Posts Tagged ‘Gas Price Commentary’

Pump prices on the West Coast increased as much as 20 cents this past week, driving the national average up nearly 10 cents to $2.83 on the week. As stocks tighten out West due to unplanned and planned maintenance, California’s average jumped to $4.00, the most expensive state average this week and a price point not seen in the Golden State since July 2014.

“We are seeing very expensive gas prices for this time of year across the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Motorists are seeing prices increase as gasoline stocks decreased substantially by 7.7 million bbl amid summer-like demand readings.”

Today’s national average is 3 cents more than last month and 12 cents more than a year ago.

Quick stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: California (+20 cents), Nevada (+18 cents), Missouri (+13 cents), Oregon (+12 cents), Alaska (+12 cents), Washington (+12 cents), Utah (+12 cents), Colorado (+12 cents), Idaho (+11 cents) and Kansas (+11 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.50), Mississippi ($2.51), Arkansas ($2.52), South Carolina ($2.52), Louisiana ($2.54), Texas ($2.57), Virginia ($2.57), Oklahoma ($2.59), New Hampshire ($2.59) and Missouri ($2.60).

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying 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 ($4.00) and Hawaii ($3.55) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.39), Oregon ($3.28), Nevada ($3.26), Alaska ($3.15) and Arizona ($2.97) follow. All prices in the region have increased on the week, with California (+20 cents) and Nevada (+18 cents) seeing the largest increases in the region and country.

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) recent weekly report, for the week ending on April 5, showed that West Coast gasoline stocks fell for a fourth consecutive week by nearly 2 million bbl from the previous week and now sit at 29.04 million bbl. Ongoing planned and unplanned refinery maintenance throughout the region continues to shrink stocks. Total levels are approximately 2.4 million bbl lower than this time last year and could fall further this week depending on refinery maintenance turnaround.

Rockies

Gas prices are 6 to 12 cents more expensive on the week in the Rockies with three states landing on the top 10 list of largest weekly jumps: Utah (+12 cents), Colorado (+11 cents) and Idaho (+11 cents). With the increases, Idaho ($2.75) carries the most expensive average in the region, but ranks as the 24th most expensive in the country. At $2.61, Utah and Wyoming carry the cheapest average in the region.

Compared to a month ago, state averages in the region are as much as 30-cents or more expensive: Idaho (+36 cents), Colorado (+34 cents), Montana (+31 cents), Utah (+30 cents), and Wyoming (+30 cents). However, compared to a year ago Utah and Idaho have cheaper averages.

Looking at the latest EIA report on refinery utilization and gasoline stocks, it’s likely that motorists in the region will continue to see gas prices increase. Regional stocks drew 235,000 bbl as regional refinery utilization dropped 90.5 percent to 83.6 percent. At 6.7 million bbl, gasoline stocks are at their lowest level of the year and lowest point since October 2018.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

As the region sees gasoline stocks tighten on the week, a handful of Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw significant increases at the pump: Pennsylvania (+9 cents), Tennessee (+8 cents), Rhode Island (+7 cents) and Connecticut  (+7 cents). With this past week’s increases Pennsylvania ($2.97) and Washington, D.C. ($2.92) inch closer to the $3/gallon mark and are on the top list for most expensive averages in the country.

Year-over-year, most states in the region have more expensive gas price averages except for Maine (-3 cents), New Hampshire (-1 cent) and Rhode Island (-1 cent). Whereas Delaware ($2.60) and Massachusetts ($2.65) have the same price compared to this time last year.

With a 3.2 million bbl draw, the region saw the largest of any in the country for the week ending April 5, according to EIA data. Total stocks now sit at 60.2 million bbl, which is the lowest level of the year, but on par with levels this time last year. Regional refinery utilization remains at 79 percent, but that is expected to increase throughout this month.

Great Lakes and Central States

With a dime or more increase, Missouri (+12 cents) and Kansas (+10 cents) had the largest one week increases among all Great Lakes and Central states and also both land on the top 10 list for largest weekly increases in the country. Within the region, gas prices range from $2.94 in Illinois to $2.60 in Missouri. 

Gasoline stocks have been consistently tightening in the Great Lakes and Central States since last January. At that time stocks measured at 61.5 million bbl, but the latest EIA report shows total levels today at 52.2 million bbl. This – as well as regional refinery maintenance and the switchover to summer blend gasoline – have caused pump prices to jump as much as 43-cents in the last month in the region.

South and Southeast

The South and Southeast remain home to the cheapest gas price averages in the country with seven landing on the top 10 list this week: Alabama ($2.50), Mississippi ($2.51), Arkansas ($2.52), South Carolina ($2.52), Louisiana ($2.54), Texas ($2.57) and Oklahoma ($2.59).

On the week, these states had the largest increase in pump prices in the region: Texas (+8 cents), Oklahoma (+8 cents), Louisiana (+8 cents), New Mexico (+7 cents), Florida (+7 cents) and Arkansas (+7 cents).

Gasoline stocks have been steadily declining since the beginning of February. According to EIA data, stocks have dropped from 90 million bbl on Feb 8, to 80.7 million bbl today. Compared to a year ago, stocks are only at a one million bbl deficit.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 31 cents to settle at $63.89. Oil prices increased last week, and will likely continue their ascent this week, as a weaker dollar helped to push crude prices up because of the increased number of dollars needed to purchase crude on the global market. Another contributing factor to the price jumps came from reports that there was a 534,000-b/d decline in crude production by OPEC members in March, led by Saudi Arabia cutting back by 324,000 b/d. The news underscores that OPEC and its partners are making reductions in service consistent with their 1.2 million b/d production reduction agreement, which is in place through June. OPEC has announced that it will not meet in April to discuss the pact; instead, it will meet on June 25 and 26 and may announce a decision to end or extend its agreement at that time.

In related news, EIA data revealed that total domestic crude inventories grew by 7 million bbl to 456.6.5 million bbl. Additionally, Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the U.S. gained two oilrigs last week, bringing the total to 833. When compared to last year at this time, there are 18 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.

National Gasoline Average Jumps a Nickel on the Week

April 8th, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs


At $2.74, the national gas price average increased a nickel on the week and is eight cents more than last year at this time. And compared to one month ago, gas prices are 28 cents more expensive. As demand holds steady and inventories continue to tighten, motorists continue to see gas prices increase in every region.

“Gas prices are increasing across the country, but these changes vary by region,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “On the week, motorists in the West Coast, Rockies, Great Lakes and Central regions are seeing some of the largest weekly increases while prices mostly east of the Mississippi have made more moderate jumps.”

As overall refinery utilization stands at 86% compared to 93% last year at this time, unexpected and planned maintenance continues to be one of the leading factors in why gas prices have continued to trend more expensive.

Quick stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: California (+18 cents), Arizona (+15 cents), Alaska (+14 cents), Oregon (+11 cents), Washington (+11 cents), Montana (+10 cents), Nevada (+9 cents), North Carolina (+9 cents), West Virginia (+9 cents) and Ohio (+9 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.44), Alabama ($2.44), Arkansas ($2.44), Louisiana ($2.45), South Carolina ($2.47), Missouri ($2.47), Texas ($2.48), Utah ($2.49), Virginia ($2.51) and Oklahoma ($2.51).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are the highest in the nation, with all of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. California ($3.80) and Hawaii ($3.51) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.27), Oregon ($3.16), Nevada ($3.07), Alaska ($3.03) and Arizona ($2.88) follow. All prices in the region have increased on the week, with California (+18 cents) and Arizona (+15 cents) seeing the largest increases in the region and country.

