Posts Tagged ‘Gas Price News’

2018 AAA Gas Watchers Guide Provides Tips to Conserve Fuel and Save Motorists Money

WASHINGTON (August 29, 2018) – AAA forecasts that the national gas price average will drop to $2.70 this fall and has the potential to drop even more. That is 14-cents less a gallon compared to today’s price and more than a quarter cheaper than this year’s recorded high of $2.97 set in May.

Additional Resources

“Cheaper-to-produce gasoline and relatively stable crude oil prices in August, combined with an anticipated drop in consumer gasoline demand post-Labor Day, means consumers will see savings when they fill-up at the pump this fall,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “However, several outliers can reverse this forecast, including crude oil prices, geopolitical tensions and the mere threat of a hurricane.”

2018 gas prices have been significantly more expensive than 2017. In fact, the year-to-date-national gas price average ($2.73) is 41-cents more. Trends for year-over-year state averages include:

  • The top 10 states with the largest year-over-year difference in gas price averages are mostly West Coast, Northeast or Mid-Atlantic states: California (+57 cents), Hawaii (+54 cents), Indiana (+49 cents), Arizona (+48 cents), Oregon (+46 cents), Connecticut (+45 cents), Rhode Island (+45 cents), Utah (+45 cents) and Massachusetts (+44 cents).
  • Four Great Lakes and Central and one Southern state carry the smallest year-over-year difference in gas prices: South Dakota (+37 cents), Missouri (+37 cents), Louisiana (+36 cents), Iowa (+36 cents) and Nebraska (+35 cents).

What will drive pump prices down this fall?

Part of the anticipated drop in fall pump prices is due to the switchover to winter-blend gasoline in mid-September. The difference between summer- and winter-blend gasolines 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. Winter-blend fuel, which is cheaper to produce, has a higher RVP because the fuel must be able to evaporate at low temperatures for the engine to operate properly, especially when the engine is cold.

In addition, the arrival of fall historically means a drop in consumer gasoline demand as summer road trips and vacations subside. 

What could prevent cheaper gas prices from coming to a pump near you?

  • Crude Market Volatility: Much of 2018 has brought volatility to the domestic and global crude markets, as market watchers try to glean insight into forces that will shape global supply this fall. These forces include:
    • Venezuela is a major crude producer for the Western Hemisphere, but its collapsing economy could halt its crude production.
    • Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced an increase in production over the summer, but slower-than-expected production growth could contribute to higher crude prices during the second half of the year.
    • Geopolitical uncertainty in the Middle East and around the globe could disrupt vital crude flows.
  • Iran Sanctions: When President Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal in May, the decision sent the crude markets into upheaval. In August, the first round of re-imposed sanctions on the country, which target Iran’s financial sector, went into effect and led to a brief uptick in crude prices. The next round of sanctions, currently scheduled to take effect in November, will target Iran’s energy sector – including its crude exports – and will likely have a more sustained impact on crude prices. If and when those sanctions take effect, crude prices will likely surge over an expected reduction in Iranian crude exports and increased tension in the region that could destabilize global crude flows.
  • Updated Hurricane Forecast: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center predicts a total of 9–13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater of which 4-7 will become hurricanes) including up to two major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). An average six-month hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six becomes hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. The mere threat of a hurricane in the U.S. would cause pump prices to spike, likely regionally, due to constrained supply and delivery challenges.

 

AAA 2018 Gas Watcher’s Guide

In time for fall, AAA is releasing the 2018 Gas Watcher’s Guide with tips for conserving fuel, saving money and maintaining fuel efficiency. The Guide offers these tips – and many more – for motorists to keep in mind as they fill-up at the pump:

  • If your vehicle’s engine does not require premium or mid-grade fuel, don’t buy it. Using anything other than regular grade is simply a waste of money.
  • Don’t top off your gas tank. Stop filling after the automatic nozzle shuts off the second time.
  • If you have to replace a gas cap, make sure it is the right one for your car. An ill-fitting cap will increase emissions and trigger the “check engine” light.
  • Keep track of gas mileage. If you notice a sudden decrease in fuel economy, have your vehicle checked by a technician to ensure it is operating properly.

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

Motorists across the country continue to see their local pump prices dropping. On the week, state gas price averages declined as much as four cents while the national gas price average held steady at $2.84, which is two-cents cheaper than a month ago, but 48-cents more than a year ago.

