Posts Tagged ‘Crude Oil Prices’

On the week, the average national gas price dropped by two cents to $2.71. This is less expensive than a week, a month (-4 cent) and a year (-15 cents) ago. Prices are cheaper as demand saw a small dip on the week, even though overall demand remains robust for the summer. 

“While gas prices continue to drop, the rate at which they are decreasing has slowed,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “On the week, most states saw cheaper pump prices of only a few pennies and motorists can expect this trend to continue into early August.”

Today, motorists can find gas for $2.75 or less at 65% of gas stations across the country. 

Quick Stats

• The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Florida (-17 cents), Alaska (-17 cents), Michigan (-14 cents), Illinois (-13 cents), Delaware (-12 cents), California (-10 cents), Kentucky (-9 cents), Arizona (-9 cents), Colorado (-9 cents) and Idaho (-9 cents).

• The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Louisiana ($2.33), Mississippi ($2.33), Alabama ($2.35), Arkansas ($2.37), South Carolina ($2.37), Oklahoma ($2.41), Tennessee ($2.43), Texas ($2.44), Missouri ($2.45) and Kansas ($2.46).

South and Southeast

Motorists in the South and Southeast saw some of the largest declines at the pump and all states in the region have cheaper gas prices on the week. In fact, four states land on the top 10 list of largest weekly changes: Florida (-7 cents), Georgia (-4 cents), Texas (-4 cents) and South Carolina (-3 cents). This is the second week in a row that Florida and South Carolina have appeared on the top 10 weekly changes list.

In the region, motorists are seeing savings year-over-year ranging from 19 to 28 cents cheaper. Those savings are likely to only increase as gas prices push less expensive moving into August.

Regional refinery utilization jumped to 93.5% and gasoline stocks saw a 857,000 bbl build, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data for the week ending Jul. 26. This was the only region in the country to see stocks increase for the EIA’s latest reporting period. Total stocks measure at 83.8 million bbl which is a 5.5 million bbl surplus compared to levels at the end of July. The region’s strong measurement of gasoline stocks is helping to push gas prices cheaper and this trend should continue as August typically yields high regional utilization and stock levels for the region.

Great Lakes and Central States

Ohio (+4 cents) and Indiana (+1 cent) were two of only five states in the country to see gas prices increase on the week. All other states in the Great Lakes and Central states region saw prices decrease on the week with Michigan (-10 cents) and Illinois (-9 cents) seeing the largest declines in the region and the country.

Pump prices are also trending cheaper compared to one month ago, with motorists in Michigan (-14 cents) seeing the largest monthly decrease in the region. Other Great Lakes and Central states with large month-over-month changes: Illinois (-13 cents), Kentucky (+9 cents) and Indiana (-6 cents). North Dakota (+6 cents) is this only state in the region with more expensive gas prices compared to a month ago.

For a second week, gasoline inventories dipped, and the draw was substantial at nearly one million bbl. The EIA also reports regional utilization declined from 99% to 95%. While pump prices pushed cheaper on the week, the lower stock and utilization levels could yield some price fluctuation in the week ahead.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are as much as three cents cheaper on the week for motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, though a small number of states – fewer than five – saw prices remain stable on the week. Tennessee saw the largest decline.

The region is one of two with states on both the top 10 most and least expensive averages list in the country this week. At $2.88, Washington, D.C. ranks as the 10th most expensive and Tennessee ($2.43) ranks as the 7th least expensive state average.

The EIA reports gasoline stocks held on the week at the 59 million bbl mark while regional refinery utilization fell a percentage point to 76%. Analysts anticipate gasoline stocks to increase in August due to gasoline imports, which would assist in keeping gas prices cheaper in the coming weeks.

Rockies

For the first time in a few months, motorists in Utah (+6 cents), Wyoming (+2 cents) and Montana (+1 cent) are paying more to fill-up. Meanwhile, Colorado (-2 cents) and Idaho (-1 cent) have slightly cheaper gas prices. With the price fluctuations, Utah ($2.91) and Idaho ($2.89) rank, respectively, as the eight and ninth most expensive gas averages in the country this week.

Regional refinery utilization remains above 100% for a second week while gasoline stocks saw a small draw to drop totals to 7.4 million bbl. This poises the region for cheaper gas prices, especially as demand is likely to drop along with the end of peak tourism season in the region.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are the highest in the nation, with most states in the region landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. California ($3.67) and Hawaii ($3.64) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.28), Nevada ($3.23), Oregon ($3.13) and Alaska ($3.08) follow. Arizona ($2.77) is the only state in the region to fall off the list. Most state averages in the region have decreased on the week, with Alaska (-5 cents) seeing the largest decline.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on July 26 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks sit at 32.3 million bbl, growing by approximately 300,000 bbl from the previous week. The current level is nearly 150,000 bbl higher than last year at this time, which could help prices stabilize if there is any disruption in supply or gas demand increases in the region this week.

 Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by $1.71 to settle at $55.66. Crude prices mostly decreased last week after President Trump announced new tariffs on imports from China, furthering a trade war between the world’s two largest economies and oil consumers. Market observers are concerned that increasing tariff costs will likely reduce global demand for crude oil. If the trade tensions between the countries continue to increase this week, crude prices will likely decline further.

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

Pump Prices Push Cheaper for Another Week

July 29th, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs

Today’s national average is $2.73. While this is two cents more expensive than on the same day last month, it is three cents cheaper than last week and 12-cents less expensive than a year ago.

“Gas prices this month are on average a dime less expensive than in July 2018. These less expensive gas prices have encouraged summer road trips as evidenced by robust demand numbers since May,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Right now, pump prices are poised to push even cheaper going into August.”

On the week, every state but Michigan saw gas prices trend less expensive. The majority of the top 10 states with the largest weekly declines saw gas prices move a nickel cheaper since last Monday.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Florida (-9 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents), Missouri (-5 cents), Iowa (-5 cents), Delaware (-5 cents), Kansas (-5 cents), South Carolina (-5 cents), Tennessee (-5 cents), Alaska (-5 cents) and Louisiana (-4 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.35), Louisiana ($2.36), Alabama ($2.38), Arkansas ($2.39), South Carolina ($2.40), Oklahoma ($2.42), Tennessee ($2.46), Texas ($2.48), Virginia ($2.48) and Kansas ($2.48).

South and Southeast

Gas prices are pushing cheaper across the South and Southeast. On the week, state averages are three to nine cents less: Florida (-9 cents) is seeing the largest decline followed by South Carolina (-5 cents) and Louisiana (-4 cents). These three states land on the top 10 list for the largest weekly decreases in the country.

New Mexico ($2.56) is the only state in the South and Southeast region to see cheaper gas prices on the week (-3 cents), month (-3 cents) and year (-18 cents). All other states in the region have cheaper averages on the week and the year. On the month, gas prices are as much as eight cents more expensive in these other states.

