting that demand this winter could be lower than expected.

Today’s national gas price average is $2.24 and has declined for 12 weeks in a row. The national average is three-cents cheaper on the week, 20-cents cheaper than last month and 25-cents cheaper year-over-year.

“As the global crude market continues to be oversupplied, oil prices are dropping, continuing last week’s trend,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “This is good news for motorists filling up at the pump.”

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Missouri ($1.82), Oklahoma ($1.90), Arkansas ($1.91), Texas ($1.91), Alabama ($1.91), South Carolina ($1.91), Mississippi ($1.91), Louisiana ($1.93), Kansas ($1.93), and Ohio ($1.95).
  • The nation’s top 10 yearly decreases are: Michigan (-55 cents), Illinois (-49 cents), Ohio (-47 cents), Indiana (-47 cents), Iowa (-47 cents), Wisconsin (-46 cents), Nebraska (-41 cents), Missouri (-41 cents), Kentucky (-39 cents), and Delaware (-36 cents).

Rockies

Motorists in Montana (-9 cents), Colorado (-7 cents), Utah (-6 cents), and Wyoming (-5 cents) saw the largest weekly decreases in the country. With the declines, state gas price averages are inching toward all being close to or below the $2.50 mark: Utah ($2.55), Wyoming ($2.54), Idaho ($2.53), Montana ($2.33), and Colorado ($2.20).

With regional refinery utilization jumping six percent on the week, gasoline stocks increased 252,000 bbl. The EIA reports that gasoline stocks for the region register at 7.2 million bbl. Historically, the region sees stocks build throughout Q1 ahead of peak summer tourism season.

Great Lakes and Central

This week, nine Great Lakes and Central states land on the top 10 list of largest year-over-year difference in gas prices in the country: Michigan (-55 cents), Illinois (-49 cents), Ohio (-47 cents), Indiana (-47 cents), Iowa (-45 cents), Wisconsin (-46 cents), Nebraska (-41 cents) Missouri (-41 cents) and Kentucky (-39 cents).

This week, gas prices in the region range from $2.20 in North Dakota to $1.82 in Missouri.

Gasoline inventories continued to build, adding 1.2 million bbl. This trend is expected to continue into the early half of the year. At 54.2 million bbl, stocks are at a 3.5 million bbl year-over-year surplus.

South and Southeast

The seven South and Southeast states that are among the top 10 cheapest in the country this week are the same as this time last year, but the year-over-year price differential is eye-opening: Arkansas (-41 cents), Oklahoma (-36 cents), Mississippi (-35 cents), Louisiana (-35 cents), South Carolina (-34 cents), Alabama (-34 cents) and Texas (-34 cents).

This week’s largest build of gasoline stocks was seen in the South and Southeast region. With the addition of 3.5 million bbl, total stocks measure at 89.2 million bbl – an all-time record according to EIA data.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

On the week, gas prices only dropped three to five cents across all Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. Connecticut ($2.58), New York ($2.58) and Washington, D.C. ($2.55) carry the most expensive gas price averages in the region and land on the top 10 list of most expensive states in the country, which was also the case last year. However, today’s averages are as much as 15 cents cheaper than at the same time in 2018.

The latest EIA data shows gasoline stocks built by 724,000 bbl. Analysts speculate this was a low build for the region and partially due to low import rates on the week. Total stocks now sit at 61 million bbl.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region continue to pay the highest pump prices in the nation, with all of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. California ($3.32) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by Hawaii ($3.30), Washington ($3.05), Alaska ($3.01), Oregon ($2.91), Nevada ($2.92) and Arizona ($2.63). While expensive, prices are decreasing, with all state averages moving lower on the week: Hawaii (-6 cents) and Washington (-6 cents) saw the largest drops.

EIA’s recent weekly report showed that West Coast gasoline stocks increased by approximately 1.2 million bbl to 28.3 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 4.6 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 87 cents to settle at $47.96. Oil prices were volatile last week, as market observers continue to believe that the global crude market is oversupplied. Moreover, analysts are also wary of the impact a potential economic slowdown in 2019 could have on global crude oil demand. In the coming weeks, market observers will look for indications that OPEC’s global pact with large non-OPEC crude producers (including Russia) will reduce crude production by 1.2 million b/d for at least the first six months of 2019, which may help reduce the growing global glut of crude. In turn, this could drive up crude oil prices and, subsequently, gas prices.

In related news, EIA’s latest weekly petroleum status report revealed that total domestic crude inventories held steady for the second week at 441.4 million bbl. Domestic crude production also held steady for a second week at a record high of 11.7 million b/d. Steady inventories amid high production underscore how oversupplied the market currently is, while demand for gasoline remains at a two-year low. Additionally, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. lost eight oilrigs last week, bringing the current total of active oilrigs to 877. When compared to the total number of active rigs at this time last year, there are 135 more rigs this 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.

 

The New Year has ushered in the cheapest national gas price average in three years. To boot, at $2.25 today’s national average is even one cent cheaper than on January 1 and trends indicate that pump prices will likely remain cheap for at least the first half of the month.

 

Gas Price Averages: Jan 1-3
2016 2017 2018 2019
$1.99 $2.35 $2.49 $2.25

Today, 29 state gas price averages are at or below the national average of $2.25 with Missouri touting the cheapest at $1.83. Hawaii ($3.34) carries the most expensive average.