“With Labor Day approaching, motorists could see a small swing towards higher gas prices, but any jump should not last past the holiday weekend,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

Last year’s Labor Day weekend saw gas prices spike, but that was due to Hurricane Harvey. As it battered the Southeast, it shut down refineries and pipelines driving gas prices toward their highest point of 2017 ($2.67). Despite no hurricane activity this Labor Day weekend, gas prices will be at their highest point for the holiday since 2014.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii($3.76), California ($3.60), Washington ($3.37), Alaska ($3.32), Idaho ($3.26), Oregon ($3.25), Utah ($3.20), Nevada ($3.19), Connecticut ($3.04) and Pennsylvania ($3.03).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Ohio (+10 cents), Michigan (+5 cents), Wyoming (+4 cents), Florida (-4 cents), Colorado (+3 cents), South Dakota (-3 cents), Georgia (-3 cents), Kansas (-3 cents), Missouri (-3 cents) and Utah (+2 cents).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the highest in the country: Hawaii ($3.76), California ($3.60), Washington ($3.37), Alaska ($3.32), Oregon ($3.25), Nevada ($3.19) and Arizona ($2.86). When compared to last week, most pump prices in the region are flat. Alaska and Arizona had the biggest changes, dropping by a penny each.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) petroleum status report for the week ending on August 10, inventories of gasoline in the region decreased by 200,000 bbl. They now sit at 30.1 million bbl, which is four million bbl higher than total levels at this time last year. Higher supplies will help offset potential price spikes in the region if demand increases in the run-up to Labor Day.

Additionally, the impact of Hurricane Lane on Hawaii’s gasoline refining and delivery systems has been minimal. Par Pacific, Hawaii’s largest refinery, closed as a safety precaution over the weekend, but it has since restarted.

Great Lakes and Central

Five states in this region land on this week’s top 10 list of states with the largest changes: Ohio (+10 cents), Michigan (+5 cents), South Dakota (-3 cent), Kansas  (-3 cents) and Missouri (-3 cents). Among the Great Lakes and Central states, gas price averages are as expensive as $2.94 in Michigan, to as cheap as $2.57 in Missouri.

Michigan (-9 cents), South Dakota (-7 cents) and Kentucky (-7 cents) lead the Great Lakes and Central states with the largest decrease in month-over-month prices and rank among the top five states in the country. Ohio (+3 cents) is the only state in the region to be paying more compared to the end of July.

The region had the largest build in gasoline inventory of any in the country adding 1.3 million bbl, according to the EIA. At 53.4 million bbl, inventories are at one of the highest levels of the year for the Great Lakes and Central region.

South and Southeast

With the exception of Oklahoma (+2 cents) and Texas (+1 cent), all South and Southwest states’ gas price averages are cheaper on the week. Florida (-4 cents) and Georgia (-3 cents) saw the biggest drops in the region and both states land on the top 10 list of states with the largest weekly changes.

Gas prices in the region are dropping as demand slips and inventory levels continue to build for three straight weeks. With the addition of half a million bbl, total South and Southeast gasoline inventories sit at 81.5 million bbl – a level not seen since early July. However, the coming weeks could bring major year-over-year surpluses in inventories when compared to last August’s major hurricane activity that shut down regional refineries and pipelines.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas price averages are relatively flat across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. Prices dropped as much as two cents on the week, but only in Tennessee. The majority of states report gas price averages only a penny cheaper since last Monday, except in Vermont ($2.91) and Rhode Island ($2.89) which held steady.

While the national year-over-year difference in gas price averages is nearly 50-cents higher, a handful of Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are paying more than this average. Motorists in Connecticut (+56 cents), Massachusetts (+54 cents), Delaware (+54 cents), Rhode Island (+53 cents), Vermont (+-52 cents) and New York (+51 cents) are seeing the largest yearly differences in the region.

Similar to pump prices, gasoline inventories in the region remain relatively flat. EIA reports total inventories drew 57,000 bbl. Levels hold steady at one of the lowest points for this summer at 63.2 million bbl.

Rockies

Unlike the majority of the country, gas prices continue to increase for many states in the Rockies. Since the beginning of August, Idaho (+14 cents) and Utah (+12 cents) have seen large jumps in pump prices. Part of the increase can be attributed to local refinery maintenance combined with high tourism season in the region this time of year.