Energy Information Administration (EIA) data released last week shows that regional refinery utilization dropped for a second week, now down to 91%. Stocks dipped along with utilization, but overall levels remain close to the 83 million bbl mark. If utilization and stock levels continue to decline, the region could be poised to see some fluctuation in prices at the pump next month, especially as summer travel begins to slow and the school year begins.

 Great Lakes and Central States

With a four-cent increase, Michigan ($2.84) is the only state in the country to see gas prices increase on the week. In fact, four Great Lakes and Central states land on the top 10 list for largest weekly decreases in the country: Kentucky (-8 cents), Missouri (-5 cents), Iowa (-5 cents) and Kansas (-5 cents). In the region, gas prices range from $3.00 to $2.48.

Gas prices are declining as the region sees gasoline inventories remain robust at 50 million bbl and regional refinery utilization jumps to 99% – one of the highest rates in the country, per EIA data. While the region often sees volatility from week-to-week, should stock levels and utilization remain high, motorists can expect cheaper or stable gas prices in August.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, gas prices are cheaper or stable on the week. With a nickel decrease, both Delaware ($2.49) and Tennessee ($2.46) saw the largest pump price declines.

This week, Delaware holds the title for the state with not only the largest weekly decrease in the region but the largest year-over-year decline (-26 cents) and monthly change (-8 cents) too.

Gasoline stocks saw a build of just under a half a million bbl as regional refinery utilization jumped from 69% to 77%. The increasing utilization numbers are positive considering the recent fire and pending subsequent closure of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery in Philadelphia, which was the largest refinery on the East Coast. If utilization continues this positive trend, gas prices would likely follow suit pushing cheaper. However, August can tend to see higher volumes in terms of miles traveled in the region, which could cause some moderate spikes throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states next month. 

Rockies

Idaho ($2.90), Utah ($2.85) and Montana ($2.79) rank among the top 15 most expensive state gas price averages in the country, despite consistent weekly declines this summer. On the week, prices pushed cheaper for all states by one to three cents. Colorado ($2.64) and Wyoming ($2.72) saw the largest drop at the pump. 

While the majority of motorists in the country are not seeing cheaper gas prices month-over-month, that is not the case in the Rockies. Motorists are seeing mostly significantly less expensive prices compared to end of June: Utah (-14 cents), (Idaho (-11 cents), Colorado (-8 cents) and Wyoming (-7 cents). Motorists in Montana are only seeing a penny difference.

Regional refinery utilization blew past the 100% mark to hit 103%, according to the latest EIA report. With the latest build, gasoline stocks sit at 7.5 million bbl. This combination will continue to push prices cheaper for the region.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the nation, with most states in the region landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. California ($3.69) and Hawaii ($3.64) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.29), Nevada ($3.25), Alaska ($3.13) and Oregon ($3.15) follow. Arizona ($2.78) is the only state in the region to fall off the list. Most state averages in the region have decreased on the week, with Alaska (-5 cents) seeing the largest decline.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on July 19 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks sit at 32 million bbl, remaining unchanged from the previous week. The current level is almost 1.5 million bbl higher than last year at this time, which could help prices stabilize if there is any disruption in supply or gas demand increases in the region this week.

 Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 18 cents to settle at $56.20. Crude prices mostly increased last week after EIA’s weekly report showed that total domestic crude inventories fell by 10.8 million bbl. With OPEC continuing to reduce crude production, tighter domestic crude supplies could cause prices to continue to increase if demand tightens. Unresolved tension in the Middle East also contributed to price increases last week. Iran has not released the U.K.-flagged oil tanker it captured in the Strait of Hormuz. In response, the British Royal Navy announced that it would escort U.K.-flagged vessels in the region to protect against future attacks. If tensions continue to mount this week, crude prices will likely continue their ascent.

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.

 

Price Increases at the Pump Slowing Across the Country

July 22nd, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs

On the week, all but eight states saw gas price averages push cheaper or remain stable. At $2.76, the national gas price average is three cents less expensive than last Monday. This is the first time in four weeks that the national average has seen a weekly decline.

“Gasoline stocks remain robust amid a recent dip in demand, which could be one reason we are seeing pump prices starting to roll back,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “It is too soon to know if this is a long-term trend, but it is certainly a welcome relief for motorists.”

Today’s average is a dime more expensive than a month ago, but eight cents cheaper than a year ago.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Indiana (-15 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Illinois (-12 cents), Ohio (-11 cents), Kentucky (-5 cents), Delaware (-5 cents), Florida (+4 cents), West Virginia (+4 cents), Nebraska (-4 cents) and California (-3 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.39), Louisiana ($2.41), Alabama ($2.41), Arkansas ($2.43), South Carolina ($2.46), Oklahoma ($2.48), Tennessee ($2.52), Virginia ($2.52), Texas ($2.53) and Kansas ($2.54).

Great Lakes and Central States

Regional volatility continues to be a theme among the Great Lakes and Central States despite strong regional refinery utilization and strong gasoline stocks. On the week, Indiana (-15 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Illinois (-12 cents) and Ohio (-11 cents) rank as the top four states in the country with the largest declines at the pump and the only to see double-digit dips. Kentucky (-5 cents) and Nebraska (-4 cents) round out the top 10 largest weekly changes list in the region. While the past seven days brought mostly declines or stability at the pump for the majority of the region, two states saw slight price jumps: North Dakota (+2 cents) and Kansas (+1 cents).

For a third week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports regional refinery utilization at 97% and a small build – 328,000 bbl – in gasoline stocks. Total stocks measure at 50 million bbl, which is about 2.2 million bbl below levels a year ago. This year-over-year deficit could be contributing to some of the fluctuation in pump prices across the region. However, the overall stock level is strong and keeping most fluctuation moderate.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

States in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region saw pump prices push cheaper or more expensive by as much as a nickel. Two states land on the top 10 list for largest weekly changes: Delaware (-5 cents) and West Virginia (+4 cents).

While two states in the region land on the top 10 most expensive list – Pennsylvania ($2.92) and Connecticut ($2.89) – all state averages are under $3/gallon. While all state averages are cheaper than a year ago they are also more expensive – by as much as 17 cents – than a month ago.

The latest EIA data reports regional refinery utilization at a steady 69%, and despite the low utilization, stocks built by a little more than 250,000 bbl bringing levels to 59.5 million bbl. The last two weeks of gasoline stock builds, though small, are helping to keep gas prices mostly stable in the region.  

 

South and Southeast

Florida (+4 cents) and Texas (+2 cents) were the only states in the region to see jumps at the pump this week. All other states in the South and Southeast region saw pump prices trend cheaper by as much as three cents or remain stable.

Gas prices in the region rank among the top 21 cheapest in the country, with state averages ranging from $2.38 to $2.66. Within the region, motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 90% or more of gas stations in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Despite Hurricane Barry closing down some operations the week prior, the region added 2 million bbl of gasoline stocks to total 83.8 million bbl. EIA data also shows that regional refinery utilization dropped by a percentage point to 95%. The strong utilization and stock levels poise the region to see gas prices potentially decrease further at the pump in the coming week.