“With OPEC production cuts slated to take effect this week, analysts will closely be watching the price of oil,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Significant movement toward higher market prices would mean cheaper gas prices could be in the rearview mirror. However, AAA expects to see minimal volatility at the start of the cartel’s production cuts.”

The end of 2018 drove WTI crude oil prices to as low as $44/bbl, which is a steep $31 drop from the high of $77/bbl seen during June.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Missouri ($1.83), Oklahoma ($1.92), Arkansas ($1.92), Texas ($1.93), South Carolina ($1.93), Ohio ($1.93), Alabama ($1.93), Mississippi ($1.93), Louisiana ($1.94) and Kansas ($1.95).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest yearly decreases are: Michigan (-60 cents), Indiana (-53 cents), Ohio (-53 cents), Illinois (-49 cents), Iowa (-44 cents), Wisconsin (-44 cents), Kentucky (-43 cents), Nebraska (-39 cents), Missouri (-38 cents) and Delaware (-34 cents).

Great Lakes and Central

During the past 10 days, gas prices have dropped by at least a dime in four Great Lakes and Central states: Indiana (-15 cents), Ohio (-14 cents), Illinois (-11 cents) and Kentucky (-10 cents). With a nickel decline, North Dakota ($2.23) has seen the smallest drop during the 10-day period.

As gas prices decline, gasoline inventories in the Midwest region jumped for the fifth straight week, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Total stocks for the week ending on December 21 total 53 million bbl, the highest level of stocks for the region since early September.

South and Southeast

Gas prices in the South and Southeast remain among the cheapest in the country, but state averages are declining at a slower rate than most states. On the week, states in the region only saw gas prices drop four or five cents with Florida ($2.15) seeing the sole nickel decline.

Regional refineries are operating at 98 percent of utilization as stocks continue to build. The latest EIA report lists total South and Southeast stocks at 85.7 million bbl – the highest on record for 2018 and levels not seen since early March of last year.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

All Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states have cheaper gas prices compared to the beginning of 2018. Delaware has the largest year-over-year savings of 34 cents.

This week, state gas price averages in the region range from $2.61 to $1.99. New York touts the highest average while Tennessee lays claim to the cheapest. On the week, motorists saw pump prices decline between two and five cents.

On the week, stock levels held flat at 60 million bbl as did regional refinery utilization (83 percent).

Rockies

Utah, (+17 cents), Wyoming (+14 cents) and Idaho (+21 cents) are three of only nine states whose gas price averages are more expensive compared to January 2018. Conversely, Montana and Colorado’s averages are 20 and 18 cents less expensive, respectively, than a year ago.

Not surprisingly, gas prices in Utah ($2.58), Wyoming ($2.58) and Idaho ($2.55) are among the 15 most expensive in the country this week.

The EIA reports that gasoline stocks held steady at 7 million bbl for week ending December 21, which is comparable to stocks at this time last year.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region remain the highest in the nation, with all of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.34) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.34), Washington ($3.07), Alaska ($3.06), Oregon ($2.94), Nevada ($2.93) and Arizona ($2.65). While expensive, prices are decreasing, with all state averages moving lower on the week: Hawaii (-6 cents) and Washington (-6 cents) saw the largest drops. However, when compared to last year, most prices in the region are higher today, with Arizona (+34 cents), Nevada (+27 cents) and Washington (+16 cents) leading the way.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report, for the week ending on December 21, showed West Coast gasoline stocks decreased by approximately 500,000 bbl to 27.1 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 3.6 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.13 to settle at $46.54. Oil prices mostly fell last week, as market observers continue to believe that the global crude market is over-supplied. Moreover, new concerns are growing of a potential economic slowdown in 2019 that could lead to a decline in global demand for crude. However, recent price gains in the market underscore how volatile the market is now, which could lead crude prices higher if global supply tightens amid robust demand for crude. For now, new reports indicate that the U.S., Russia and Iraq, the second largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), saw crude production and export increases in the final months of 2018, contributing to the falling price of crude.

In related news, according to the latest weekly petroleum status report from the EIA, total domestic crude inventories took a slight step back during the week of December 21. But even with a decline of approximately 40,000, at 441.4 million bbl, domestic crude inventories are approximately 10 million bbl higher when compared to a year ago. In the coming weeks, market observers will look for indications that OPEC’s global pact with large non-OPEC crude producers (including Russia) to reduce crude production by 1.2 million b/d for at least the first six months of 2019 will help reduce the growing global glut of crude. In turn, this could drive up crude oil prices and, subsequently, gas prices.

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.

Nearly 20 percent of states are currently enjoying prices below $2.00 per gallon. Nationally, retail averages have dropped ­­­83 of the past 90 days. The national average for regular unleaded gasoline currently sits at $2.30 per gallon, which is six cents less than one week ago, 24 cents less than one month ago and 16 cents less than at the same time last year.

Heading into 2019, gasoline demand is expected to dwindle during the month of January, an expected change following the busy holiday travel season. At the same time, OPEC will begin production cuts on January 1, with hopes that the shift in global supply will push oil prices higher. The effectiveness of the cuts will likely not be known until later in the first quarter.

“All eyes are on OPEC to kick off the year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Many are waiting to see if they stick to their promise to cut crude production by 1.2-million b/d and if the proposed cuts will be enough to restore balance to the market.”

