Posts Tagged ‘Gas Price Expert’

Has the National Average Peaked for the Year?

August 17th, 2020 by EEdmonds

The national gas price average has pushed only as expensive as $2.20 since the beginning of the pandemic, and that happened just one month ago. In the last four weeks, motorists have seen the national average slowly decrease, down to today’s average of $2.17 despite gasoline demand last week reaching the highest measurement (up to 8.88 million b/d) since Mid-March, according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report.

On the week, nearly 40 states saw minimal movement at the pump with either a one-cent or no change in their averages. State gas price averages decreased by as much as four cents: Michigan (-4 cents) and Florida (-3 cents) saw the largest drops. Meanwhile, a dozen states saw an increase at the pump. These were mostly minimal jumps except for Indiana (+5 cents) and Wisconsin (+4 cents).

“Gas prices are stalling, if not decreasing, at the vast majority of pumps,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “We’ve likely seen gasoline prices peak for 2020, barring any major hurricane(s).”

Across the country, 72% of all stations are selling gas for less than $2.25 and 41% have gas under $2/gallon.  EIA measures gasoline stocks at 247 million bbl – a 12 million year-over-year surplus – for the week ending August 7. This extremely healthy supply amid lower seasonal demand is paving the way for one of the lowest annual gas price averages this decade.

Today’s national average is three cents cheaper than last month and 45 cents less than a year ago.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes: Indiana (+5 cents), Wisconsin (+4 cents), Michigan (-4 cents), Texas (+3 cents), Florida (-3 cents), North Carolina (+2 cents), South Carolina (+2 cents), Hawaii (-2 cents), Illinois (-2 cents) and Ohio (-1 cent).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($1.82), Louisiana ($1.84), Arkansas ($1.85), Alabama ($1.86), Texas ($1.87), Oklahoma ($1.87), Missouri ($1.88), Tennessee ($1.90), South Carolina ($1.90) and Kansas ($1.95).

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 23 cents to settle at $42.01 per barrel. Crude prices ended the week lower after the International Energy Agency reduced its outlook for 2020 global oil demand to 91.9 million b/d from 92.1 million b/d. Reduced demand for gasoline and other transportation fuels, including jet fuel, have pushed global crude demand down. As new coronavirus infections increase worldwide, global demand will likely continue to decline and contribute to further reductions in crude prices this week.

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 Pump Prices Pushing Cheaper, Again

August 10th, 2020 by EEdmonds

On the week, the majority of states saw gas prices decrease minimally – by one to two cents or saw no change at the pump. Though low, the volatility was enough to drive the national average down a penny from last Monday to $2.17. Today’s average is two cents less than last month and 49 cents cheaper than a year ago.

“As we move into the second week of the August, it is pricing out to be the second cheapest start to the month in more than a decade,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Gas prices have high potential to push cheaper, especially with many school districts planning for virtual learning. This could drive demand down in the weeks ahead as school starts at-home.”

In the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report, gas demand fell from 8.8 million b/d to 8.6 million b/d while stocks held steady at 247 million bbl.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes: Utah (+9 cents), Michigan (+6 cents), Kentucky (-4 cents), Ohio (+3 cents), Florida (-3 cents), Tennessee (-3 cents), West Virginia (-3 cents), Pennsylvania (+2 cents), Texas (-2 cents) and Oklahoma (-2 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($1.81), Texas ($1.84), Louisiana ($1.84), Oklahoma ($1.86), Arkansas ($1.86), Alabama ($1.87), Missouri ($1.87), South Carolina ($1.88), Tennessee ($1.89) and North Carolina ($1.94).

 2020 Hurricane Season

While Hurricane Isaias did not disrupt gas prices, the 2020 hurricane season is far from over. Last week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) released the association’s annual August update, which revised the May forecast from 13 to 19 storms to 19-25 through the end of November. This year’s season could be one of the busiest as it has already produced a record-setting nine named storms.

Major storms and hurricanes that take crude and gasoline infrastructure and refineries offline have the largest impact on gas prices.