On the week, all states but Montana ($2.94) are paying more at the pump: Wyoming (+4 cents), Colorado (+3 cent), Utah (+3 cents) and Idaho (+2 cents).

Gasoline inventories continue to decrease with the latest EIA data reporting a total of 6.1 million bbl. That is the lowest level on record for the Rockies region since August 2014.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 89 cents to settle at $68.72. A weak dollar contributed to last week’s price gain. Moreover, following the release of EIA’s weekly report that showed total domestic crude inventories fell by 5.8 million bbl during the previous week, crude prices increased. If this week brings a continued decline in crude stocks, crude prices could surpass $70 per barrel.

In related news, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the U.S. lost nine oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 860. Currently, there are 101 more active rigs than last year at this time.

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

As summer slows to an end, gas prices across the country are getting less expensive. Today’s national gas price average is $2.84, which is three cents less than at the beginning of the month. With the exception of a handful of states, the majority of motorists are seeing slow, but steady pump price drops during the last few weeks.

“Compared to July, consumer demand for gasoline is weaning and prices are following suit,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The national average is expected to keep moving lower, especially with the switchover to lower grade gasoline in September.”

In September, gas stations will start selling winter-blend gasoline. This blend, which is cheaper to produce, contains a fuel that evaporates at low temperatures for vehicle engines to operate properly, especially when the engine is cold.

The national gas price average is saving motorists two-cents on the week and one-cent on the month, but motorists are paying 50-cents more than this time last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii($3.76), California ($3.60), Washington ($3.38), Alaska ($3.34), Oregon ($3.25), Idaho ($3.23), Nevada ($3.19), Utah ($3.18), Connecticut ($3.05) and Pennsylvania ($3.04).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Michigan (-10 cents), Illinois (-7 cents), Utah (+6 cents), Florida (-5 cents), Delaware (-5 cents), Ohio (+4 cents), South Dakota (-4 cents), Georgia (-3 cents), Oklahoma (-3 cents) and South Carolina (-3 cents).

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying some of the highest pump prices in the country: Hawaii ($3.76), California ($3.60), Washington ($3.38), Alaska ($3.34), Oregon ($3.25), Nevada ($3.19) and Arizona ($2.87). When compared to last week, most pump prices in the region are down. Alaska (-3 cents) saw the largest drop, followed by Arizona and Oregon dropping two cents each. Idaho (+2 cents) saw the largest price increase.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) petroleum status report for the week ending on August 10, inventories of gasoline in the region fell by 100,000 bbl. They now sit at 30.3 million bbl, which is nearly four million bbl lower than total levels at this time last year. Slowing demand has reduced stocks slightly in the region, but as supplies tighten, any supply shocks could make the market more volatile this week and force prices to spike.

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices are as much as a dime cheaper for motorists in the Great Lakes and Central states, with the exception of Ohio (+4 cents) and Indiana (+1 cent) on the week.  Michigan (-10 cents), Illinois (-7 cents) and South Dakota (-4 cents) carry the largest declines in the region.

Prices are pushing down as the EIA reports inventories (at 53 million bbl) are not only seeing a year-over-year surplus, but levels are ahead of the five-year average. In fact, this is the highest inventory reported for the region in the mid-August timeframe since 1999.

However, strong inventory levels may not be a consistent trend. The region’s refinery rates slowed slightly on the week ahead of the start of turnaround season, which will ultimately bring cheaper gas prices for motorists this fall and winter.

South and Southeast

All motorists in the South and Southeast region are saving pennies at the pump with prices as much as a nickel cheaper on the week in Florida. Georgia, Oklahoma and South Carolina all saw their gas price averages drop three cents since last Monday. These four states land on the top 10 list of states with the largest weekly change.

Motorists in the South and Southeast region are seeing cheaper prices at the pump as inventories built for a second week in a row, reported the EIA. Adding half a million bbl, total inventories sit at 80.1 million bbl, which is the highest level seen since the Independence Day holiday.