Over the past few years, OPEC and partnering countries have demonstrated a strong resolve to comply with proposed cuts in production. It is likely that the cartel will reconvene in April, and if there is a need to further balance global supply and demand, OPEC will likely tweak current production numbers at that meeting.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Ohio (-15 cents), Indiana (-15 cents), South Dakota (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Montana (-11 cents), Kentucky (-10 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), Wisconsin (-10 cents), Wyoming (-9 cents) and Idaho (-9 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10least expensive markets are: Missouri ($1.87), Oklahoma ($1.95), Arkansas ($1.97), South Carolina ($1.97), Texas ($1.97), Alabama ($1.97), Mississippi ($1.97), Louisiana ($1.98), Kansas ($1.99) and Iowa ($2.01).

 

Great Lakes and Central

Prices have dropped significantly across the region, with Ohio (-15 cents), Indiana (-15 cents), South Dakota (-12 cents) and Michigan (-12 cents) topping the list of largest weekly declines. Missouri ($1.87) and Oklahoma ($1.95) have both dropped below $2 per gallon. Drivers in Iowa ($2.01) and Ohio ($2.01) will likely see prices below $2 to start the New Year.

According to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, gasoline inventories in the Midwest region jumped by 1.7 million bbl to 51.4 million bbl for the week ending on December 14. Total regional inventories are now 3.6 million bbl higher than this same time last year.

South and Southeast

Most drivers in the South and Southeast regions continue to enjoy some of the cheapest prices in the nation due to their proximity to major Gulf Coast refineries and having some of the lowest state gasoline taxes in the country. Currently, six states in the region are seeing average prices below $2 per gallon: South Carolina ($1.97), Alabama ($1.97), Arkansas ($1.97), Texas ($1.97), Mississippi ($1.97) and Louisiana ($1.98).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The Northeast is one of the most expensive regions in the country this week. Connecticut ($2.65), New York ($2.64), Washington D.C. ($2.62), Massachusetts ($2.56) and Vermont ($2.56) all land on the list of top-15 most expensive markets in the country.

Despite recent declines, prices in Vermont, New York and Connecticut are still at least one-cent higher year-over-year.

Rockies

Gas prices for drivers in the Rocky Mountain region have dropped steadily over the past week. Increased refinery runs helped boost regional supply. With no export outlets, OPIS reports that the region is most susceptible to “clearance sales” on gasoline when inventories inflate. Currently, three states in the region are on the top-10 list of largest declines for the week: Montana (-11 cents), Wyoming (-9 cents) and Idaho (-9 cents).

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region continue to pay the highest pump prices in the nation, with all of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.41) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.38), Washington ($3.13), Alaska ($3.07), Nevada ($2.96), Oregon ($2.98), and Arizona ($2.68). While expensive, prices are decreasing, with all state averages moving lower on the week: Hawaii (-6 cents) saw the largest drops.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report, for the week ending on December 14 showed West Coast gasoline stocks decreased by approximately 700,000 bbl to 27.6 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 3.4 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 29 cents to settle at $45.59. Oil prices mostly fell last week, reaching their lowest since the third quarter of 2017, as market observers have concerns  that the global crude market is oversupplied. Moreover, according to the latest weekly petroleum status report from the EIA, total domestic crude inventories took a slight step back last week. At 441.5 million bbl, crude inventories fell by 500,000 bbl. When compared to last year at this time, combined inventories across the country are still 5 million bbl higher this year. To reduce the oversupply of crude globally, earlier this month OPEC and non-OPEC producers, including Russia, announced that beginning in 2019, they will reduce crude production by 1.2 million b/d (for an initial six month period). This move could drive crude oil prices up, and in turn drive gas prices higher in the New 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.

Cheapest December National Gas Price Average in Two Years

December 17th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

At $2.37, the national gas price average continues to drive toward the cheapest pump prices seen during the month of December since 2016, which is welcome news for the millions of Americans expected to begin holiday travel later this week.

“AAA expects 102 million Americans to drive to their holiday destination this year, which is a four percent increase year-over-year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “No doubt cheaper gas prices are fueling their decision to hit the road.”

On the week, states are seeing gas price averages that are as much as 12-cents cheaper. Florida (+1 cent) is the only state to see gas prices increase, while Missouri’s gas price average dropped to $1.96.

The national average is a nickel less than last week, 26-cents less than last month and six-cents less than a year ago. With gasoline production on the high side – 10 million b/d – amid low demand, motorists can expect gas prices to continue declining through year-end.

Quick Stats

  •  The nation’s top 10least expensive markets are: Missouri ($1.96), South Carolina ($2.03), Oklahoma ($2.04), Arkansas ($2.04), Alabama ($2.05), Louisiana ($2.05), Texas ($2.05), Mississippi ($2.06), Kansas ($2.06) and Ohio ($2.07).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Ohio (-12 cents), Indiana (-9 cents), Idaho (-9 cents), Montana (-9 cents), Michigan (-9 cents), Colorado (-8 cents), Illinois (-8 cents), Washington (-7 cents), Utah (-7 cents) and Hawaii (-6 cents).

Great Lakes and Central

At the start of the week, pump prices are cheaper on the week for all Great Lakes and Central states. This week’s declines wiped out any increases from the previous week in Ohio (-12 cents), Indiana (-9 cents) and Michigan (-9 cents). In fact, these states, in addition to Illinois (-8 cents) land on the top 10 list with the largest weekly changes in the country.