One positive factor for this year, U.S. gasoline supply is plentiful sitting at a 17 million bbl year-over-year surplus. If a major storm or hurricane does hit the U.S., it will be a matter of short-term shortages and how quickly gasoline stocks can get to areas of need.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 71 cents to settle at $41.22 per barrel. Domestic crude prices decreased last week due to a weak U.S. dollar and after EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic inventories decreased by 7.4 million bbl, bringing total domestic stocks to 518.6 million bbl. The decrease in total supply, amid low gasoline demand, could mean that the domestic crude market is rebalancing. Crude prices have the potential to stabilize this week if EIA’s report shows continued growth in demand alongside a reduction in supply.

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 held steady at $2.18 as the majority of state averages saw minimal impact at the pump. With the exception of a few outliers –  Florida (+10 cents), Utah (+10 cents) and Idaho (+5 cents) – state averages either decreased by four cents or less or increased by no more than two pennies.

Gas prices are trending cheaper despite an increase in demand. Up 3% over last week, gasoline demand measured at 8.8 million b/d – the highest reading since the pandemic started. Though, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), year-over-year demand is down about 8%.

“This summer is no doubt the cheapest at the pump for motorists in more than a decade. The last two months have yielded a national average of $2.14,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “While we expect to see typical fluctuation, August gas prices are not expected to spike, especially amid increases in COVID-19 cases.”

Today’s national average, which is one cent more than last month and 53 cents cheaper than last year, has been largely unaffected by Tropical Storm Isaias. The storm, according to the National Hurricane Center, is likely to regain hurricane strength before reaching the coast between northeastern South Carolina and southern North Carolina later today. Given lower than normal U.S. gasoline demand and healthy stock levels, gas prices nationally are not likely to be impacted by Isaias.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes: Florida (+10 cents), Utah (+10 cents), Idaho (+5 cents), Washington, D.C. (-4 cents), Indiana (-4 cents), Michigan (-2 cents), Ohio (-2 cents), West Virginia (-2 cents), Oklahoma (-2 cents) and Colorado (-2 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($1.82), Louisiana ($1.85), Texas ($1.86), Arkansas ($1.87), Alabama ($1.88), Oklahoma ($1.88), Missouri ($1.89), South Carolina ($1.90), Tennessee ($1.92) and North Carolina ($1.96).

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 35 cents to settle at $40.27 per barrel. Domestic crude prices increased after EIA’s latest weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories decreased by 10.6 million bbl, bringing the current total to 526 million bbl. The price increase, amid increasing gasoline demand, up from 8.55 million b/d to 8.81 million b/d in the new EIA report, could mean that the domestic crude market is meeting demand and production is stabilizing as coronavirus infections continue to increase worldwide. If crude supplies continue to decline alongside rising demand, domestic crude prices could continue to increase this week.

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.

One week after the U.S. State Department announced the end of waivers for countries to import oil from Iran, increasing crude oil prices and pump prices show no signs of slowing down. With a four-cent jump on the week, today’s national gas price average sets a new high for the year at $2.88. This average may only be seven cents more than a year ago, but it is nearly 20 cents more than a month ago and 63-cents more expensive than at the beginning of the year.

“Gas prices are getting cheaper for the majority of motorists despite the fact that U.S. gasoline stocks sit at a 7 million bbl deficit year-over-year. Crude oil prices have remained relatively stable the past few months, which is one reason helping gas prices be cheaper than last year at this time,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Today, motorists can find gas for $2.75 or less at nearly half of all gas stations in the country.”

Working with OPIS, AAA identified the median income for each county in the country broken down to an income by minute assuming a 40-hour workweek. The average gasoline price today was compared to the income per minute finding that counties in the Southeast have been hit the hardest, especially in some parts of Kentucky For example, in McCreary County, some workers are working an additional 4 minutes when compared to January in order to buy a gallon of gasoline.