Rockies

State gas prices in the Rockies are cheaper or stable on the week, month and year with the exception of Montana. At 99%, the region holds the strongest refinery utilization rate in the country. This high rate combined with gasoline stocks at 7.4 million bbl continue to yield cheaper gas prices week-after-week for motorists in the region.

State Weekly Change Monthly Change Yearly Change
Utah ($2.87) -3 cents -18 cents -14 cents
Idaho ($2.92) -2 cents -14 cents -20 cents
Colorado ($2.67) -2 cents -7 cents -14 cents
Wyoming ($2.75) No change -6 cents -20 cents
Montana ($2.80) +1 cent -2 cents -13 cents

 

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are the highest in the nation, with most states in the region landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. California ($3.71) and Hawaii ($3.65) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.31), Nevada ($3.27), Alaska ($3.18) and Oregon ($3.17) follow. Arizona ($2.80) is the only state in the region to fall off the list. Most state averages in the region have decreased on the week, with California, Arizona, Alaska and Oregon seeing the largest declines at three cents each.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on July 12 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks grew by approximately 1 million bbl from the previous week and sit at 32 million bbl. The current level is almost 2 million bbl higher than last year at this time, which could help prices stabilize if there is any disruption in supply or gas demand surges in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 33 cents to settle at $55.63. Crude prices mostly declined last week after the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that it does not expect oil prices to rise significantly because demand is slowing and there is a glut in global crude markets. The IEA is reducing its 2019 oil demand growth forecast to 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.2 million bpd due to a slowing global economy amid the continuing U.S.-China trade dispute. Concerns over the current excess of oil in the crude market overshadowed concerns of increasing tension in the Middle East, following the United States announcing on Thursday that a U.S. Navy ship had “destroyed” an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz. However, Iran captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the region late on Friday, dramatically escalating tensions. If tension continues to mount, oil prices could spike this week in response to concerns that global supply flows may be disrupted.

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 Jumps Eight Cents in Two Weeks

July 15th, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs

The national gas price average is $2.79, which is an eight-cent increase since the beginning of July. Gas prices have increased amid more expensive crude oil prices, robust demand and decreasing gasoline stocks.

Since last Monday, 18 states have seen their gas price averages increase by at least a nickel. Hurricane Barry, which made landfall in Louisiana this past weekend, seems to have had little impact on the national average.

“Gas prices continue to increase for the majority of motorists east of the Mississippi,  while those filling up in the West Coast and Rockies regions are seeing a bit of a reprieve at the pump,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “While the national average is up, only seven states have gas price averages of $3/gallon or more. And notably, compared to the same time last year, the average is still eight cents cheaper.”

Today’s average is four cents more than last week and a dime more expensive compared to a month ago.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.40), Alabama ($2.42), Louisiana ($2.43), Arkansas ($2.43), South Carolina ($2.48), Oklahoma ($2.50), Texas ($2.50), Virginia ($2.51), Kansas ($2.52) and Tennessee ($2.53).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Indiana (+15 cents), Illinois (+14 cents), Missouri (+10 cents), Ohio (+10 cents), Oklahoma (+9 cents), Michigan (+8 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents), Nebraska (+7 cents), South Carolina (+7 cents) and Georgia (+7 cents).

Great Lakes and Central States

Seven of the top 10 states with the largest weekly increase in the country hail from the Great Lakes and Central states region: Indiana (+15 cents), Illinois (+14 cents), Missouri (+10 cents), Ohio (+10 cents), Michigan (+8 cents cents), Kentucky (+8 cents) and Nebraska (+7 cents). Among all states in the region, Kansas (+3 cents) saw the smallest jump in gas prices.

As regional refinery utilization holds strong at 97%, gasoline stocks stay intact at 49 million bbl, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. This has helped to keep gas price increases moderate (less than a nickel) for most of the region, which is accustomed to volatility throughout the year.

 South and Southeast

Gas prices jumped nearly a dime in the region with motorists in Oklahoma (+9 cents), South Carolina (+7 cents) and Georgia (+7 cents) seeing the largest increase. Meanwhile, Florida (-4 cents) was one of the only states east of the Mississippi to see gas prices decrease.   

Hurricane Barry had minimal impact on gas prices in the region. Louisiana’s state average increased only four-cents on the week, which is not atypical following a storm. The one refinery Barry forced to shut down is now in the restart process and other refineries that were in the storm’s path report few, if any, impacts on operations.

In EIA’s latest data, regional refinery utilization inches closer to 97%. Stocks took a significant 3 million bbl draw on the week. That drops total stocks to 81 million bbl, which is a low not seen in the region in eight weeks. This news, combined with Barry’s impact on regional rigs, means that another draw could be likely in the EIA’s next weekly reports and pump prices are likely to see fluctuations through the end of the month.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

States in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region are experiencing some of the lowest volatility in gas prices in the country, which may seem surprising considering the low utilization rates and gasoline stock levels. On the week, the majority of states saw gas price increases of three cents or less. The outliers were: Tennessee (+7 cents), Washington, D.C. (+5 cents), Virginia (+4 cents) and Connecticut (+4 cents). Surprisingly, Delaware saw a decrease, albeit it a penny.

Regional refinery utilization is now down to 69%. However, the EIA reports the region saw a build of 714,000 bbl in gasoline stocks to total levels at 59.2 million bbl. The build was a surprise, but good news for the region and will help to keep gas price volatility in check.

Rockies

With a four-cent price drop, Utah saw one of the largest decreases in the country on the week. Other states in the region saw pump price decreases of a few pennies, which keeps gas price averages all under $3/gal: Idaho ($2.94), Utah ($2.70) Montana ($2.79), Wyoming ($2.75) and Colorado ($2.69).

The region holds one of the strongest refinery utilization rates (97%) in the country which is helping to push prices cheaper this summer. On the week, gasoline stocks saw a small draw of 200,000 bbl to lower total stocks to 7.4 million bbl, per EIA data. Motorists are likely to see gas prices continue to sell under $3/gal through the end of summer in the region.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the nation, with most states in the region landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. California ($3.74) and Hawaii ($3.64) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.33), Nevada ($3.28), Alaska ($3.21) and Oregon ($3.20) follow. Arizona ($2.83) is the only state in the region to fall off the list. Of note, most state averages in the region have decreased on the week, with California and Arizona seeing the largest declines at two cents each.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on July 5 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks grew by approximately 500,000 bbl from the previous week and sit at 31 million bbl. The current level is about 200,000 bbl higher than last year at this time, which could help prices stabilize if there is any disruption in supply or gas demand surges in the region this week.

 Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by one cent to settle at $60.21. Crude prices increased last week as the market continues to worry about tensions in the Middle East, which could restrict global oil supply. If those concerns continue into this week, crude prices will likely continue to increase. Additionally, Hurricane Barry, temporarily halted 60 percent of all crude production in the Gulf of Mexico last week. As the storm subsides and floodwaters diminish, crude production will resume. As a result, crude stocks may tighten in the region and could cause prices to increase modestly.

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.