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) recent weekly report, for the week ending on March 29, showed that West Coast gasoline stocks fell slightly by 70,000 bbl from the previous week and now sit at 30.96 million bbl. Ongoing planned and unplanned refinery maintenance throughout the region, including at Valero’s 149,000-b/d refinery in Benicia, CA, have reduced stock levels in the region amid reports of HollyFrontier’s 100,000-b/d Navajo Refinery in New Mexico contributing to gasoline shortages in Arizona. Stocks are approximately 1.5 million bbl lower than this time last year and could fall further this week depending on refinery maintenance turnaround.

Rockies

Pump prices have made a more noticeable uptick throughout the Rockies region on the week: Montana (+10 cents), Utah (+8 cents), Idaho (+7 cents), Colorado (+5 cents) and Wyoming (+4 cents). Even with these increases, Utah ($2.49) continues to hold a spot on the top 10 list of lowest state averages. 

Compared to previous winters, the region saw mostly cheap gas price averages among adequate stock levels However, since the end of February stocks have decreased from 7.7 million bbl to 7 million bbl, per EIA. This squeeze will likely continue to contribute to jumps at the pump. Currently, the region sits at a 900,000 bbl year-over-year deficit. If stocks do not build, motorists filling up in the region can expect an expensive spring and summer with prices potentially hitting the $3/gal mark again.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The majority of states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region continue to see moderate weekly prices jumps. On the week, 9 of the 14 states had just one to three cents increases. However, a few state averages did jump more than a nickel this past week: North Carolina (+9 cents), West Virginia (+9 cents) and Pennsylvania (+7 cents).

Gas prices in the region range from $2.50 to $2.88. Among the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, three carry gas prices that are a quarter or less from hitting the $3/mark and rank among the top 15 states with the largest averages today: Pennsylvania ($2.88), Washington, D.C. ($2.86) and New York ($2.76). At $2.74, Connecticut is trending this way too.

Gasoline stocks drew just under 1 million bbl, according to EIA’s latest report. Levels measure at 63.5 million bbl, which is a 6 million bbl year-over-year surplus. That stock number has the potential to grow considering regional refinery utilization has been steadily rising since the beginning of March, jumping from 67.7% to 79%. However, should spring and summer demand rapidly increase, stock levels would chip away at the surplus and would likely cause more expensive pump prices.

Great Lakes and Central States

On the week, Ohio (+9 cents), Indiana (+7 cents) and South Dakota (+6 cents) saw the largest increase in the Great Lakes and Central states at more than a nickel. Meanwhile on the week, Missouri ($2.47) saw prices hold steady while Illinois ($2.87) ranks among the top 10 states with the highest averages in the country.

Compared to last month, gas prices are now nearly a quarter or more expensive for all states across the region. Illinois (+34 cents), Kentucky (+33 cents), Ohio (+32 cents), Wisconsin (+31 cents) and Indiana (+30 cents) carry among the top 10 largest monthly difference in gas prices of all states.

The latest EIA report shows stocks have steadily declined since mid-February in the region. With the latest 1 million bbl draw, stock levels have dropped to a new low for the year at 53.8 million bbl. Furthermore, EIA reports regional refinery utilization for the week ending March 29 is down three percentage points from the week prior. This could cause stocks to decrease even further in next week’s report and has the potential to cause jumps at the pump in coming weeks.

South and Southeast

All states in the region, with the exception of New Mexico (-4 cents), have more expensive gas prices compared to a year ago: Oklahoma (+10 cents), Florida (+9 cents), Arkansas (+6 cents) and Texas (+5 cents) carry the largest yearly differences.

At the start of the work week, gas price averages in the South and Southeast range from $2.70 in Florida to $2.44 in Mississippi. Oklahoma ($2.51) had the largest increase in the region at six cents while Florida (-3 cents) was the only state in the country to see prices decrease.

The South and Southeast region was the only one to see gasoline stocks build on the week with the addition of 605,000 bbl. The increase pushes total stock levels just above the 81 million bbl mark. Stocks are likely to decrease in spring and summer due to demand, pushing pump prices higher.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 98 cents to settle at $63.08. Oil prices climbed last week following strong U.S. economic data that reduced fears of a drop in global crude demand later this year. Moreover, escalating military actions in Libya – a major global crude producer and exporter – supported crude price increases amid concerns that crude exports from the country could be affected by the tension. Oil prices could climb even further this week as OPEC’s 1.2 million b/d production reduction agreement remains in place through June and the U.S. tightens its crude export sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.

In related news, EIA data revealed that total domestic crude inventories grew by 7.2 million bbl to 449.5 million bbl. Additionally, Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the U.S. gained 15 oilrigs last week, bringing the total to 831. When compared to last year at this time, there are 23 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 national gas price average has increased 44-cents since New Year’s Day, landing today’s average at $2.69. While that is seven-cents more expensive than last week and 27-cents more than last month, it is only four cents more expensive than last year. 

“Three months ago motorists could find gas for less than $2.50 at 78 percent of gas stations. Today, you can only find gas for that price at one-third of stations, which is likely giving sticker shock to motorists across the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Gasoline stocks have been steadily decreasing since early February causing spikes at the pump that are likely to continue for the coming weeks.” 

On the week, 26 states saw gas prices increase a nickel or more with states in the West Coast, Great Lakes and Central region seeing the largest jumps. Despite the latest weekly increases, nearly two dozen states still have cheaper year-over-year averages.

Quick stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Florida (+13 cents), California (+12 cents), Indiana (+11 cents), Georgia (+11 cents), Idaho (+9 cents), Kentucky (+9 cents), Washington (+9 cents), Oregon (+8 cents), Nevada (+8 cents) and Ohio (+8 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: California ($3.61), Hawaii ($3.45), Washington ($3.16), Oregon ($3.05), Nevada ($2.98), Alaska ($2.89), Washington, D.C. ($2.83), Illinois ($2.82), Pennsylvania ($2.80) and Michigan ($2.76). 

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the nation, with most of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. California ($3.61) and Hawaii ($3.45) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.16), Oregon ($3.05), Nevada ($2.98) and Alaska ($2.89) follow. Arizona ($2.73) is the only state in the region that is not on the 10 most expensive markets list. All prices in the region have increased on the week, with California (+12 cents) and Washington (+9 cents) seeing the largest increases.

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) recent weekly report, for the week ending on March 22, showed that West Coast gasoline stocks fell by 200,000 bbl from the previous week and now sit at 31.1 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 1.5 million bbl lower than this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Great Lakes and Central States

On the week, Indiana (+11 cents) was the only state in the region to see double-digit increases, with Kentucky (+9 cents), Ohio (+8 cents) and Illinois (+8 cents) just a few pennies away from that mark. Missouri ($2.47) was the only state in the region to see gas prices hold steady while Iowa (+2 cents) saw the smallest increase.