At $1.96, Missouri has the cheapest gas price average in the region and in the country. The last time the state saw prices this cheap was two years ago in December 2016. At that time, crude oil prices ranged from $50-52/bbl, which is similar to crude oil prices as of late.

Regional refinery utilization jumped from 94 to 98 percent and along with it added 350,000 bbl, according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports. Total gasoline stocks in the region register at 49.8 million bbl – a healthy mark for this time of year and a 2.5 million bbl year-over-year surplus.

South and Southeast

Many South and Southeast states have gas price averages that are pennies away from falling below $2/gal: South Carolina ($2.03), Oklahoma ($2.04), Arkansas ($2.04), Alabama ($2.05), Louisiana ($2.05), Texas ($2.05) and Mississippi ($2.06). These states also rank among the top 10 cheapest averages in the country this week. Pump prices are at least a dime more expensive in Georgia ($2.18), Florida ($2.29) and New Mexico ($2.30). On the week, Florida (+1 cent) was the only state in the country and region to see prices increase.

Gasoline stocks built by 3 million bbl on the week, wiping out the previous week’s draw. The build brings the region’s total stock levels to 83.8 million bbl, which is a 5.4 million bbl year-over-year surplus. Since demand is low this time of year, it is not uncommon to see stocks build during December.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

State gas price averages are $2.70 or cheaper across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. On the week, gas prices are up to six cents less: West Virginia (-6 cents), Tennessee (-5 cents) and Virginia (-5 cents) saw the largest changes.

Heading into the holidays, gas prices are as much as 15-cents cheaper year-over-year in the region.

EIA data shows that the region has seen gasoline stocks mostly decline since early October. On the week, stocks fell by 1.9 million bbl dropping total levels to 59 million bbl. The drop comes as refinery utilization in the region fell from 93 percent to 85 percent.

Rockies

On the week, four states from the Rockies region land on the top 10 list with the largest weekly change: Idaho (-9 cents), Montana (-9 cents), Colorado (-8 cents) and Utah (-7 cents). While not on the top 10 list, Wyoming’s state gas price average dropped a nickel on the week. Compared to the rest of the country, gas prices remain expensive in the region ranging from as cheap as $2.41 in Colorado to as expensive as $2.75 in Wyoming.

EIA data shows that gasoline stocks remain unchanged at 6.9 million bbl. This week’s forthcoming EIA report could show an increase in stocks as regional refinery utilization jumped from 86 to 92 percent.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region remain among the highest in the nation, with all of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.51) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.40), Washington ($3.17), Alaska ($3.09), Nevada ($3.03), Oregon ($3.01), and Arizona ($2.72). While expensive, they are getting cheaper with all state averages moving lower on the week: Washington (-7 cents), Hawaii (-6 cents), Oregon (-6 cents) and Nevada (-6 cents) saw the largest drops.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report, for the week ending on December 7, showed West Coast gasoline stocks increased by approximately 600,000 bbl to 28.3 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 2.4 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased $1.38 to settle at $51.20. Oil prices mostly fell last week as market observers continue to worry that the global crude market is oversupplied. Although the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other oil producers, including Russia, agreed last week to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day at the beginning of 2019, crude prices will likely remain low until the production reduction agreement is in place.

In related news, total domestic crude inventories are continuing to slide. Crude inventories around the country fell by 1.2 million bbl, according to new data released by EIA. Stocks now total 442 million bbl, which is approximately 1 million bbl lower than where they were at this time last year. With domestic inventories now falling and OPEC’s production reduction agreement set to take effect in early 2019, crude prices could increase early next year. If they do, motorists will likely see pump prices increase.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

National Gas Price Average Cheaper on the Week, Month and Year

December 10th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

Today’s national gas price average of $2.42 is the lowest pump price of the year, a price point not seen since mid-December last year. The average sits at four cents cheaper than last week, 28-cents cheaper than last month and four cents less than last year. The last time the national average was cheaper on the week, month and year was during July 2017.

“Motorists are noticing a big difference as they fill-up at the gas pump this month,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Month-over-month, gas price averages have dropped double digits for every state. For some in the Great Lakes and Central states (Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri) state gas prices are as much as 40-cents less than they were in November. In some states, gas prices are nearing $2 per gallon – something that hasn’t been seen since December 2017.”

How low can gas prices go? AAA expects the national gas price average to drop as low as $2.40 by the end of the year due to cheaper crude oil prices. However, pump prices this cheap may not last into 2019. On Friday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced that the cartel and non-OPEC members, including Russia, will reduce production by 1.2 million b/d for the first six months of the year. While the decision will help to reduce the high level of global crude supply, the move has the potential to increase oil and gas prices. Crude was up to $52.61 at the market close on Friday, while the week prior, crude was as cheap as $50/bbl.

 Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Iowa (-40 cents), Kansas (-40 cents), Nebraska (-40 cents), Missouri (-38 cents), Arkansas (-37 cents), South Dakota (-36 cents), Georgia (-36 cents), Wisconsin (-36 cents), Mississippi (-36 cents) and Alabama (-36 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10least expensive markets are: Missouri ($2.00), Oklahoma ($2.06), South Carolina ($2.06), Texas ($2.08), Kansas ($2.09), Alabama ($2.09), Arkansas ($2.09), Mississippi ($2.10), Louisiana ($2.10) and Iowa ($2.15).