Summer Gas Prices Heating Up Across the Country

July 8th, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs

Gas prices are heating up alongside summer temperatures. In the last 15 days, state averages have jumped, pushing up the national average nearly a dime to $2.75. In addition to rising gasoline demand, 13 states this month have introduced new gas taxes that have contributed to the national average increase. Those states include California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont.

“The only motorists seeing relief at the pump are in a handful of states in the West Coast and Rockies regions where prices are trending cheaper, but still rank among the most expensive in the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The majority of motorists can expect more expensive gas prices throughout July, but the national average is still not likely to hit $3/gallon.”

Today’s average is four cents more than last week, but less than one cent cheaper than last month and 11 cents less expensive than a year ago.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Illinois (+14 cents), Florida (+13 cents), Ohio (+9 cents), Michigan (+7 cents), Georgia (+6 cents), Alabama (+6 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Texas (+5 cents), Maryland (+5 cents) and Tennessee (+5 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.34), Arkansas ($2.36), Louisiana ($2.38), Alabama ($2.39), South Carolina ($2.41), Oklahoma ($2.41), Missouri ($2.46), Tennessee ($2.46), Texas ($2.47) and Virginia ($2.47).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Despite very low regional refinery utilization, the majority of states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast saw gas prices increase no more than a nickel on the week. In Pennsylvania, the state’s gas price average dropped less than a penny on the week. This is a bit counterintuitive considering the Philadelphia Energy Solution (PES) refinery, the largest refinery on the East Coast, is scheduled to close this month. However, with a state average of $2.91, Pennsylvania ranks as the 10th most expensive average in the country.  

On the week, Maryland (+5 cents) and Tennessee (+5 cents) saw the largest increases at the pump in the region.

With the PES refinery moving towards closure, regional refinery utilization dropped to 73% and gasoline stocks drew by 2.3 million bbl. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) measures total regional gasoline stocks at 58.5 million bbl, an atypical level for this time of year and a low not seen since December 2017.

According to the EIA, the closure of the Philadelphia refinery would decrease the number of operating East Coast refineries to seven and would reduce (East Coast) gasoline supplies by approximately 160,000 b/d. Gas prices are likely to continue to increase for motorists in the region as retailers look to other options to make up for the deficit caused by the upcoming PES closure.

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices are pushing more expensive across the Great Lakes and Central states. Illinois (+14 cents), Ohio (+9 cents), Michigan (+7 cents) and Indiana (+5 cents) rank among the top 10 states with the largest weekly increases. Illinois tops the nationwide chart. Part of the increase can be attributed to new gas taxes that went into effect on July 4 in each of these states.

With the latest jumps, Illinois (+8 cents year over year) is one of only three states in the country to have more expensive gas prices than at the same time last year. Compared to a month ago, Ohio (+13 cents), Illinois (+11 cents) and Michigan (+8 cents) are among states nationwide with more expensive pump prices.

Regional refinery utilization jumped from 93% to 97% according to EIA’s data for the week ending June 28. However, gasoline stocks held at 49.2 million bbl. Should utilization continue to hold strong, it could help to balance stock levels and keep any future gas price fluctuations moderate.

Rockies

Motorists across the Rockies continue to pay less to fill-up at the pump. On the week, pump prices declined between one to four cents across the five states in the region. While the prices motorists are paying are still among the most expensive in the country, they are under $3/gallon: Idaho ($2.97), Utah ($2.94), Montana ($2.79) Wyoming ($2.76) and Colorado ($2.70). Idaho and Utah rank as the eighth and ninth, respectively, most expensive state averages in the country.

Refinery utilization and gasoline stocks remain at strong levels. Stocks had a small add to bump up to 7.6 million bbl, per EIA data. Motorists are likely to see gas prices continue to decrease amid strong utilization and healthy stock levels.

South and Southeast

In the region, four states saw gas prices jump by at least a nickel on the week: Florida (+13 cents), Georgia (+6 cents), Alabama (+6 cents) and Texas (+5 cents).

Notably, all regional state averages are cheaper year-over-year. New Mexico (+25 cents) and Arkansas (+24 cents) have the largest yearly change.

With the latest add, gasoline inventories measure at 84.6 million bbl as regional refinery utilization sits at 95% for the week ending June 28, per EIA data. Stocks could draw in coming weeks should the region be tapped to help make up for the declining stocks in the Northeast due to the pending shutdown of the PES refinery. However, pump prices would likely see only moderate fluctuations.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are the highest in the nation, with most states in the region landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. California ($3.76) and Hawaii ($3.63) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.34), Nevada ($3.29), Alaska ($3.22) and Oregon ($3.21) follow. Arizona ($2.85) is the only state in the region to fall off the list. Of note, most state averages in the region have decreased on the week, with Alaska (-3 cents) seeing the largest decline. California’s state average is the only to increase, by a penny, last week.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on June 28 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks decreased slightly by approximately 200,000 bbl from the previous week and sit at 30.5 million bbl. The current level is similar to levels at this time last year, which could help prices stabilize if there is any disruption in supply or gas demand surges in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 17 cents to settle at $57.51. Crude prices ended last week down from the previous week as global demand concerns continue to worry market observers as the U.S. and China continue to resolve their trade dispute. The fall in prices occurred despite EIA’s data showing that total domestic crude inventories fell by 1 million bbl to 468.5 million bbl. Moving into this week, if it appears that the U.S. and China are not closer to a trade resolution, crude prices could continue to decrease. However, if tension between the U.S. and Iran escalates, crude prices could surge amid market concerns of conflict in the Middle East, which could limit oil flows from the region.

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.

 

Gas Prices Jump a Nickel Ahead of Independence Day Holiday

July 1st, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs

Following weeks of steady pump price declines, gas prices are starting to increase across the country. On the week, a gallon of regular unleaded is, on average, a nickel more expensive with nearly 25 states seeing an increase of a nickel or more since last Monday.

“For the more than 41 million motorists hitting the road this week to celebrate the Independence Day holiday, they will find gas prices cheaper than Memorial Day weekend, but more expensive than they’ve been paying the last few weeks,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “It’s typical to see increases at the pump ahead of the holiday, but we may see prices continue to jump throughout the month due to refinery interruptions on the East Coast, increasing demand and fluctuations in crude oil price.”

Factors driving up gas prices:

  • Crude oil prices: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was priced as low as $51.13 in mid-June, but has since jumped more than $8 to land as high as $59.43. Crude accounts for as much as 60% of the retail gasoline price.
  • Supply: The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports total U.S. stocks at 232 million bbl for the week ending June 21, which is the lowest June stock level seen since 2015.
  • Demand: Demand remains robust for peak summer driving season at a four-week average of 9.6 million b/d. EIA reports gasoline stocks drew down for a second week in its latest report. This trend isn’t likely to stop this week, especially with 41.4 million Americans expected to hit the road for the Independence Day holiday.
  • Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES): Last week, PES announced that they will permanently close the South Philadelphia refinery this month, which is the oldest and largest refinery on the East Coast. The announcement came following a June fire and explosion at the refinery, which produces 335,000 barrels of crude per day (42 U.S. gallons per barrel). While gasoline stocks from Canada, neighboring refineries, and the Colonial Pipeline will help backfill supply, retailers will likely face increased transportation costs which will drive up prices in the Northeast and surrounding regions.
  • Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC): OPEC and its partners will meet today and tomorrow in Vienna and are likely to extend the current production reduction agreement of 1.2 million b/d through the end of the year, which could push crude oil prices more expensive.