With this week’s pump jumps, the Great Lakes and Central region is the only region where all states have more expensive year-over-year gas prices. Wisconsin (+15 cents) and Illinois (+11 cents) carry the largest differences in gas prices in the region compared to a year ago.

Regional gasoline stocks continue to tighten with a 919,000 bbl draw, dropping totals for the region to a new low for the year: 54.8 million bbl. According to EIA data, stocks have not measured this low since the end of 2018. While levels are in line with the five-year average they are below the year-ago level of 58 million bbl. 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

New Jersey (+2 cents), West Virginia (+1 cent) and Tennessee (+1 cent) are the only states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region to have more expensive gas prices year-over-year. Delaware (-10 cents), Maine (-7 cents) and Pennsylvania (-6 cents) carry the largest year-over-year difference.

The region saw moderate fluctuations on the week with eight states appearing on the top 10 list with the smallest change. Those states saw prices either hold steady or increase by up to two pennies: Delaware (no change), Maryland (no change), West Virginia (+1 cent), Pennsylvania (+1 cent), Maine (+1 cent), Rhode Island (+1 cent), Washington, D.C. (+1 cent) and North Carolina (+2 cents).

For a second week, the region was the only to see gas stocks build on the week. More so, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region is the only one to have a year-over-year surplus of stocks – (8.2 million surplus). With this week’s build of 572,000 bbl, total stocks sit at 64.5 million bbl according to EIA data.

South and Southeast

Pump prices are more expensive in every state in the region on the week. Florida (+13 cents) and Georgia (+11 cents) were two of only four states in the country to see gas prices jump by double-digits since last Monday. These two states also land on the top 10 list with the largest weekly increases. At the start of the week, prices in the region range from $2.74 in Florida to $2.42 in Alabama.

Inventories continue to tighten noticeably across the South and Southeast region, driving gas prices more expensive. This week saw a draw of 2.2 million bbl to drop levels to 80.8 million bbl. That is a stark 10 million bbl below the 90 million mark seen in January. Refinery maintenance exports and demand are all contributing factors to the continued draw in stocks.

Rockies

The Rockies are the only region in the country where all states carry a cheaper or same year-over-year gas price average: Utah (-28 cents), Idaho (-23 cents), Montana (-7 cents), Colorado (-1 cents) and Wyoming (same price). However, compared to a month ago all averages are nearly 20 cents or more expensive.

The EIA’s latest weekly report shows stocks decreased marginally by 104,000 bbl and still measure about 7 million bbl. Total regional stocks measure at the lowest level since the end of 2018 and sit at a nearly 850,000 bbl year-over-year deficit. Regional refinery utilization also dropped by 2 percent, which could bring stocks to continue to tighten in coming weeks causing prices to increase.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 84 cents to settle at $60.14 – the highest closing price seen this year. Oil prices increased last week, helping to establish solid price gains for the first quarter of 2019, as the market expects further tightening in global crude availability as a result of OPEC’s 1.2 million b/d production cut and the U.S. imposing sanctions on Iranian and Venezuelan crude exports. Moving into this week, prices will likely continue their ascent, with the combined effect of the tightening in the global crude oil market overshadowing concerns that the global economy is slowing, which could decrease global crude demand during the second half of 2019. Crude prices rallied despite new EIA data that showed total domestic crude inventories increased by 2.8 million bbl to 442.3 million bbl last week.

In related news, Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the U.S. lost eight oilrigs last week, bringing the total to 816. When compared to last year at this time, there are 19 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.


AAA Forecasts Spring National Gas Price Average to Reach $2.75

WASHINGTON (March 28, 2019) – Spring fever may be in the air, but American motorists already have summer road trips top of mind. AAA’s latest Gas Price survey found that if gas prices remain low, 1 in 3 Americans (33 percent) would likely plan another summer road trip while 27 percent would increase the distance of one – with Generation X more likely to do both than Baby Boomers. AAA expects the national gas price average this spring to reach $2.75, a savings of nearly 20-cents compared to last spring’s high of $2.92.

“Cheaper crude oil prices have helped to keep pump prices lower this winter,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “While we are seeing the national gas price average increase and mirror prices from this time last year, spring pump prices for the majority of motorists are not expected to elevate to the nearly $3/gal level of last May.”

However, motorists on the West Coast and in the Rockies region will likely see prices reach or exceeded $3/gal, which is similar to last year.

In addition to increasing the number or mileage of summer road trips, the AAA survey shows that Americans said lower gas prices would encourage them to spend or save more, but this varies based on generation and region:

  • The majority of Millennials (53%) and Gen X (49%) would put aside money for savings as compared to Baby Boomers (44%).
  • Generation X is more likely to increase shopping/dining out, drive more on a weekly basis or use more expensive gas as compared to compared to Baby Boomers.
  • Motorists in the South (11%) and West (10%) say they would use more expensive gas while five percent of those in the Mid-West (5%) and seven percent in the Northeast (7%) would be willing to upgrade fuel type.

Springing Gas Prices

While the first few months of this year ushered in daily national gas price averages that were, at times, as much as 35-cents cheaper than a year ago, pump price since the middle of March have been mostly similar to pump prices this time last year. Today’s national gas price average is four-cents more expensive than a year ago.

“Historically, early spring triggers an increase in pump prices due to an increase in demand as Americans put the winter blues behind them and drive more. Another factor pumping up the price is the switchover to summer-blend gasoline, which is more expensive for refiners to produce,” added Casselano.

The difference between summer- and winter-blend gasoline involves the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) of the fuel. RVP is a measure of how easily the fuel evaporates at a given temperature. The more volatile a gasoline (higher RVP), the easier it evaporates. Summer-blend gasoline has a lower RVP to prevent excessive evaporation when outside temperatures rise. Reducing the volatility of summer gas decreases emissions that can contribute to unhealthy ozone and smog levels. A lower RVP also helps prevent drivability problems, especially in older vehicles. Summer-blend is more expensive to produce and that cost is passed on to the consumer each spring.

Oil Dynamics

Motorists benefitted this winter from lower crude prices, which comprises approximately 50 percent of the prices paid at the pump. Crude prices ranged between $48 and $56 this winter, while winter 2018 saw consistent prices between $60 and $65. This difference helped to keep pump prices mostly cheaper this winter, but crude prices are likely poised to increase this spring possibly back to $65, which will propel gas prices higher as gasoline demand increases across the country.

Moreover, moving into spring, crude prices will likely increase as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continues to implement its agreement with other global crude producers to cut production by 1.2 million b/d, which remains in effect through June. OPEC has announced that it will not meet in April to discuss the pact; instead, it will meet on June 25 and 26 and may announce a decision to end or extend its agreement at that time. OPEC and its partners will likely look toward global pricing trends around the time the cuts are set to expire as well as global crude demand forecasts, and how well members of the reduction pact have adhered to the production cuts to determine if it should extend its pact beyond June. If it does and crude prices rise dramatically, American motorists could see pump prices spike later in the summer. 

Additionally, U.S.-imposed sanctions meant to curtail crude exports from Iran and Venezuela will likely tighten global supply and help crude prices inch up this spring. The exact price impact will be determined by how stringently the U.S. enforces the sanctions. Some market observers believe the U.S., which is now the world’s leading crude producer, could help meet global demand because of its newfound export prowess. However, growth in domestic demand for crude, particularly during the high demand driving season this summer, may limit just how much the U.S. is able to contribute to the global crude market.