Great Lakes and Central

While most of the country is seeing decreases, gas prices have jumped noticeably on the week for motorists in Michigan (+7 cents), Indiana (+7 cents), Ohio (+6 cents) and Kentucky (+3 cents). The increase is unexpected as demand is declining and supply increased in the region on the week. Conversely, gas prices are as much as eight cents cheaper for all other states in the Great Lakes and Central region with four states landing on the top 10 with the largest weekly changes: North Dakota (-8 cents), Wisconsin (-7 cents), Minnesota (-7 cents) and Kansas (-7 cents). Overall, the Great Lakes and Central region often experiences periods of volatility.

State gas price averages in the region range from $2.40 in South Dakota to $2.00 in Missouri. In fact, motorists in Missouri can find gas for $2/gal or less at 70 percent of gas stations in the state.

Gasoline stocks in the Great Lakes and Central region built by a surprising 2.6 million bbl on the week, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA). With refinery utilization dropping by one percent, the increase in stocks is likely attributed to a drop in demand as expected this time of year. Total stocks sit at 49.4 million bbl.

South and Southeast

More than half of all South and Southeast states have gas price averages at or under $2.10: Louisiana ($2.10), Mississippi ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.09), Alabama ($2.09), Texas ($2.08), South Carolina ($2.06) and Oklahoma ($2.06). More so, motorists can find stations selling regular unleaded for $2/gal or less in every state in the region. Oklahoma (56 percent) has the largest percentage of gas stations at this mark.

Gas prices are five to seven cents cheaper on the week and as much as 17 cents less expensive year-over-year across the region.

With a 2 million bbl draw, the region saw the largest decline in gasoline stocks in the country on the week. According to EIA, total stocks sit at 80.7 million bbl, which is a surplus of 2.3 million bbl year-over-year. Regional refinery utilization remained at 97 percent, indicating that the large draw could be attributed to exports.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are as much 33 cents cheaper on the month in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. While all state gas price averages are less expensive month-over-month, motorists in these states are saving at least a quarter/gallon when filling up: Tennessee (-33 cents), North Carolina (-30 cents), West Virginia (-29 cents), Maine (-25 cents) and Virginia (-25 cents). On the week, gas prices dropped as much as six cents.

Regional refinery utilization jumped to 93 percent (up from 77 percent two weeks ago) as stocks built, but only by 322,000 bbl. Total gasoline stocks continue to measure above the 61 million bbl mark for the third week, which is nearly a 3 million bbl surplus year-over-year.

Rockies

Gas prices continue to trend cheaper across the Rockies. On the week, Colorado (-9 cents) has the largest decrease in pump prices in the country. With a seven-cent decline, Idaho and Montana saw the largest decreases on the week. Utah (-5 cents) and Wyoming (-4 cents) consumers are also paying less to fill up at the start of the week. State gas price averages range from $2.49 to $2.83, which are more expensive than this time last year.

Regionally, gasoline stocks built by 126,000 bbl as refinery utilization dropped to 94 percent. Year-over-year stocks are comparable, with the EIA reporting the Rockies region touting a total of 6.9 million bbl.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region continue to pay the highest pump prices in the nation, with all of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.57) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.45), Washington ($3.25), Alaska ($3.14), Nevada ($3.09), Oregon ($3.07), and Arizona ($2.75). While expensive, they are getting cheaper with all state averages being lower on the week: Alaska (-8 cents), Hawaii (-7 cents) and California (-7 cents) saw the largest drops.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report for the week ending on November 30, showed West Coast gasoline stocks increased by approximately 700,000 bbl to 27.7 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 2 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.12 to settle at $52.61. Oil prices rallied at the end of last week after OPEC announced that beginning in January 2019, the cartel – alongside non-OPEC members, including Russia – will reduce combined crude oil production by 1.2 million b/d. The cut will be in place for six months and will use October 2018 as a baseline, a time when OPEC and Russia had less crude output than in November. With the announcement, crude prices will likely increase in 2019 ahead of the higher demand driving season next summer. Increased crude prices will likely lead to higher gas prices, given that approximately 50 percent of the cost motorists pay at the pump is based on the cost of crude used to make gasoline.

In related news, EIA’s report for the week ending on November 30 revealed that crude inventories decreased by 7.3 million bbl after 10 weeks of consecutive growth. Total domestic crude inventories now sit at 443.2 million bbl, which is approximately 5 million bbl less than their level at this time last year. Declining inventories contributed to the increase in crude prices this week, and if the trend continues, prices could climb 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.

WASHINGTON (December 7, 2018) – At $2.44 the national gas price average has set a new record low for 2018. This is nearly a nickel less than this time last December. AAA expects the national gas price average to fluctuate through the end of the month and possibly end the year as cheap as $2.40.