With 17 states within a dime of or already at $3/gal or more, Americans can expect the national average to likely surpass 2018’s high of $2.97 set during Memorial Day weekend,” added Casselano.

Quick stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Utah (+13 cents), Delaware (+12 cents), Rhode Island (+10 cents), Idaho (+9 cents), Massachusetts (+9 cents), Alaska (+9 cents), Nevada (+9 cents), New Jersey (+8 cents), Connecticut (+8 cents) and West Virginia (+8 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.51), Mississippi ($2.53), Louisiana ($2.54), Arkansas ($2.56), South Carolina ($2.56), Missouri ($2.58), Oklahoma ($2.61), Tennessee ($2.62), Texas ($2.62) and Kansas ($2.63).

Rockies

While Montana, Colorado and Wyoming saw moderate weekly increases – a nickel or less —  Utah (+13 cents) and Idaho (+9 cents) continue to see more expensive gas prices. These two states rank among the top five in the country with the biggest weekly increase. More so, they carry among the top 15 most expensive gas price averages: Idaho ($3.02) and Utah ($2.94). At $2.72, Wyoming has the cheapest average in the region.

In the last month, the Rockies region has seen some of the most significant jumps: Utah (+55 cents), Idaho (+47 cents), Montana (+32 cents), Colorado (+28 cents) and Wyoming (+25 cents).

For the first time in more than a month, the region’s gasoline stocks increased, according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) analysis. With a three percent increase in regional refinery utilization, stocks added 353,000 bbl to push the total to 7 million bbl. It’s too early to know if this is a trend, but the addition helped to keep jumps moderate for most of the states this past week.

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 ($4.08) and Hawaii ($3.62) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.51), Nevada ($3.43), Oregon ($3.40), Alaska ($3.36) and Arizona ($3.12) follow. All prices in the region have increased on the week, with Alaska and Nevada seeing the largest gains at nine cents each.

The EIA’s recent weekly report for the week ending on April 19 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks fell for a sixth consecutive week by approximately 300,000 bbl from the previous week and now sit at 27.9 million bbl. If ongoing planned and unplanned refinery maintenance continues throughout the region, the West Coast may see continued price volatility and shrinking gasoline stocks.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The majority of Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region states are starting to see large jumps at the pump week-over-week: Delaware (+12 cents), Rhode Island (+10 cents), Connecticut (+8 cents), New Jersey (+8 cents), Massachusetts (+9 cents), New Hampshire (+7 cents), Maine (+7 cents), West Virginia (+8 cents), New York (+7 cents) and Vermont (+5 cents).

Pennsylvania ($3.05) remains the only state in the region above the $3/gal mark, but a handful of others are just pennies away from being there: Connecticut ($2.99), Washington, D.C. ($2.96) and New York ($2.95).

As the EIA reports that regional refinery utilization jumped from 81.1% to 87.6%, gasoline stocks saw an addition of 860,000 bbl – the largest build of any region in the country for the week ending April 19. Despite the increase, overall stock levels are tight at 60 million bbl as we head toward summer.  

Great Lakes and Central States

Gas prices are fluctuating across the Great Lakes and Central region states. Overall, the majority of the states saw moderate changes at a nickel or less. Motorists in the region can find gas prices as expensive as $3.01 in Illinois to as cheap as $2.58 in Missouri.

It was surprising to see the region only have moderate changes considering gasoline stocks drew by nearly 1.3 million bbl and regional refinery utilization dropped one percentage point. At 50.5 million bbl, the EIA reports this to be the lowest level this year and at a 6 million bbl deficit year-over-year.

South and Southeast

Florida (-3 cents) was one of only three states in the country to see gas prices decline on the week. Though weekly increases were minimal, with Texas (+5 cents) seeing the largest jump in the region. Overall, gas prices range from as expensive as $2.73 in Georgia to as cheap as $2.51 in Alabama.

Compared to a year ago, gas price averages for South and Southeast states are only about a nickel more expensive with the exception of Oklahoma (+9 cents). South Carolina ($2.56), Mississippi ($2.53) and Georgia ($2.73) all have the same average, or within a penny, as last year at this time.