Summer Look Ahead

AAA expects summer 2019 gas prices to be on par with prices during summer 2018, with May seeing the highest prices of the year. Heading into summer, a variety of factors, including U.S. supply-demand levels, U.S. production and crude prices will help better shape the summer forecast. 

Visit GasPrices.AAA.com for national and state gas price averages and trends.

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.

National Gas Price Average Jumps Eight Cents on the Week

March 25th, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs

With an eight-cent jump on the week, at $2.62, the national average continues to trend more expensive since mid-February. While today’s national average is nearly a quarter more expensive than last month, it is only two cents more expensive than last year at this time.

“Thanks to increasing demand and tightening gasoline stocks across the country, March gas prices came in like a lion and will not go out like a lamb,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “State gas price averages are very similar to a year ago give or take a few pennies, which means some motorists are paying among the most expensive averages seen this time of year in the last five years.”

On the week, every state except Florida (no change) saw gas prices increase, some as much as 16 cents, with the Great Lakes and Central region seeing the most states with double-digit jumps on the week.

Quick stats

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Missouri (+15 cents), California (+14 cents), Indiana (+14 cents), Arizona (+14 cents), New Mexico (+12 cents), Michigan (+12 cents), Ohio (+12 cents), Illinois (+11 cents), Kansas (+11 cents) and Oregon (+10 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Utah ($2.34), Alabama ($2.36), Mississippi ($2.37), Arkansas ($2.37), Louisiana ($2.38), South Carolina ($2.40), Wyoming ($2.40), Texas ($2.41), Virginia ($2.42) and Oklahoma ($2.43).

Great Lakes and Central States

Jumping a dime or more, six Great Lakes and Central States land on this week’s top 10 list with the largest increases: Missouri (+15 cents), Indiana (+14 cents), Michigan (+12 cents,) Ohio (+12 cents), Illinois (+11 cents) and Kansas (+11 cents). In the region, Kentucky (+3 cents) saw the smallest increase.

Gas prices range from $2.74 to $2.43. Illinois ($2.74) and Michigan ($2.70) carry the largest state averages in the region and are among the top 10 most expensive in the country this week.

The Great Lakes and Central States region saw the second largest decrease in gasoline stocks this week with a draw of 1 million bbl, per the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest data report. The decrease drives total stocks down to 55.7 million bbl, the lowest measure on count this year, and keeps gas prices pushing more expensive.

Rockies Region

This week, Utah ($2.34) carries the cheapest gas price average in the country while Wyoming ($2.40) ranks as the 7th least expensive. This is a vast juxtaposition to last year when both states routinely ranked as some of the most expensive state gas price averages. This winter, most of the Rockies region has seen significantly cheaper gas prices likely due to strong inventory levels and lower demand. Year-over-year, gas prices are as much as a quarter cheaper in the region. However, this isn’t expected to be the case throughout the spring and summer as gas prices are expected to return to the more expensive levels of last year.

On the week, most states in the region saw gas prices increase significantly: Wyoming (+8 cents), Idaho (+8 cents), Colorado (+8 cents), Montana (+7 cents) and Utah (+3 cents).

Gasoline stocks dipped by 68,000 bbl, wiping out the prior week’s gains. Stocks now measure at 7.3 million bbl. The EIA reports that regional refinery utilization jumped up from 89 to 90.1 percent indicating that stocks could build in coming weeks

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas price averages in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are as much as a six cents cheaper in Delaware to three cents more expensive in Tennessee as compared to last year. For states that have more expensive gas prices, it’s only by a few pennies, though spring demand could likely drive all states averages more expensive year-over-year.

This week, gas prices range from $2.42 to $2.81. Motorists in Tennessee (+9 cents) saw the region’s largest increase in pump prices while West Virginia (+1 cents) saw the smallest.

The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region was the only area to see gas stocks increase on the week, albeit it 442,000 bbl. Even with the build, EIA reports stocks continue to measure at the 63 million mark which helped most of the region see moderate gas price changes this past week.

South and Southeast

Florida ($2.61) was the only state to not see any change in their gas price average in the country and region. All other states saw gas prices increase with averages in New Mexico (+12 cents), South Carolina (+10 cents) and Texas (+9 cents) seeing the largest weekly change.

Even as gas prices continue to increase, Alabama ($2.36), Mississippi ($2.37), Arkansas ($2.37), Louisiana ($2.38), South Carolina ($2.40), Texas ($2.41) and Oklahoma ($2.43) carry among the cheapest averages in the country.

EIA data shows that the South and Southeast had the largest draw in stocks in the country with 2.4 million bbl, dropping totals to 83 million bbl, which is the lowest reading since the end of November 2018. Stocks have drawn sharply from February’s 90 million bbl reading to today. The consistent decrease since February — which is partly attributed to exports — has caused gas prices to increase throughout the region.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the highest in the nation, with most of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. California ($3.49) and Hawaii ($3.40) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.07), Oregon ($2.96), Nevada ($2.89) and Alaska ($2.83) follow. Arizona ($2.67) is the only state in the region that dropped from the 10 most expensive markets list. All prices in the region have increased on the week, with California (+14 cents), Arizona (+14 cents) and Oregon (+10 cents) seeing the largest jumps.

EIA’s recent weekly report showed that West Coast gasoline stocks fell by 1.5 million bbl from the previous week and now sit at 31.3 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 1.5 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 94 cents to settle at $59.04. U.S. stock market losses dragged oil prices lower despite new data from EIA that revealed that total domestic crude inventories fell by nearly 10 million bbl to 439.5 million bbl. The larger-than-expected drawdown could be a sign of higher crude prices in the near future in light of crude export sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and OPEC’s 1.2 million b/d production reduction agreement which is in place with other major global crude producers through June 2019. Crude prices could rise this week if there is another major drawdown. Pump prices will likely follow suit as the country enters the late spring and summer driving seasons.

In related news, Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the U.S. lost nine oilrigs last week, bringing the total to 824. When compared to last year at this time, there are 20 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 $2.54, the national gas price average is 7 cents more expensive on the week and 23-cents more than last month. However, today’s price is just as expensive as the same day a year ago. In fact, for the first time since the end of November last year, the national gas price average the past four days was identical or a penny more expensive year-over-year.

“Since early February, gasoline demand has been steadily increasing while stocks have been gradually decreasing causing more expensive pump prices across the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The good news is most motorists are not paying more than they were a year ago to fill up.”

While the national gas price average is the same price year-over-year, only 20 states can say the same. Across the country, the yearly difference ranges from as much as 25-cents cheaper to 10-cents more expensive.

Quick stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Kentucky (+16 cents), Florida (+15 cents), Missouri (+10 cents), Delaware (+10 cents), Wisconsin (+10 cents), Maryland (+9 cents), Texas (+9 cents), Iowa (+9 cents), Colorado (+9 cents) and Kansas (+9 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.30), Mississippi ($2.30), Arkansas ($2.30), Alabama ($2.30), Utah ($2.31), Missouri ($2.32), Texas ($2.32), Wyoming ($2.32), Louisiana ($2.33) and New Mexico ($2.33).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Three Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states land on the top 10 most expensive gas price average list in the country with two states just a quarter away from hitting the $3/gal mark: Washington, D.C. ($2.75), Pennsylvania ($2.75) and New York ($2.66). On the week, gas prices are as much as a dime more expensive with Delaware seeing the largest jump.