Globally, crude supply is growing faster than anticipated. Contributing to the surplus is the United States’ record-breaking production levels – which hit the highest level ever recorded by the Energy Information Administration at 11.7 million b/d last month. In addition, there is more Iranian supply in the market than expected due to the U.S. granting crude sanction waivers to some of Iran’s largest importers, including India, South Korea and Japan. To help reduce the growing surplus of global crude supply, this week the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met to discuss the potential of cutting crude production by up to 1 million barrels per day. The announcement was expected yesterday, but the cartel delayed the decision until Friday to give time for non-OPEC countries, including Russia, to decide if they will join the production reduction agreement. Following the delay on Thursday, crude oil prices trended cheaper than earlier in the week because the announcement was not as firm as the market expected. AAA forecasts that as long as crude stays below the $60/bbl mark, Americans will continue to see cheaper gas prices through the end of the year.

“Consumers will have more change jingling in their pockets this holiday season as they save on fuel fill-ups, especially compared to this summer. The national gas price average has dropped more than 50-cents since Memorial Day weekend when the average spiked to a high of $2.97,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “As prices continue to drop, some motorists are filling up for $2/gallon or less.”

Depending on what part of the country you are in, gas prices can fluctuate greatly. Some states – mostly the West Coast – are still seeing large year-over year differences, while others have cheaper gas prices than a year ago. Here is a snapshot of highs and lows: 

Year-over-Year differences

  • Top 5 states with cheaper gas prices year-over-year are: Iowa (-29 cents), Missouri (-23 cents), Nebraska (-22 cents), Indiana (-20 cents) and Michigan (-18 cents)
  • Top 5 states with the largest year-over-year difference in gas price averages are: Nevada (+42 cents), Arizona (+40 cents), Utah (+35 cents), California (+34 cents) and Hawaii (+34 cents)
  • Top 5 states with the smallest year-over-year difference in gas price averages are: West Virginia (+1 cents), Colorado (+2 cents), Rhode Island (+3 cents), New Hampshire (+3 cents) and Virginia (-3 cents)

Highest and Lowest Gas Price Averages:

  • Top 5 states with lowest gas price averages: Missouri ($2.01), Oklahoma ($2.09), South Carolina ($2.09), Texas ($2.10) and Alabama ($2.12)
  • Top 5 states with most expensive gas price averages: Hawaii ($3.62), California ($3.49), Washington ($3.27), Alaska ($3.19) and Nevada ($3.12)
  • Top 5 states with the most stations selling gas at $2.00/gal or less (percentage of stations): Missouri (58 percent), Oklahoma (52 percent), South Carolina (41 percent), Texas (40 percent) and Mississippi (35 percent)

AAA Members save at Shell through the Fuel Rewards®* Program

Announced this week, AAA members can now save up to five cents per gallon (on up to 20 gallons) through December 31, 2019, when filling up at participating Shell branded stations across the U.S. through the Fuel Rewards program. AAA members just need to register or log in at AAA.com/Shell to reap the benefits of this new program. As an added benefit, members registering for the first time in the Fuel Rewards program by January 31, 2019 will save 25 cents per gallon (on up to 20 gallons) on their first fill-up.

Winter Fuel & Driving Tips

As you hit the road this winter, AAA offers these tips to help conserve fuel and keep motorists safe:

  • If possible, only run the engine and heater long enough to remove the chill. This will help to conserve fuel. Also, parking your car in a garage will help it stay warm.
  • As a precaution, keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times. It helps to reduce condensation in the fuel system. It also helps ensure an adequate reserve of fuel to run the engine for heat should your car become disabled in a remote location.
  • Be sure to pack an emergency roadside kit in your car containing a mobile phone and car charger, first-aid kit, blankets, drinking water and snacks, a flashlight with extra batteries, a basic toolkit, warning flares, an ice scraper, jumper cables and a shovel.

Motorists can find current gas prices at GasPrices.AAA.com and 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: AAA provides more than 59 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 35 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.

* The Fuel Rewards® program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation, a PDI company.

On the week, motorists in 32 states are paying less to fill up compared to a year ago. As the national gas price average drops to $2.46 it sets a new low price for the year and is cheaper than a year ago by two cents. The last time the daily national gas price average was cheaper year-over-year was 18 months ago on July 6, 2017 when gas prices were $2.24 (versus $2.26 on July 6, 2016).

Not only is today’s national gas price average cheaper year-over-year, but also is 31-cents cheaper than a month ago and on the week, 24 states saw gas prices drop double digits.

“Cheap crude oil prices are driving fuel savings at the pump,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Last week crude dropped to its lowest point of the year at $50/bbl. However, this week’s Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting could cause crude oil prices to jump if the organization decides to reduce crude production.”

OPEC is expected to make an announcement on crude production at its December 6 meeting in Vienna, Austria. The scheduled OPEC meeting has not had a negative impact on pump prices so far.

Quick Stats 

  • The nation’s top 10 largest yearly increases are Nevada $3.15 (+44 cents), Arizona $2.80 (+41 cents), Hawaii $3.64 (+38 cents), California $3.53 (+36 cents), Utah $2.86 (+35 cents), Wyoming $2.84 (+33 cents), Washington $3.30 (+32 cents), Oregon $3.12 (+29 cents), Idaho $2.90 (+26 cents) and Montana $2.78 (+15 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10largest monthly decreases are: Nebraska $2.25 (-46 cents), Iowa $2.19 (-46 cents), Michigan $2.27 (-45 cents), Kentucky $2.14 (-42 cents), Kansas $2.16 (-42 cents), Missouri $2.05 (-41 cents), Indiana $2.21 (-41 cents), Ohio $2.13 (-41 cents), Illinois $2.36 (-41 cents) and Oklahoma $2.11 (-39 cents).