Gasoline stocks saw a substantial 1.8 million bbl draw, dropping levels to sit just above the 80 million bbl mark. This is a level to which the region has been accustomed as of late and is 2.2 million bbl less than this time last year. However, regional refinery utilization increased to 92.9% – the highest of any region in the country – which could help to contribute to builds in stocks in coming weeks.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI fell $1.91 to settle at $63.30. Crude prices dipped after Baker Hughes, Inc. revealed that the number of oilrigs in the U.S. fell significantly by 20, landing at 805 last week. Crude prices increased earlier in the week, and could move higher due to concerns about restricted global supply this week, following the U.S. announcing that it would end the use of waivers for countries to import oil from Iran. Decreases in Iranian oil exports would tighten the supply in the global market, which has already seen decreases as a result of the ongoing U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, along with OPEC’s reduced production as a result of its 1.2-million b/d production reduction agreement with its partners. EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories increased by 5.4 million bbl to 460.6 million bbl last week.

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 Sees Smallest Weekly Increase in Eight Weeks

April 22nd, 2019 by AAA Public Affairs

With only a penny increase on the week, the national gas price average saw the smallest one-week jump since mid-February. For the last eight weeks, weekly jumps ranged anywhere between a nickel and a nearly a quarter.

“On the week, 30 states saw pump price increases or decreases of three cents or less which helped keep the national average relatively steady, but motorists shouldn’t get their hopes up just yet,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Gasoline stocks nationwide continue to tighten, measuring below levels compared to the same time in the past three years. While imports are helping and West Coast refinery maintenance is nearly finished for the time being,  it’s too early to know if this is enough to keep state averages from leveling off just yet.”

Today’s national average is $2.84, which is a penny more than last Monday, 23 cents more expensive than last month, but only eight cents more than a year ago.

Quick stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.50), Mississippi ($2.51), Louisiana ($2.53), South Carolina ($2.53), Arkansas ($2.53), Texas ($2.57), Oklahoma ($2.59), Missouri ($2.59), Virginia ($2.60) and Tennessee ($2.60).
  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: California ($4.03), Hawaii ($3.59),Washington ($3.46), Oregon ($3.36), Nevada ($3.34), Alaska ($3.26), Arizona ($3.04), Pennsylvania ($2.98), Illinois ($2.98) and Idaho ($2.92).

Rockies

On the week, Utah (+20 cents) and Idaho (+17 cents) saw substantial, and the nation’s largest, increases at the pump. With a nine-cent increase, Montana also lands on the top 10 list for largest jumps while Wyoming (+6 cent) and Colorado (+5 cents) saw more moderate increases.

For a few weeks recently, Utah ($2.81) was carrying among the cheapest gas prices in the country, but that is no longer the case as it ranks as the 17th most expensive. Idaho ($2.92) carries the largest average for the region. Notably, compared to a year ago, both of these states have significantly cheaper gas prices: Utah (-20 cents) and Idaho (-12 cents).

Regional gasoline stocks have been steadily drawing for the past month, which is a driving factor toward more expensive pump prices. The Energy Information Admiration (EIA) reports total levels at 6.6 million bbl, which is 63,500 bbl deficit year-over-year. As regional refinery utilization dropped again from 83.6 percent to 81.3 percent, the draws will likely continue, supporting more gas price jumps this month.

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 ($4.03) and Hawaii ($3.59) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.46), Oregon ($3.36), Nevada ($3.34), Alaska ($3.26) and Arizona ($3.04) follow. All prices in the region have increased on the week, with the exception of Hawaii and Nevada.