Month-over-month, five states in the region have averages that are a quarter of more expensive: West Virginia (+30 cents), North Carolina (+27 cents), Maryland (+27 cents), Virginia (+25 cents) and Tennessee (+25 cents).

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly data puts total stocks for the region at 63.5 million bbl following a draw of 1.4 million bbl for the week ending March 8. This is the lowest regional stock level seen this year and is a 4 million bbl year-over-year deficit. The tightened stocks can be attributed to exports as well as to planned and unplanned refinery maintenance during the winter season. As maintenance wraps up and refineries increase runs, stocks levels are expected to increase in coming weeks, which will hopefully help to stabilize gas prices.

Great Lakes and Central States

State gas price averages in the Great Lakes and Central States are as much as 16-cents more expensive on the week, but 33-cents more expensive on the month. In fact, six states appear on the top 10 list for largest month-over-month increases: Iowa (+33 cents), Minnesota (+32 cents), Kentucky (+31 cents), Wisconsin (+29 cents), Nebraska (+29 cents) and North Dakota (+29 cents).

Other notable moves on the week: With a nickel increase on the week, Illinois ($2.62) now carries the 10th most expensive gas price average in the country and highest in the region. Ohio (-9 cents) was the only state in the region and country to see gas prices decrease on the week.

As regional refinery utilization holds steady, gasoline stocks took a large 1.5 million bbl draw on the week, according to the latest EIA data. The sustained drop in stocks since mid-February continues to be a driver toward more expensive gas prices. Total stocks sit at 56.8 million bbl, which is the lowest for the year and a 3.2 million bbl deficit over this time last year.

South and Southeast

One week after being the only state in the country to see a pump price decrease, Florida (+15 cents) saw the second largest increase in the country this past week. Also joining Florida on the top 10 weekly change list is Texas (+9 cents). New Mexico (+4 cents) saw the smallest increase of all the South and Southeast states.

While gas prices have been steadily increasing in the South and Southeast, only four state averages are more expensive year-over-year by a dime or less: Florida (+8 cents), Alabama (+2 cents), Mississippi (+2 cents) and Texas (+1 cent).

Since the beginning of February regional gasoline stocks have consistently tightened. The EIA’s latest data reports show that the South and Southeast region had the largest draw of any region in the country with 1.7 million bbl. Total stocks register at 85.5 million bbl. While one of the lowest levels this year for the region, it is comparable to levels at this time last year.

Rockies Region

Despite increasing gas prices, two states from the region carry among 10 of the cheapest gas price averages in the country: Utah ($2.31) and Wyoming ($2.32). On the week gas prices are 4 to 9 cents more expensive across the region.

Of the Rockies region states, all but Colorado land on the top 10 list of states for the largest difference in year-over-year gas prices: Montana (-20 cents), Idaho (-17 cents), Utah (-11 cents) and Wyoming (-9 cents).

With a 59,000 bbl add, gasoline stocks bumped up to a total of 7.4 million bbl, which is low compared to historic data for this time of year. However, stocks have held steadily above the 7 million mark all year and helped to keep gas prices on the cheaper side.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the nation, with most of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.35) and California ($3.34) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($2.96), Nevada ($2.86), Oregon ($2.85) and Alaska ($2.81) follow. Arizona ($2.53) is the only state in the region that dropped from the 10 most expensive markets list. All prices in the region have increased on the week, with Oregon (+5 cents) seeing the largest jump.

EIA’s recent weekly report showed that West Coast gasoline stocks remained virtually unchanged from the previous week and now sit at 32.78 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 350,000 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. In related news, the Phillips 66 Carson refinery near Los Angeles reported a fire at one of its crude processing units on Friday, which caused the 139,000 b/d refinery to close the unit while the fire is under investigation.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped 9 cents to settle at $58.52. Oil prices took a hit last week as the market continued to have concerns about the global economy slowing this year, which could weaken global crude demand later this year. Moving into this week, prices will likely remain volatile following news from OPEC that it will not hold a meeting this April regarding its crude reduction pact with other global crude producers. Instead, OPEC will meet on June 25-26 to allow the cartel more time to determine if it should work with its partners to extend the crude production reduction agreement beyond June.

Prices were also volatile last week after new data from EIA revealed that total domestic crude inventories declined last week by 3.8 million bbl to 449.1 million bbl, which is roughly 20 million bbl higher than last year’s level at this time. Some market observers believe increased crude production from the U.S., which hit 12 million b/d last week, will help to meet global crude demand as global supply tightens due to OPEC’s 1.2 million b/d reduction agreement in place for the first six months of 2019 and U.S.-imposed sanctions on crude exports from Iran and Venezuela – two major global crude producers.       

In related news, Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the U.S. lost one oilrig last week, bringing the total to 833. When compared to last year at this time, there are 33 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.


On the week, the national gas price average and that of 26 states jumped a nickel or more. The national gas price average has been steadily increasing for the last three weeks. During that time, gasoline stocks have gradually decreased while demand has started to increase and crude oil prices have been fluctuating. Combined, these factors are driving up gas prices across the country.

“While motorists are paying more to fill up today than at the beginning of the year, gas prices are still cheaper year-over-year by a nickel,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Pump prices will continue to increase in coming weeks, but AAA does not expect this year’s high to be nearly as expensive as last year’s peak price of $2.97.”

Today’s gas price average of $2.47 is a nickel more than last week, 20 cents more expensive than a month ago, but five cents less than last year.

Quick stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Indiana (+14 cents), Ohio (+11 cents), West Virginia (+11 cents), Maryland (+9 cents), Illinois (+9 cents), North Carolina (+8 cents), Washington, D.C. (+8 cents), Virginia (+8 cents), Iowa (+7 cents) and Tennessee (+7 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Missouri ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.21), Texas ($2.22), South Carolina ($2.24), Arkansas ($2.24), Louisiana ($2.24), Utah ($2.24), Alabama ($2.25), Colorado ($2.26) and Kansas ($2.26).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast:

In the region, gas prices range from $2.28 – $2.67. As regional gasoline stocks tighten, six Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states’ gas price averages jumped seven cents or more and land on the top 10 list of largest changes in the country on the week: West Virginia (+11 cents), Maryland (+9 cents), North Carolina (+8 cents), Washington, D.C. (+8 cents), Virginia (+8 cents) and Tennessee (+7 cents).

All states have cheaper year-over-year pump prices, with these five states carrying the largest differences compared to this time last year in the region: Rhode Island (-14 cents), Vermont (-13 cents), Connecticut (-12 cents), Maine (-11 cents) and New Hampshire (-11 cents).

Since the beginning of February, regional gasoline stocks have decreased by 6.3 million bbl due to ongoing planned and unplanned refinery maintenance. As stocks diminished, total inventory tightened to 64.9 million bbl – one of the lowest levels seen in the region this year. However, year-over-year, inventories are at a 3.1 million bbl surplus, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

Great Lakes and Central States

Indiana (+14) and Ohio (+11 cents) saw the largest week-over-week gas price increases of all states in the region and the country. Joining these two states from the region on the top 10 biggest changes list are Illinois (+9 cents) and Iowa (+7 cents).