 

Great Lakes and Central

The gas price average in every Great Lakes and Central state is cheaper year-over-year with some pump prices a quarter/gallon less: Iowa (-29 cents), Kentucky (-25 cents), Nebraska (-23 cents), Ohio (-19 cents), Missouri (-18 cents), Michigan (-17 cents) and Kansas (-17 cents).

With a 15-cent weekly decrease, Ohio ($2.13) has the largest drop in the region and the country on the week. Motorists in Kansas (-13 cents), Kentucky (-13 cent), Nebraska (-13 cents), Missouri (-13 cents), Illinois (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Indiana (-12 cents), Iowa (-11 cents), South Dakota (-11 cents), Wisconsin (-10 cents) and North Dakota (-10 cents) all saw double-digit price drops at the pump to kick-off the week.

With a four percent jump in regional refinery utilization, stocks built by nearly 680,000 bbl on the week. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the region saw stocks mostly build throughout November. Now at 46.8 million bbl, stocks sit at their highest point since the end of October.

South and Southeast

Gas prices are not only cheaper on the week, but also less expensive compared to a month and a year ago across the South and Southeast region. Month-over-month, motorists are seeing the largest savings – up to 30 cents or more/gallon: Oklahoma (-39 cents), Georgia (-37 cents), Arkansas (-36 cents), Texas (-35 cents), Alabama (-35 cents), Mississippi (-35 cents), Louisiana (-34 cents), South Carolina (-34 cents), Florida (-31 cents) and New Mexico (-29 cents). To boot, every state in the region has at least a few stations selling regular unleaded for $2/gallon or less.

On the week, stocks drew by nearly 950,000 bbl pushing total levels to 82.8 million bbl. The draw could likely be attributed to a high number of exports since regional refinery utilization jumped to 97 percent, according to EIA data. With utilization up, stocks are likely to build in the coming week and keep pump prices low.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

At $2.20, Delaware has the cheapest gas price average of any state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. It also has the third largest year-over-year difference in pump prices in the country. Including Delaware (-18 cents), only seven states in the region have pump prices cheaper today than a year ago: Maryland (-9 cents), Maine (-6 cents), Pennsylvania (-6 cents), North Carolina (-2 cents) New Jersey (-2 cents) and Virginia (-2 cents). Vermont (+15 cents) has the largest year-over-year difference in prices.

Despite a draw of nearly 700,000 bbl, gasoline stocks continue to measure above 61 million bbl, the EIA reports. Regional refinery unitization jumped to 86 percent (from 77 percent the prior week) indicating that a large build could be coming in the week ahead and contribute towards reducing gas prices even further.

Rockies

While state gas price averages in the Rockies are as much as 3 to 10 cents cheaper than last month, they are much more expensive year-over-year: Utah (+35 cents), Wyoming (+33 cents), Idaho (+26 cents), Montana (+15 cents) and Colorado (+6 cents). The good news is prices are falling. At $2.58, Colorado (-9 cents) saw the largest pump price drop in the region.

EIA data reports that both regional stocks and refinery utilization remained stable on the week. Stocks continue to register above the 6.8 million bbl mark, a healthy level and about 63,000 bbl surplus year-over-year.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region remain among the highest in the nation, with all of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.64) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.53), Washington ($3.30), Alaska ($3.22), Nevada ($3.15), Oregon ($3.12), and Arizona ($2.80). While expensive, they are getting cheaper with all state averages being lower on the week: Hawaii (-11 cents), California (-8 cents) and Washington (-6 cents) saw the largest drops.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report for the week ending on November 23, showed West Coast gasoline stocks increased by approximately 100,000 bbl to 27 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 1.8 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped to settle at $50.93. Crude prices continued to fall last week, reaching their lowest point since October 2017. The drop in price has many market observers speculating that at this week’s OPEC meeting on December 6 in Vienna, Austria, the cartel, alongside Russia, will announce a reduction in crude production, aimed at raising the global price of crude. The exact impact on global prices will be determined by how severe the production cut is and how long the reduction agreement will be held in place. In related news, this morning, Qatar announced it would withdraw from OPEC to develop and increase its natural gas production. The withdrawal will likely not have a huge impact on production as Qatar accounts for just under two percent of OPEC total output.

In the U.S., total domestic crude inventories continue to climb. In the latest weekly petroleum status report from the EIA, crude inventories grew to 450.5 million bbl.  This is strong for the year, even though it is approximately 3.7 million bbl lower than last year’s level at this time. If this week’s EIA report shows another crude inventory build, the news will likely help crude prices remain low.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

National Gas Price Average Dropping Toward Lowest of the Year

November 26th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

On the week, the national gas price average has dropped seven cents to land at $2.56. As pump prices steadily decline, they are headed toward some of the cheapest gas prices in 2018. The national average was lowest in January at $2.49 while May brought the most expensive price of $2.97.

“Trends are indicating that the month of December may bring some of the cheapest gas prices of the year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Currently, 19 states already have gas price averages less expensive than a year ago so as U.S. gasoline demand remains low and supply plentiful, motorists can expect to save at the pump as long as the price of crude oil doesn’t spike.”