The EIA’s recent weekly report, for the week ending on April 12, showed that West Coast gasoline stocks fell for a fifth consecutive week by nearly 800,000 bbl from the previous week and now sit at 28.2 million bbl. OPIS reported at least six out of 10 refineries (four in Southern California and two in Northern California) experienced operational issues in the past few weeks. These issues have resulted in refinery utilization rates dropping below 80% for the first time in a little more than two years. If ongoing planned and unplanned refinery maintenance continues throughout the region, the West Coast may see continued price volatility and shrinking gasoline stocks.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Half of the top 10 states with the lowest year-over-year gas price difference hail from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. And, most are carrying the same average as this time last year including: Massachusetts ($2.74), Vermont ($2.76), New York ($2.88) and New Hampshire ($2.68). Delaware’s ($2.67) average is one penny more year-over-year.

On the week, prices increased as much as nine cents in the region. With increases, Pennsylvania ($2.98) and Washington, D.C. ($2.92) inch closer to the $3/gal mark.

After last week’s more than 3 million bbl decline, regional gasoline stocks only drew by 1 million bbl, as reported by the EIA. Levels are tight at a total of 59.2 million bbl. However, expected imports – including crude – in the weeks ahead should help to replenish supply and balance retail prices.

Great Lakes and Central States

In a change of events, five Great Lakes and Central region states saw gas price decreases on the week: Michigan (-9 cents), Ohio (-5 cents), Indiana (-4 cents), Kentucky (-3 cent) and Missouri (-1 cent). For the other nine states in the region, gas price averages increased as much as four cents since last Monday.

This region ranks second in the country (to the West Coast) to having some of the largest year-over-year gas price differences. These states land on this top 10 list: Wisconsin (+20 cents), Minnesota (+19 cents), Illinois (+16 cents) and Kansas (+14 cents).

The EIA reports that gasoline stocks drew by 415,000 bbl, dropping total regional levels to 51.8 million bbl. However, the EIA also reports that regional refinery utilization has increased from 86.5 percent to 92.4 percent indicating that the coming weeks could see increased production and stock levels. This could potentially help to keep gas prices stable.

South and Southeast

Gas prices are moderately fluctuating for most of the South and Southeast on the week with a handful seeing decreases or no change at the pump. Motorists in Florida (-5 cents) and Louisiana (-1 cent) are paying less to fill up while the following states saw prices stay steady since last Monday: Alabama ($2.50), Mississippi ($2.51), Texas ($2.57), Oklahoma ($2.59) and Georgia ($2.67). New Mexico was the exception in the region with a +13 cents increase.

The region was the only one to see gasoline stocks increase and by a fair amount (a little more than 1 million bbl), which includes imports. The build brings total regional levels to 82 million bbl, one of the highest levels in about a month. Regional refinery utilization remains relatively steady, around 90 percent, and the region is the only one to measure at a year-over-year surplus. All of this means that states in this region could see only moderate changes in retail prices through the end of the month.

Oil market dynamics

Due to Good Friday observance, markets were closed, but at the end of Thursday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 24 cents to settle at $64.00. EIA data released last week reported total U.S. crude oil stockpiles dropped by 1.4 million bbl, to 455.2 million bbl. Crude imports to the U.S. also slowed. The most recent week’s import rate of 5.992 million b/d is almost 2 million b/d lower than the same week last year. EIA also reported that total U.S. gasoline inventories dropped by 1.2 million barrels

Monday morning crude oil was trending higher on reports that the U.S. State Department plans to end the use of waivers for countries to import oil from Iran in an attempt to end all oil exports from that country. In November of last year, the U.S. reimposed sanctions on exports of Iranian oil, however, waivers were granted to allow some countries to continue making limited oil purchases from Iran for six months. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced today that the administration will not renew sanctions waivers for the countries when they expire on May 2. Decreases in Iranian oil exports would tighten the supply in the global market, which has already seen decreases as a result of the U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, along with OPEC’s reduced production. Secretary Pompeo also stated that he has “had extensive and productive discussions with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other major producers to ease this transition and ensure sufficient supply. This, in addition to increasing U.S. production, underscores our confidence that energy markets will remain well supplied.”  Should U.S. crude oil and gasoline stocks continue to drop and supply tighten, drivers could see gas prices continue to rise.

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 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.

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