Year-over-year, gas price averages in the region are as much as 18 cents cheaper. North Dakota (-18 cents) and South Dakota (-17 cents) have the largest difference in gas prices compared to this time last year.

Gasoline stocks drew moderately in the region to total in the EIA’s latest reading at 58.3 million bbl. In the same week, regional refinery utilization decreased one percent. If stocks continue to fall, gas prices are likely to continue increasing especially with the switchover to summer-blend gasoline, which is more expensive to produce.

South and Southeast

With six South and Southeast states’ gas price averages a quarter or more expensive than last month, the region is seeing some of the largest month-over-month increases in the country: Oklahoma (+30 cents), Alabama (+28 cents), Arkansas (+28 cents), Mississippi (+25 cents), Louisiana (+25 cents) and Texas (+25 cents).

On the week, state gas price averages are as much as seven cents more expensive for all but one state. Florida (-1 cent) was the only state in the region and the country to see gas prices decrease since last Monday, albeit by only a penny

Gasoline stocks in the region decreased for a third consecutive week, though just by 220,000 bbl to total 87.2 million bbl. If stocks continue to decline, gas prices can be expected to continue to increase for motorists in the region.

Rockies Region

In contrast to recent trends, all states in the region saw gas prices jump on the week: Utah (+6 cents), Colorado (+5 cents), Idaho (+5 cents), Montana (+4 cents) and Wyoming (+2 cent). Despite pump prices trending more expensive, the region carries relatively cheap gas. Currently, Utah ($2.24) ranks as the seventh least expensive gas price average in the country while Colorado ($2.26) is 10th, Wyoming ($2.28) is 11th, Idaho ($2.34) is 18th and Montana ($2.34) is 19th.

Despite increases, Utah (-2 cents) and Wyoming (-1 cent) averages are still cheaper than gas prices a month ago, joining only  Alaska and Nevada.  

Gasoline stocks in the region declined for a third week, dropping to 7.3 million bbl. The tighter supply level – which is an 810,000 bbl deficit compared to this time last year – is likely contributing to the increase in prices. However, according to EIA data, refinery utilization increased from 86.9 to 91 percent which could lead to an increase in production and more supply in coming weeks.

West Coast Region

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the highest in the nation, with most of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. At $3.31, California and Hawaii are the most expensive markets. Washington ($2.91), Nevada ($2.84), Alaska ($2.80) and Oregon ($2.80) follow. Arizona ($2.49) is the only state in the region that dropped from the 10 most expensive markets list. All prices in the region have increased on the week, with Arizona (+7 cents), Washington (+4 cents) and Oregon (+4 cents) seeing the largest jumps.

EIA’s recent weekly report showed that West Coast gasoline stocks increased modestly by 56,000 bbl. They now sit at 32.77 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 1.6 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 dropped 59 cents to settle at $56.07. Oil prices fell at the end of last week following the release of lower-than-expected job growth data in the U.S. and continued concerns that a slowing global economy could bring weaker global crude demand later this year. Moving into this week, crude prices may rise as the global crude supply tightens due to OPEC’s 1.2 million b/d production reduction agreement in place through at least June 2019 and U.S-imposed crude export sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

Additionally, EIA’s weekly petroleum report showed that total domestic crude inventories fell by 7 million bbl to 452.9 million bbl, which is 27 million bbl more than last year’s level at this time. Domestic production also hit a new all-time high record since EIA began reporting it at 12.1 million b/d. The growth in U.S. production, which is now the world’s leading crude producer, could help meet demand due to tighter supplies this year.

In related news, Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the U.S. lost 22 oilrigs last week, bringing the total to 834. When compared to last year at this time, there are 38 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.

National Average Nearly 20-Cents Higher than Two Months Ago

March 4th, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs


The national gas price average has increased nearly 20-cents since the beginning of the year, which is the largest jump during the January-February timeframe since 2015. Pump prices rose steadily across the country in February, a month that saw a number of refineries undergoing planned and unplanned maintenance, and an increase in crude oil prices.

Today’s national average is $2.42, which is three-cents more expensive than last week, 17-cents more expensive than a month ago, but 10-cents cheaper than a year ago.

“Pump prices have been pushed higher this week due to reduced gasoline stock levels and increased demand,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Motorists can expect gas prices to continue to increase as refineries gear up for spring gasoline production and maintenance season.”

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Florida (+13 cents), Alabama (+11 cents), Mississippi (+8 cents), Louisiana (+8 cents), Kansas (+6 cents), South Dakota (+6 cents), Texas (+5 cents), North Dakota (+5 cents), Colorado (+5 cents) and Michigan (+5 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Missouri ($2.17), Arkansas ($2.17), Utah ($2.18), Mississippi ($2.19), South Carolina ($2.19), Texas ($2.19), Virginia ($2.20), Colorado ($2.20), Louisiana ($2.21) and Tennessee ($2.22).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region saw gas prices moderately increase on the week. With gas prices ranging from $2.20 to $2.64, the region is the only one to have states appearing on both the top 10 most and least expensive states in the country. Most expensive: Pennsylvania ($2.64), Washington, D.C. ($2.58), New York ($2.53) and Connecticut ($2.51). Least expensive: Virginia ($2.20) and Tennessee ($2.22).

After two weeks of draws, gasoline inventories built by a healthy 1 million bbl to 68.6 million bbl, per Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. However, refinery utilization continues to trend down. In fact, utilization has fallen from the first of the year when it was at 87.9 percent to 60 percent today. Much of this can be pinpointed to ongoing planned and unplanned maintenance throughout the region. It’s likely that gasoline imports and lower demand (due to colder weather) has helped to keep gas price fluctuations moderate.

Great Lakes and Central

The Great Lakes and Central states have among the biggest month-over-month difference in gas prices in the country. With gas prices a quarter or more expensive, nine states land on the top 10 list: Michigan (+32 cents), Minnesota (+31 cents), Kansas (+30 cents), Iowa (+29 cents), Oklahoma (+28 cents), Wisconsin (+27 cents), Missouri (+27 cents), Nebraska (+26 cents) and Illinois (+26 cents).

On the week, Indiana (-10 cents) and Kentucky (-1 cent) were the only states in the region to see gas prices decrease. In the rest of the region, gas price averages increased one to 10 cents, while gas prices range from $2.17 in Missouri to $2.47 in Illinois.

Regional inventories drew by 911,000 bbl on the week to drop to a total of 58.5 million bbl, according to EIA data. For a second week, refinery utilization increased, which is a promising sign for the region and likely helped to keep gas prices from jumping dramatically. Should inventories build and utilization remains positive, motorists could see fluctuating gas prices.

South and Southeast

Gas prices are more expensive on the week for all states in the South and Southeast with half of the region landing on this week’s top 10 list of states with the biggest increase: Florida (+13 cents), Alabama (+11 cents), Louisiana (+8 cents), Mississippi (+8 cents) and Texas (+5 cents).

While gas prices have been increasing recently across the region, Florida ($2.47) has seen a huge jump (+31 cents) since the beginning of the year and carries the most expensive average in the South and Southeast region.