Today’s national average is $2.71, which is a nickel more than last week, but 11 cents less than last month and 14 cents cheaper than a year ago.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: North Carolina (+13 cents), South Carolina (+13 cents), Indiana (+11 cents), Delaware (+11 cents), Florida (+11 cents), Georgia (+10 cents), Ohio (+9 cents), Maryland (+9 cents), Mississippi (+8 cents) and Michigan (+8 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.32), Alabama ($2.33), Louisiana ($2.34), Arkansas ($2.35), South Carolina ($2.37), Tennessee ($2.41), Missouri ($2.41), Texas ($2.42), Oklahoma ($2.42) and Virginia ($2.45).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Following the fire and subsequent announcement that the PES South Philadelphia refinery will close this month, Pennsylvania’s gas prices jumped seven cents on the week, but it was not the largest increase in the region. Gas price averages in North Carolina (+13 cents), Delaware (+11 cents) and Maryland (+9 cents) saw the largest weekly increases in the region and are among the top 10 increases in the country. While all states in the region saw prices increase, these four states saw prices increase a nickel or more in addition to the four previously mentioned: Tennessee (+6 cents), New Jersey (+6 cents), Maine (+6 cents) and New Hampshire (+5 cents). Gas prices are likely to continue to increase with the closure of PES.

Gas prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast range from $2.91 in Pennsylvania to $2.41 in Tennessee. Given current conditions, it would not be surprising to see Pennsylvania’s average flirt with the $3/gallon mark in coming weeks. 

With regional refinery dropping to 84%, due to the fire at PES, it’s no surprise that regional gasoline stocks drew by 1.2 million in EIA’s data for the week ending June 21. Total stocks sit at 60.8 million bbl – the lowest June inventory recorded for the region since 2015. This is likely to tighten further and drive gas prices moderately more expensive for the bulk of the region this month.

Great Lakes and Central States

Gas prices are more expensive for every state in the Great Lakes and Central states with the exception of the Dakotas (-1 cent). Indiana (+11 cents), Ohio (+9 cents) and Michigan (+8 cents) saw among the top 10 largest increases in the country on the week. With close proximity to Pennsylvania, these three states’ increases are likely due to the upcoming closure of the PES facility.

In addition, Ohio could see further increases this week due to the gas tax increase of 10.5 percent per gallon going into effect today, Monday, July 1; though it is likely that gas stations had already started to increase retail gas prices, due to the new tax.

Regional gasoline stocks have consistently built since mid-May, according to EIA data. The latest add of 340,000 bbl pushes total stocks to 49.2 million bbl while regional refinery utilization fell slightly (2%) to 93%.Though gasoline stocks sit at a robust measurement, motorists are likely to see gas prices increase – though moderate for most of the region – in the coming weeks, in part due to the PES closure and increasing crude oil prices.

Rockies

Skewing from the rest of the country, gas price averages in the Rockies decreased on the week: Utah (-6 cent), Idaho (-5 cents), Colorado (-2 cents), Wyoming (-2 cents) and Montana (-1 cent).

With the latest declines, the region’s averages are all $3/gallon or less with Idaho at the $3 mark and Utah at $2.98. Motorists in these two states and Colorado are saving double-digits a gallon to fill-up compared to last month: Idaho (-19 cents), Utah (-18 cents) and Colorado (-16 cents).

With regional refinery remaining strong at 99% and robust gasoline stocks sitting at 7.5 million bbl, per EIA data, gas prices are not likely to increase in the near future. One outlier that could drive up prices, though moderately, would be crude oil prices, which make up nearly 60 percent of the retail price.

South and Southeast

The majority of South and Southeast states – eight – saw gas prices increase seven cents or more in the last week. South Carolina (+13 cents) saw the largest increase in the region and tied with North Carolina for the largest weekly increase in the country. Only Arkansas (+4 cents) and New Mexico (+3 cents) saw modest weekly increases. The region continues to remain home to the cheapest state averages in the country: Mississippi ($2.32), Alabama ($2.33), Louisiana ($2.34), Arkansas ($2.35) and South Carolina ($2.37).

Gasoline inventories built by 215,000 bbl, to total regional levels at 83.6 million bbl Though regional refinery utilization jumped to 96% for the week ending June 21, stocks are poised to potentially draw in the weeks ahead as the region is likely to be tapped to help provide supply to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast to replace supply shortfall from the PES refinery. Motorists in the South and Southeast could, in turn, potentially see prices increase more this month.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the nation, with all seven states landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. California ($3.75) and Hawaii ($3.63) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.35), Nevada ($3.31), Alaska ($3.25), Oregon ($3.22) and Arizona ($2.88) follow. Of note, most state averages in the region have decreased on the week, with Alaska (-5 cents) seeing the largest decline. California’s average held steady, but more increases could be on the way since the state’s new gas tax of 5.6 cents goes into effect today.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on June 21 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks decreased slightly by 200,000 bbl from the previous week and sit at 30.8 million bbl. The current level is similar to levels at this time last year, which could help prices stabilize if there is any disruption in supply or gas demand surges in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped by 96 cents to settle at $58.47. Crude prices moved mostly higher last week following surprising new data from EIA that showed total domestic crude inventories took a surprisingly large draw of 12.8 million bbl last week. At 469.6 million bbl, crude inventories are almost 53 million bbl higher this year over last, but the dramatic decline has the market concerned that the global crude market is tightening.

Adding to those concerns, OPEC will likely announce this week that it and its partners, including Russia, will extend their 1.2 million b/d crude production reduction agreement for an additional six to nine months. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he had agreed with Saudi Arabia to extend existing output cuts until December 2019 or March 2020. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the deal would most likely be extended by nine months and no deeper reductions were needed. As crude prices climb due to the production cuts, American motorists should expect higher pump prices in the weeks ahead.

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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U.S. gasoline demand hit its highest level at 9.93 million b/d, for the week ending June 14. It is the highest level ever recorded since the Energy Information Administration (EIA) began publishing data in 1991. Counterintuitively, as motorists drive demand to new heights, pump prices pushed even cheaper across the country on the week. This is due to the recent trend in cheaper crude pricing and because crude comprises roughly 60% of the costs people pay at the pump, drivers are seeing summer savings. When compared to this time last year, domestic crude prices are cheaper by approximately $12 per barrel. Today’s national average is $2.66, which is two cents less than last week and 18 cents less than a month and year ago.

“Filling-up at the pump this summer could mean savings as much as a quarter a gallon,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Cheaper prices could entice motorists to travel more and even take some last minute road trips.”