Gas prices have been cheaper in the U.S. as crude oil sells at $57/bbl and cheaper – the lowest prices of the year. However, market observers warn crude could see an increase following the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting on December 6 in Vienna, Austria. At that meeting, OPEC is expected to curtail crude production by 1 million to 1.4 million barrels per day, which could cause crude prices to rise due to reduced global supply, in turn causing gas prices to turn higher in America.

Quick Stats 

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Ohio (-14 cents), Kentucky (-11 cents), Mississippi (-11 cents), South Carolina (-10 cents), Michigan (-9 cents), Alabama (-9 cents), Arkansas (-9 cents), Georgia (-9 cents), Illinois (-9 cents) and Texas (-9 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Missouri ($2.18), Oklahoma ($2.21), South Carolina ($2.23), Texas ($2.24), Delaware ($2.24), Louisiana ($2.26), Mississippi ($2.27), Alabama ($2.27), Kentucky ($2.27) and Ohio ($2.28).

Great Lakes and Central

The majority of the Great Lakes and Central states are carrying gas price averages cheaper than one year ago: Iowa (-20 cents), Indiana (-16 cents), Ohio (-15 cents), Michigan (-14 cents), Nebraska (-14 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), Missouri (-11 cents), Kentucky (-9 cents), Kansas (-7 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents) and Minnesota (-2 cents). There are only 19 states in the country with less expensive year-over-year prices and 11 of those are in this region.

On the week, gas prices are as much as 14 cents cheaper in Ohio. Today, state gas price averages range from $2.58 in North Dakota to $2.18 in Missouri.

The week’s prior build in gasoline inventory for the region was cancelled out as stocks drew by nearly half a million according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest data. Total stocks continue to register just above the 46 million bbl mark and year-over-year, inventory is at a 1.1 million bbl surplus. Despite the draw, regional utilization jumped seven percent to 91.4 percent indicating that stocks could build in the coming weeks and help to make prices even cheaper.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, gas prices are cheaper on the week with Washington, D.C. seeing the smallest decrease (-2 cents) and Tennessee seeing the largest decrease (-8 cents). As pump prices continue to decline, all state averages remain well below the $3/gal mark – a vast change from this summer when Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. were routinely at this mark. These states continue to have the most expensive average in the region, but are still at least 15-cents under the $3/gal mark: Connecticut ($2.84), New York ($2.83) and Washington, D.C. ($2.82)

This week, Delaware ($2.24), Maryland ($2.42) and Pennsylvania ($2.76) have state gas price averages cheaper than one year ago with a year-over-year difference of 18, five and one cent respectively.

Gasoline stocks dramatically declined by nearly 3 million bbl on the week to drop stocks to a total of 61.7 million bbl. EIA data shows that stock levels have not been this low since April of this year. The large draw in stocks kept state gas price averages from seeing large declines this week.

South and Southeast

There are five states in the South and Southeast region landing on the Top 10 list of largest weekly declines: Mississippi (-11 cents), South Carolina (-10 cents), Alabama (-9 cents), Arkansas (-9 cents) and Texas (-9 cents). With a seven-cent drop, Florida and North Carolina saw the smallest decreases in the region.

Currently, five states in the region are enjoying pump prices that are cheaper year-over-year: Oklahoma (-7 cents), Louisiana (-6 cents), Florida (-4 cents), Texas (-3 cents) and South Carolina (-1 cent).

Refinery utilization in the South and Southeast increased two percent as stocks built by nearly 2 million bbl on the week, according to EIA data. Total stocks sit at 83.7 million bbl, a level not seen for the region since the end of June. The large increase in stocks contributed to the large decreases in gas prices this past week.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region continue to pay some of the highest pump prices in the nation, with six of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.76) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.61), Washington ($3.36), Alaska ($3.27), Nevada ($3.20), Oregon ($3.18), and Arizona ($2.84). On the week, all prices in the region are lower. Hawaii (-8 cents), Washington (-5 cents) and California (-4 cents) saw the largest drops.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report for the week ending on November 16, showed West Coast gasoline stocks increased by 300,000 bbl to 26.9 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 1.3 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Rockies

For the first time since April, Idaho’s gas price average drops below $3/gal to $2.97. While all states are selling below the $3/gal mark, four continue to carry among the most expensive averages in the country:  Idaho ($2.97), Utah ($2.91), Montana ($2.86) and Wyoming ($2.86). On the week gas prices decreased as much as six cents in Colorado, five cents in Idaho, and as little as two cents in Wyoming.

With a draw of 130,000 bbl, stocks in the Rockies region fell to 6.8 million bbl. Coincidentally, stocks sit at a 130,000 bbl year-over-year surplus. Refinery utilization declined as well, according to the latest EIA data.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped $4.21 and settled at $50.42. Oil prices plunged to their lowest point since October 2017 last week as EIA reported that crude inventories continue to build. The latest EIA weekly petroleum report showed that crude inventories grew by 4.9 million bbl to 447 million bbl. Total domestic crude inventories have grown for nine consecutive weeks, contributing to the crude prices dropping further. If this week’s EIA report shows another build, crude prices will likely continue their descent.

Growth in global crude production, including in the U.S., combined with weaker than expected global crude demand for the fourth quarter of 2018 have contributed to growth in global crude inventories. Market observers will now watch OPEC closely, which may decide to reduce its total crude production at its meeting next month. If OPEC, along with Russia, decides to reduce production, crude prices will likely increase due to the agreement.

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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