Gas price increases on the week can be attributed to the large draw in gasoline inventories in the region. EIA data shows stocks drew for a second week, this time by a staggering 2.1 million bbl, which measures total levels at 87.5 million bbl.

Rockies

The region saw moderate fluctuation in pump prices on the week: Colorado (+5 cent), Montana (+2 cent), while prices held flat in Wyoming, Utah and Idaho.

EIA data shows inventories increasing by 244,000 bbl in the Rockies region for a total of 7.7 million bbl. Without any large fluctuation in stocks, gas prices are likely to see only moderate fluctuation this month.  

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying some of the highest pump prices in the nation, with most of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. At $3.29, California and Hawaii are the most expensive markets. Washington ($2.87), Nevada ($2.83), Alaska ($2.79) and Oregon ($2.76) follow. Arizona ($2.42) is the only state in the region that dropped from the 10 most expensive markets list. Prices in the region have mostly increased on the week, with Hawaii (+3 cents) seeing the largest jump.

EIA’s recent weekly report showed that West Coast gasoline stocks fell slightly by 100,000 bbl. They now sit at 32.7 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 500,000 bbl higher than at this time last year, which could help stabilize prices 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 $1.42 to settle at $55.80. Oil prices took a downward turn last week due to concerns that global crude demand may be lower than expected. Moving into this week, crude prices may rise on optimism that the United States and China are closer to a deal that resolves the ongoing trade spat between two of the world’s largest economies. Tightened global supply due to OPEC’s 1.2 million b/d production reduction agreement (which will be through June 2019) and decreased crude exports from Venezuela and Iran could also help prices increase.

Earlier last week, crude prices rallied after EIA revealed that domestic crude inventories decreased last week by 8.6 million bbl and now sit at 445.9 million bbl. The week-over-week reduction is the largest so far in 2019 and was driven largely by a robust crude export rate of 3.4 million b/d, which is more than double the export rate at this time last year. Additionally, the U.S. saw a low crude import rate at 5.9 million b/d last week, which is the lowest rate since February 1996. Low imports also contributed to lower crude inventory levels.

In related news, Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the U.S. lost 10 oilrigs last week, bringing the total to 843. When compared to last year at this time, there are 43 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.


Motorists can fill up for $2.50 or less at four in five gas stations throughout the country despite more than 40 states seeing gas price averages increase on the week. At $2.39, the national gas price average is eight cents more expensive than last week and 12 cents more expensive than last month, yet remains 12 cents cheaper year-over-year.

“On average, gas prices this year are 11 percent cheaper than the first two months of 2018 in part due to mostly cheaper crude oil prices so far this year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Even though pump prices are on the rise, the increase has been countered by mostly decreasing demand, leading to the majority of people still paying less than $2.50.”

Pump prices have increased around the country as refineries gear up for spring gasoline production and maintenance season.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.10), Alabama ($2.12), Louisiana ($2.12), Arkansas ($2.13), Missouri ($2.13), Texas ($2.14), Colorado ($2.14), South Carolina ($2.15), Virginia ($2.17) and Kansas ($2.18).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Minnesota (+15 cents), New Mexico (+13 cents), Iowa (+12 cents), Indiana (+12 cents), North Carolina (+11 cents), Nebraska (+11 cents), Florida (+11 cents), Alabama (+11 cents), South Carolina (+10 cents) and Illinois (+10 cents).

Great Lakes and Central

With gas prices increasing on the week as much as 15 cents in the region, Illinois ($2.45), Michigan ($2.41) and Indiana ($2.40) carry the most expensive state averages among Great Lakes and Central states. This week, Minnesota (+15 cents) saw the largest increase while  Iowa and Indiana saw the second biggest increases at 12 cents, followed by Nebraska (+11 cents), Illinois (+10 cents) and Wisconsin (+10 cents).

Only four states in the country carry gas price averages more expensive than a year ago and two are from the Great Lakes and Central region. Motorists in Ohio (+3 cents) and Indiana (+2 cents) are paying two cents more a gallon to fill-up. Conversely, motorists in North Dakota (-30 cents) and South Dakota (-29 cents) are seeing the largest difference in the region compared to last year at this time.

With a 773,000 bbl build, regional inventories measure slightly above the 59 million bbl mark, according to EIA data. The region was just one of two in the country to see refinery utilization increase indicating that some refineries may have finished unplanned maintenance since January due to severe winter weather.

South and Southeast

Five South and Southeast states’ gas price averages jumped double-digits on the week: New Mexico (+13 cents), Florida (+11 cents), Alabama (+11 cents), South Carolina (+10 cents) and Mississippi (+10 cents). At $2.34, Florida touts the most expensive average in the region followed by Georgia ($2.28).

Following a week of substantial inventory growth, the latest EIA data reports that stocks drew down by 922,000 bbl for the South and Southeast, measuring total stocks just below 89 million bbl. It’s likely that the region will see gasoline supplies ebb and flow through April as regional refineries begin planned maintenance, which means the instability in stock levels is likely to push gas prices more expensive in the spring.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

North Carolina (+11 cents) was the only Mid-Atlantic and Northeast state to see gas prices jump double digits on the week, though three states saw a nine cent increase: Tennessee, Maine and West Virginia. All state averages are more expensive on the week with pump prices ranging from as expensive as $2.61 in Pennsylvania to as cheap as $2.18 in Tennessee.

A handful of regional states are among the few in the country who have cheaper gas prices today as compared to a month ago: Massachusetts (-3 cents), Vermont (-2 cents), Connecticut (-2 cents) and Rhode Island (-1 cent).

For a second week, the region saw a substantial drop in inventories. EIA reports the latest draw at nearly 2 million bbl. At 67.5 million bbl, stock totals are at their lowest since early January of this year, but sit at a 2.39 million bbl year-over-year surplus. In addition, refinery utilization dropped even further from 69.7 to 64 percent. Contributing to the reduced utilization is refinery maintenance at, but not limited to, PBF Energy 190,200 b/d in Delaware City, Del., Philadelphia Energy System (PES) 350,000 b/d in Philadelphia, Pa. and Phillips 66 Bayway 264,800 b/d in Linden, N.J.

Rockies

This winter, decreases at the pump have been the major trend for states in the Rockies region. With a three-cent decrease, Utah saw the second largest decrease of any state in the country on the week. Overall, the region’s gas prices are only more expensive than states in the South and Southeast region. Today’s pump prices in the Rockies are: Colorado ($2.14), Utah ($2.19), Wyoming ($2.25), Montana ($2.27) and Idaho ($2.28).

Utah (-21 cents), Wyoming (-13 cents) and Idaho (-12 cents) are among the minority of all states in the country who have gas prices cheaper than one month ago.

With a small draw of 46,000 bbl, EIA data shows stocks dipped below 7.5 million bbl in the Rockies region. The small draw combined with a healthy overall supply are helping to reduce any large fluctuation in pump prices for most of the region.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the highest pump prices in the nation, with most of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. At $3.28, California is the most expensive market. Hawaii ($3.26), Washington ($2.86), Nevada ($2.83), Alaska ($2.78) and Oregon ($2.74) follow. Arizona ($2.42) is the only state in the region that dropped from the 10 most expensive markets list. Prices in the region have mostly declined on the week, with Alaska (-4 cents) seeing the largest drop.