At the end of last week, a massive fire took Philadelphia Energy Solution’s (PES) Philadelphia, the largest on the East Coast, offline, causing concern of what this could do to gas prices this summer. The incident will likely lead to reduced gasoline production at the refinery. However, gasoline from Canada, neighboring refineries, and the Colonial Pipeline are likely solutions to help backfill supply, meet demand and relieve any tightness in gasoline supplies as a result of reduced gasoline production at PES’ refinery and keep gas prices cheap throughout summer.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Indiana (-30 cents), California (-26 cents), South Carolina (-24 cents), Michigan (-23 cents), Oklahoma (-21 cents), Arizona (-21 cents), Mississippi (-21 cents), Maryland(-21 cents), Nebraska (-21 cents) and Delaware (-20 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.24), South Carolina ($2.24), Alabama ($2.26), Louisiana ($2.26), Arkansas ($2.31), Oklahoma ($2.34), Tennessee ($2.35), Texas ($2.35), Missouri ($2.37) and Virginia ($2.40).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

On the week, state gas price averages are as much as three cents cheaper with Virginia, New Jersey, and Rhode Island seeing the largest declines. Following the fire at Philadelphia Energy Solution’s Philadelphia refinery on Friday, a few states have seen slight increases on the week, albeit less than a penny. This includes Pennsylvania and West Virginia. As the smoke continues to clear at the refinery, it would not be surprising to see gas prices in Pennsylvania and other surrounding states continue to inch up this week. Industry experts speculate that as much as 150,000 b/d will be lost, though for how long is unclear. The good news is that the price hikes are likely to be short-lived due to replacement gasoline supplies from neighboring refineries, imports and the Gulf Coast.

New York ($2.84) ranks as the 10th most expensive state average in the country. At the same price, Pennsylvania ranks 11th, followed by Connecticut ($2.82) as 12th.

For the week ending June 14, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports inventories fell for a second week, by 1.3 million bbl, to total 62.1 million bbl. With the PES facility at reduced levels combined with unplanned maintenance at United Refining’s Warren, Pennsylvania, we can expect gasoline stocks and regional refinery utilization to decline in upcoming EIA report’s reports with moderate impacts to gas prices in the region.

Great Lakes and Central States

After appearing on the top 10 largest weekly declines list last Monday, Michigan ($2.69) and Ohio’s ($2.55) gas price averages jumped seven and six cents respectively, and are the only states in the country to see average increase. All other Great Lakes and Central States saw gas prices decrease up to six cents on the week. State gas price averages in the region range from $2.44 to $2.80.

Gasoline stocks in the region saw a moderate increase, according to EIA data, bumping up to 48.9 million bbl as regional refinery utilization took a huge leap – up 6% to total 96%. Utilization in the Great Lakes and Central States has not been this high since early January of this year and will likely keep any price movements moderate for the majority of the region.

Rockies

On the week, motorists are paying on average four cents less to fill-up: Utah (-5 cents), Idaho (-4 cents), Colorado (-4 cents), Montana (-3 cents) and Wyoming (-1 cent). Compared to a year and month ago, regional gas prices are up to 14 cents cheaper.

Motorists in the Rockies can expect to see gas prices continue to fall in the coming weeks with regional refinery utilization at nearly 100%. To boot, gasoline stocks already sit an extremely healthy level for this time of year at 7.6 million bbl, according to EIA data.

South and Southeast

Motorists in the South and Southeast are saving the most at the pump compared to last year with nine state averages sitting at 25 cents to 34 cents less per gallon to fill-up. Oklahoma is the exception at 22-cents less year-over-year. One the week, pump prices continued to push less expensive, dropping between one to 6 cents. Florida (-6 cents) saw the largest drop while these six states saw averages decline by three cents since last Monday: Alabama ($2.26), Arkansas ($2.31), New Mexico ($2.56), South Carolina ($2.24) and Texas ($2.35).

Gasoline inventories drew by 1 million bbl on the week, landing total stocks at 83.4 million bbl, one of the largest stock levels of the year. Stocks have the potential to draw further in the weeks ahead as the region may be tapped to help provide supply to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast following last Friday’s fire at Philadelphia Energy Solution. However, this support is not likely to cause gas prices in the South and Southeast to increase.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are the highest in the nation, with all seven states landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. California ($3.75) and Hawaii ($3.63) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.37), Nevada ($3.35), Alaska ($3.30), Oregon ($3.24) and Arizona ($2.92) follow. Of note, all state averages in the region have decreased on the week, with Alaska (-8 cents) and California (-6 cents) seeing the largest declines.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on June 14, showed that West Coast gasoline stocks increased slightly by 200,000 bbl from the previous week and sit at 31 million bbl. The current level is approximately 200,000 bbl more than last year’s level at this time, which could help suppress any price spikes if there is a supply disruption or gas demand surges in the region this week.

 Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 36 cents to settle at $57.43. Crude prices climbed as tension rises in the Middle East. On Friday, it was reported that the U.S. was very close to executing a military strike against Iran as a result of the White House’s belief that Iran was responsible for shooting down a U.S. drone in the region, as well as last week’s alleged attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. President Trump reportedly called off the strike minutes before it was to be engaged. Approximately 20% of global crude supplies flow through the Gulf of Oman. Moving into this week, if tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalate, the market will likely continue pushing global crude prices higher due to increased market fears that a military standoff between Iran and the U.S. could limit global supply and access to crude.

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.

 

It’s Nearly Summer, But Pump Prices Are Dropping Fast

June 17th, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs

The national average dropped six cents on the week, following a consistent downward trend since Memorial Day. The decline is unusual for this time of year. Pump prices usually trickle higher during the summer months due to increased demand. However, the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report reveals that total domestic gasoline inventories jumped a million bbl last week, helping to push pump prices lower. According to OPIS, strong production output and increased imports have helped gasoline storage levels grow consistently over the past four weeks.

“Growing gasoline inventories are contributing to relief at the pump as we head into summer,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA Spokesperson. “Current U.S. inventories sit at nearly 235 million bbl, which is helping to feed growing demand.”

According to the latest EIA report, gasoline demand reached 9.877 million b/d last week – the 6th highest weekly count on record. Current demand levels are on par with volumes seen this same time last year (9.879 million b/d). Today’s national average is $2.68, which is six cents cheaper than last week, 17 cents less than last month and 20 cents less than the same time last year.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Ohio (-29 cents), Michigan (-28 cents), Indiana (-26 cents), California (-23 cents), Mississippi (-21 cents), Kentucky (-21 cents), Illinois (-21 cents), Tennessee (-19 cents), North Carolina (-19 cents) and Oklahoma (-19 cents).

The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: California ($3.81), Hawaii ($3.64), Washington ($3.41), Nevada ($3.41), Alaska ($3.38), Oregon ($3.28), Idaho ($3.10), Utah ($3.09), Arizona ($2.97) and New York ($2.86).

Great Lakes and Central States

Gas prices dropped by 4 cents or more across most of the region, with Michigan (-12 cents), Illinois (-9 cents), Oklahoma (-9 cents) and Ohio (-7 cents) landing on the list of top 10 largest weekly declines.