EIA’s recent weekly report showed that West Coast gasoline stocks are on the rise. They increased by approximately 700,000 bbl to 32.8 million bbl. However, stocks are approximately 1.4 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 increased 30 cents to settle at $57.26 – setting a new high for crude prices this year.  If crude prices sustain at these higher levels, they could help send pump prices higher this spring. An increase in crude prices this week will likely be supported by optimism that the U.S. and China have been making significant strides to reduce trade tensions between the countries. However, crude price gains could be tempered by further increases in U.S. production, potentially signaling that the global crude market may be able to overcome an expected tightening in supply due to U.S-imposed sanctions on crude exports from Venezuela and Iran.

In EIA’s latest petroleum status report, the federal agency revealed that total domestic crude production hit 12 million b/d. This rate is the highest weekly estimate ever recorded by EIA, since it began tracking the data in 1983. Recent growth in domestic crude production helped to push up total domestic crude inventories by 3.7 million bbl to 454.5 million bbl last week.

In related news, Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the U.S. lost four oilrigs last week, bringing the total to 854. When compared to last year at this time, there are 54 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.

Gas Prices Jump for Most of Country

February 19th, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs


On the week, 28 states saw gas price averages increase by at least a nickel, pushing the national gas price average up six-cents to land at $2.33. That is the largest one-week increase seen at the national level this year. Today’s gas price average is nine-cents more expensive than last month, but 19-cents cheaper than a year ago.

“Motorists are seeing more expensive gas prices as a result of ongoing refinery problems coupled with crude oil prices hitting their highest level so far this year as global crude inventories tighten,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Inventories are likely to continue to tighten and keep gas prices higher through the end of the month.”

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report details demand dropping for a second week, to total at 8.6 million b/d. Frigid and severe winter weather has been a driving factor for declining demand and this week’s approaching storm from the Plains to the Northeast has the potential to drop demand further. Refinery problems and increasing exports have kept inventories at minimal builds. For the week ending Feb. 8, inventories increased only 408,000 bbl to total 258.3 million bbl.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.04), Mississippi ($2.04), Missouri ($2.07), Arkansas ($2.07), Louisiana ($2.07), South Carolina ($2.08), Texas ($2.09), Colorado ($2.09), Kansas ($2.11) and Virginia ($2.11).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Michigan (+16 cents), Oklahoma (+12 cents), Minnesota (+11 cents), Texas (+11 cents), Kansas (+10 cents), Arkansas (+10 cents), Delaware (+10 cents), Maryland (+9 cents), Iowa (+9 cents) and Kentucky (+9 cents).

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices are 4 to 16 cents more expensive on the week across the Great Lakes and Central states mostly due to ongoing refinery maintenance and inventories tightening. Eleven states in the region have averages that are a nickel or more expensive since last week: Michigan (+16 cents), Minnesota (+11 cents), Kansas (+10 cents), Iowa (+9 cents), Kentucky (+9 cents), Nebraska (+8 cents), Missouri (+8 cents), Wisconsin (+7 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Indiana (+5 cents) and Illinois (+5 cents).

While gas prices are less expensive than a year ago, they are more expensive than last month for most Great Lakes and Central states. In fact, four states land on the top five chart for all states in the country with the largest month-over-month difference: Michigan (+35 cents), Ohio (+25 cents), Wisconsin (+22 cents) and Indiana (+20 cents).

Regional inventories drew down by 3.2 million bbl, according to EIA latest reports, to total at 58.6 million bbl. This is the second lowest inventory level of the year. Regional refinery utilization is also down nearly 9 percent. The large draw and drop in utilization are pushing gas prices higher.

South and Southeast

Three South and Southeast have seen gas prices increase by at least a dime on the week and also land on the top 10 list with this week’s largest increases in the country: Oklahoma (+12 cents), Texas (+11 cents) and Arkansas (+10 cents). Despite pump jumps for all states in the region, states in the South and Southeast tout the cheapest average in the country: Alabama ($2.04), Mississippi ($2.04), Arkansas ($2.07), Louisiana ($2.07), South Carolina ($2.08) and Texas ($2.08).

EIA reports that regional inventories built by a substantial 5.7 million bbl for the week ending Feb. 5, registering total inventories once again above the 90 million bbl mark. Year-over-year, inventories sit at a 7 million bbl surplus. The large inventory may help motorists only see modest pump price jumps through the end of the month as much of the region’s refineries enter maintenance season.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

With a penny decrease, Massachusetts ($2.38) was the only state in the region to see gas prices drop on the week while Vermont ($2.38) and Washington, D.C. ($2.52) averages held steady. For all other states, gas prices are as much as a dime more expensive on the week. Delaware (+10 cents) and Maryland (+9 cents) saw the largest jumps.

Inventories measure at 69.5 million bbl following a draw of 1.775 million bbl, according to the EIA. The latest regional refinery utilization dropped five percent down to 69.7 percent, the lowest of any region in the country. With reduced utilization, the region may see stocks tighten in coming weeks which may drive up gas prices.

Rockies

Utah (-5 cents), Wyoming (-2 cents), and Idaho (-1 cents) are among the fewer than 10 states where gas price averages decreased on the week. After weeks at nearly $2/gal, Colorado’s average jumped seven-cents to $2.09. Idaho has the most expensive average in the region at $2.29.

With a build of 151,000 bbl, inventory measures at 7.5 million bbl. This is the largest inventory level for the Rockies region in 52-weeks and should help to keep gas price fluctuation modest for the rest of the month.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying some of the highest pump prices in the nation, with most of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. At $3.27, California is the most expensive market. Hawaii ($3.26), Washington ($2.86), Nevada ($2.84), Alaska ($2.82) and Oregon ($2.74) follow. Arizona ($2.42) is the only state in the region that dropped from the 10 most expensive markets list this week. Prices in the region have mostly declined on the week, with Arizona (-2 cents) seeing the largest drop.

EIA’s recent weekly report showed that West Coast gasoline stocks decreased for a second week. They fell by approximately 500,000 bbl to 32.1 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 2.3 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.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.18 to settle at $55.59 – the highest price point of the year. Crude prices continued their ascent last week, due to growing belief that global supply is tightening. OPEC’s 1.2 million b/d production cut agreement, which is in effect for the first six months of 2019, has helped to rebalance the market. Also, an increasing reduction in crude exports from Venezuela due to U.S.-imposed sanctions has contributed to market observers believing the market will grow tighter in the coming weeks.

These concerns will likely bolster crude prices even more this week, and market observers will look to this week’s EIA report to see if there are additional indicators of market tightening. As crude prices increase, American motorists can expect pump prices to follow suit, since approximately 50 percent of the cost consumers pay at the pump is due to the cost per barrel of crude oil.

Additionally, EIA reported that total domestic crude inventories grew by 3.6 million bbl to 450.8 million bbl last week. High crude production in the U.S., which held steady at a staggering 11.9 million b/d last week, contributed to the growth in crude stocks around the country and is expected to help meet global crude demand as supply challenges loom.

In related news, Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the U.S. added three oilrigs last week, bringing the total to 857. When compared to last year at this time, there are 59 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.

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