Compared to last month, all motorists in the Great Lakes and Central states are seeing a cost savings at the pump. The states seeing the largest drops are: Ohio (-29 cents), Michigan (-28 cents), Indiana (-26 cents), Kentucky (-21 cents), Illinois (-20 cents), Tennessee (-19 cents) and Oklahoma (-19 cents).

On the week, regional gasoline inventories built by 200,000 bbl to register at 48.3 million bbl. Refinery production has also been strong in the region, with operating rates increasing 4% on the week to reach a total of 88%.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

While prices have dropped on the week, some states are still paying high prices at the pump. New York ($2.86), Connecticut ($2.85), Pennsylvania (2.84) and Washington D.C. ($2.80) all land on the top 15 list of most expensive prices in the country. Within the region, gas prices range from $2.86 in New York to $2.43 in Virginia. 

Last week, east coast gasoline inventories dropped 1.6 million bbl. United Refining also shut down its 70,000-b/d refinery in Warren, Pennsylvania, for unplanned maintenance. United reports that operations should return to normal within a week, however the downtime could impact supply in parts of southwestern New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.

Rockies

Prices have fallen across the region between 2 to 5 cents on the week. Despite the declines, Idaho ($3.10) and Utah (3.09) both land on the top 10 list of most expensive states in the country. At $2.78, Colorado carries the cheapest average in the region.

The latest EIA report shows that gasoline inventories in the region increased 5% to 7.6 million bbl. The increase can likely be attributed to strong production. The refinery utilization rate in the region hit 100% last week.

South and Southeast

Prices in the region continued to move down on the week. Drivers in the Southeast saw some of the largest regional discounts, with Florida (-9 cents), South Carolina (-8 cents) and North Carolina (-7 cents) all landing on the top 10 list of largest weekly declines. Texas (-31 cents), Mississippi (-31 cents), Louisiana (-31 cents), Georgia (-28 cents), Alabama (-28 cents) and Arkansas (-28 cents) all land on the list of top 10 largest yearly declines.

According to the latest EIA report, gasoline inventories in the gulf coast grew 1.7 million-bbl on the week.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the nation, with all seven states landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. California ($3.81) and Hawaii ($3.64) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.41), Nevada ($3.41), Alaska ($3.38), Oregon ($3.28) and Arizona ($2.97) follow. Pump prices in the region have mostly decreased on the week, with Arizona (-6 cents) seeing the largest drop.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on June 7 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks increased slightly by 90,000 bbl from the previous week and sit at 30.8 million bbl. The current level is 700,000 bbl less than last year’s level at this time, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply disruption or gas demand surges in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 23 cents to settle at $52.51. Crude prices increased late last week as a result of an attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. This attack heightened market fears that rising tensions could continue in the Middle East and negatively impact crude oil availability. Approximately 20% of global crude supplies flow through the waterway. The Trump Administration attributed the attack to Iran, however, the country denies the accusation. If tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalate, the market will likely continue pushing global crude prices higher.

Before market fears increased, the price of crude hit its lowest point in six months last week. The drop in crude oil prices was supported by EIA revealing that total domestic crude inventories grew again by 2.2 million bbl and now sit at 485.5 million bbl. The current level is 53 million bbl higher than last year’s level at this time. An oversupply of crude has increased concerns that the market has a glut of oil – even as U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have worked to reduce global supply. Moreover, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduced their global oil demand outlook for the remainder of 2019 to 1.14 million b/d – down 70,000 barrels b/d from OPEC’s previous demand forecast due to reduced global trade as a result of tensions between the U.S., China, and Mexico. At its upcoming meeting on June 25-26, the cartel and its partners are expected to extend the current agreement to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day through the end of 2019. Reduced global supply, amid robust demand, could increase crude prices in the latter half of the 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.

Nearly every state’s gas price average is cheaper than a week ago, a month ago and a year ago. Today’s national average is $2.74, which is seven-cents cheaper than last week, 13-cents less than a month ago and 18 cents cheaper than a year ago.

“Refinery utilization in the United States is at its highest level since early January, resulting in overall gasoline stocks at healthy levels to meet robust summer demand. Prices are dropping due to cheaper crude oil and at the same time U.S. supply is keeping pace with demand,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The national average is poised to fall to at least $2.70 this week – an indication that pump prices may be even cheaper this summer.”

For the last three weeks demand has remained relatively robust at 9.4 million b/d. Meanwhile, gasoline stocks have increased weekly with total inventories at nearly 4 million bbl ahead of the five-year average, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Ohio (-21 cents), Indiana (-17 cents), Michigan (-15 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), Kentucky (-10 cents), Oklahoma (-9 cents), Maine (-8 cents), Wisconsin (-8 cents), Nebraska (-8 cents) and South Carolina (-7 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.32), Louisiana ($2.35), Alabama ($2.35), South Carolina ($2.36), Arkansas ($2.40), Texas ($2.41), Tennessee ($2.42), Oklahoma ($2.46), Missouri ($2.48) and Virginia ($2.49).  

Great Lakes and Central States

On the week, the top five states in the country with the largest declines hail from the Great Lakes and Central region: Ohio (-21 cents), Indiana (-17 cents), Michigan (-15 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), and Kentucky (-10 cents). Joining these five to round out the top 10 list are Wisconsin and Nebraska with eight-cent declines at the pump. Gas prices are cheaper across the region and range from $2.89 in Illinois – which is the 13th most expensive state average in the country – to $2.49 in Missouri, which is the ninth cheapest state average in the country.

Gas prices dropped alongside a build in gasoline stocks. According to EIA data the region saw inventory build by 300,000 bbl to total 48.1 million bbl, which is below the five-year average of 50.8 million. Refinery utilization slid back a percent to 83% and is the lowest utilization rate for the week ending May 31 among all five regions in the country. Despite the deficit in stocks and low refinery utilization rate, gas prices are expected to remain stable; though during the summer, some states may see weekly spikes – declines or increases – due to the typical volatility in the region.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

A number of states from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast appear on the top 10 list for largest changes for the week, month and year:

  • Weekly: Maine (-8 cents)
  • Monthly: North Carolina (-17 cents), Tennessee (-16 cents) and Delaware (-16 cents)
  • Yearly: Delaware (-26 cents), Tennessee (-25 cents) and New Hampshire (-25 cents)

Driving through the region, motorists will find gas prices on average at $2.65 with the most expensive at $2.89 in Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut. The cheapest price is $2.42 in Tennessee.

Gas price declines this week were supported by a sizeable build in gasoline stocks – nearly 1.9 million bbl, bumping total inventories to 65.1 million bbl. In addition, regional utilization pushed up for a second week to nearly 94%. These moves will help to keep gas prices stable, but more likely will push them cheaper in the month ahead.

Rockies

Gas prices are cheaper on the week across the Rockies with the region seeing among the smallest weekly changes in the country. Motorists in Wyoming ($2.85) saw no change at the pump, while those in Utah ($3.13), Colorado ($2.82), Montana ($2.87) and Idaho ($3.15) are paying 2 to 4 cents less a gallon to fill-up.

Compared to last month, gas prices are cheaper in Utah, Colorado and Idaho by as much as four cents. Conversely, they are more expensive only in Montana (+1 cent) and Wyoming (+8 cents).

The region is poised to see gas prices continue to decline. The EIA reports that regional refinery utilization is at 99% – the highest of any in the country. As utilization jumped so did stocks – by half a million bbl for the week ending May 31. Total stocks measure at 7.2 million bbl, which is a very healthy level compared to last summer, which mostly saw stocks hover at, but mostly below the 7-million bbl mark.

South and Southeast

Florida (+2 cents) was the only state in the region and country to see gas prices increase on the week. Meanwhile, seven South and Southeast states saw pump prices drop a nickel or more since last Monday: Oklahoma (-9 cents), South Carolina (-7 cents), Texas (-7 cents), Mississippi (-7 cents), Arkansas (-6 cents), Georgia (-6 cents) and New Mexico (-5 cents).

As the region continues to carry among the cheapest gas price averages in the country, every state’s average is cheaper by at least a dime compared to last month. The region also touts some of the largest monthly decreases in the country. Georgia (-18 cents), Texas (-17 cents), Louisiana (-15 cents), (Florida (-15 cents) and South Carolina (-15 cents) rank among the top 10 states with the biggest change in pump prices compared to last month.

As refinery utilization held steady on the week, regional stocks drew by 1.8 million bbl and dropped total stocks to 82.8 million bbl. While the draw was large, inventories sit ahead of this time last year and are the largest level for this time of year (early June) on record for the region, per EIA data. Motorists in the region can expect to see even cheaper gas prices throughout the summer.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are the highest in the nation, with all seven states landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. California ($3.88) and Hawaii ($3.64) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.46), Alaska ($3.44), Nevada ($3.45), Oregon ($3.33) and Arizona ($3.07) follow. Pump prices in the region have mostly decreased on the week, with Oregon (-7 cents) seeing the largest drop.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on May 31 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks increased by approximately 2.4 million bbl from the previous week and now sit at 30.8 million bbl. The current level is only 300,000 bbl less than last year’s level at this time, which could cause prices to decline further if there are no supply disruptions in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by $1.40 to settle at $53.99. Crude prices increased on Friday after Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told an audience at a conference in Russia that OPEC and its partners are close to an agreement to extend their current 1.2-million b/d production reduction pact through the end of 2019. The cartel is expected to formally announce its decision at its upcoming meeting in Vienna on June 25 and 26.

The price increase followed a week of losses for crude due to EIA’s weekly petroleum status report showing that total domestic crude inventories rose by 6.8 million bbl last week. At 483.3 million bbl, the current level is 46.7 million bbl higher than last year’s level at this time. An oversupply of crude has increased concerns that the market has a glut of oil – even as U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have worked to reduce global supply. Market observers will await OPEC’s meeting to determine how much global crude supplies may tighten further. If the glut persists, crude prices will likely continue to descend.

In related news, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. lost 11 oilrigs last week, bringing the total of active rigs to 789. There are 73 fewer oilrigs now than at this time last year.

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

 

AAA Forecasts Summer National Gas Price Average to Drop to $2.70

Price at which 50% of consumers consider gas price to be too high (2016 – 2019), per AAA’s Annual Gas Price
2016 2017 2018 2019
$2.50 $2.80 $2.70 $3.00

“For consumers today, paying more to fill-up their gas tank may feel less shocking due to the national average pushing within pennies of $3/gallon the last two spring seasons,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.  “However, there is good news for consumers this summer – the highest prices of the year could be in the rearview mirror. With most refineries operating at normal levels, demand at robust rates, and cheaper crude oil prices, summer gas prices are poised to be a little less than last year –dropping as much as a dime to lower the national average to $2.70.”

Even with Americans being more tolerant of higher gas prices, you can still expect 74% of Americans to make lifestyle changes to offset increased pump prices. Of those, nearly a quarter (24 percent) say $2.75 – a price consumers will see for sure at the pump this summer — as the price that would push them toward changing habits or choices, including:

  1. Combining errands or trips – 65% (down from 79% in 2018)
  2. Driving less – 60% (down from 73% in 2018)
  3. Reducing shopping or dining out – 49% (down from 61% in 2018)
  4. Delaying major purchases – 43% (down from 50% in 2018)
  5. Driving a more fuel efficient vehicle – 35% (down from 46% in 2018)

Crude + Demand Factors

This year, the most expensive West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices, which AAA tracks to understand impact on pump prices, have ranged between $65 and $66/bbl. Most recently WTI crude fell as low as $53/bbl. That is cheaper than last summer when prices ranged between $65 and $73 per barrel – with most daily prices hovering just under $70 per barrel. Historically, crude oil prices and domestic gasoline demand have determined the price Americans pay at the pump in the summer months. And, that’s no different this summer.

Crude Analysis: The International Energy Agency noted in its May 2019 Oil Markets Report that global crude supply decreased as a result of reduced exports from Canada, Iran and other major crude exporters. If the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners, including Russia, decide to extend their current production reduction agreement of 1.2 million b/d through the end of 2019, that would further tighten the global crude market.  OPEC extending its agreement will also likely lead to increased crude prices that would increase the price of gasoline around the world. It could also entice U.S. crude producers to export more crude, which could tighten supplies in the U.S. and raise retail prices at home. OPEC and its partners will meet on June 25 and 26 in Vienna, where they are expected to announce if the agreement will remain in effect.

Demand Forecast: For domestic gasoline demand, summer 2019 has been forecasted to reach some of the highest levels on record in the U.S. Meanwhile, domestic gasoline stocks are at their lowest level going into June since 2016. If demand rises while gasoline stocks remain low, pump prices could see modest increases, especially if supply is tight in local markets. On the other hand, gas demand could fall, as we’ve seen in recent weeks due to inclement weather from the Rockies to the Midwest and South. Moreover, the added threat of a major hurricane making landfall could also impact demand, which could suppress pump prices.

In its 2019 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center said that warmer-than-average sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, ongoing El Nino conditions, and an enhanced West African monsoon could produce nine to 15 named storms – including four to eight hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. The mere threat of a hurricane, especially one that threatens the shutdown of Gulf Coast refineries, can dramatically impact the price of crude and gasoline until normal operations resume.

“The price of crude is a driving factor when it comes to retail gasoline prices, accounting for nearly 60% of the price motorists see at the pump year-round. While crude prices have been cheaper this year, AAA is monitoring a number of circumstances that could cause crude oil market prices to increase. This includes reductions in global and domestic crude supply, exports, and U.S. gasoline demand.”

As Americans settle into summer, many outliers could pave the way for unexpected price bumps, so stayed tuned. Motorists can always find the latest national and state gas price averages and trends at GasPrices.AAA.com.

About AAA: AAA provides more than 59 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 34 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.

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