Despite this week’s cheaper prices, some motorists in the South and Southeast are paying as much as 52-cents more to fill up compared to last August: New Mexico (+52 cents), Florida (+52 cents) and Georgia (+51 cents). Regardless, the region continues to carry some of the cheapest state gas price averages in the country.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

All motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are paying one to five cents less this week to fill-up. With a nickel drop, Delaware lands on the top 10 states list with the largest changes in gas prices on the week. Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Tennessee (-3 cents) had the second largest drop in the region.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast state gas price averages range from as expensive as $3.05 in Connecticut to as cheap at $2.60 in Virginia.

With an 800,000 bbl draw, gasoline inventory levels now sit at 63.2 million bbl – the lowest levels reported in the region by the EIA since early May.

Rockies

Utah (+5 cents) and Idaho (+2 cents) are two of only four states in the country to see gas prices jump on the week. The increases are high for the region especially considering gas price averages held steady since last Monday in Wyoming ($2.95), Montana ($2.94) and Colorado ($2.80).

Gasoline inventories drew down for a fourth week dropping levels to the lowest of the year for the region. At 6.5 million bbl, inventories are on par with the five-year average. As previously reported, gas prices will likely push up as the tourism season draws to a close.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 45 cents to settle at $65.91. Oil prices ended the week with slight gains due to a softening dollar, after tumbling midweek following new data from the EIA that showed domestic crude oil inventories grew by 6.8 million bbl last week.

The unusually high growth in crude inventories caught market observers by surprise, raising concerns that summer demand may be waning. At 414.2 million bbl, crude inventories in the U.S. are about 52 million bbl lower than they were at this point last summer, which has contributed to higher gas prices this summer. Domestic crude production topping 10.9 million b/d and imports surging to just over 9 million b/d gave total crude inventories their boost last week. If these trends continue into this week, crude inventories may show more growth, which would likely push domestic crude prices lower.

In related news, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the U.S. added no oil rigs last week, leaving the total unchanged at 869. Currently, there are 106 more active rigs this year than last year at this time.

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

August’s National Gas Price Average Remains Flat

August 13th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

The national gas price average has held relatively flat for the last two weeks. Today’s national average is $2.86. The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest reports detail a drop in consumer gasoline demand and a build in gasoline inventories. In fact, this was the first increase in inventories in six-weeks with a substantial addition of 3 million bbl.

“With a flat national average, U.S. gasoline supply and demand suggest they are balancing,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “But that’s not to say that we could not see spikes in demand closer to Labor Day as motorists squeeze in those final road trips.”

On the week, states are seeing pump price jumps as high as eight cents and drops as much as a dime. Today’s gas price average is one-cent less than last week, three-cents less than one month ago and 51-cents more than this time last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii($3.76), California ($3.61), Washington ($3.39), Alaska ($3.36), Oregon ($3.27), Idaho ($3.22), Nevada ($3.19), Utah ($3.12), Connecticut ($3.06) and Pennsylvania ($3.06).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Ohio (-10 cents), Indiana (-8 cents), Michigan (+7 cents), Idaho (+7 cents), Florida (+6 cents), Utah (+4 cents), New Mexico (+4 cents), Missouri (-3 cents), Delaware (-3 cents) and South Carolina (-3 cents).

West Coast

Pump prices in states in the West Coast region are among the highest in the country: Hawaii ($3.76), California ($3.61), Washington ($3.39), Alaska ($3.36), Oregon ($3.27), Nevada ($3.19) and Arizona ($2.89). When compared to last week, all pump prices in the region are down. Arizona (-2 cents) saw the largest drop.

According to EIA’s petroleum status report for the week ending on August 3, inventories of gasoline in the region grew by 200,000 bbl. They now sit at 30.4 million bbl, which is nearly four million bbl higher than total levels at this time last year. Growing supplies will provide a cushion for price fluctuations, which could help pump prices stabilize if there are any shocks to regional supply this week.

Great Lakes and Central

On the week, gas prices across the Great Lakes and Central states are seeing declines or stabilization. Michigan (+7 cents) and Illinois (+1 cent) were the only states to see an increase in the region. Ohio (-10 cents), Indiana (-8 cents) and Missouri (-3 cents) have the largest weekly decrease in pump prices in the country and the region.

The majority of states across the country are paying less to fill-up at the pump compared to last month with four Great Lakes and Central states landing on the top five list: Ohio (-18 cents), Indiana (-15 cents), Kentucky (-10 cents) and Missouri (-7 cents).

With a substantial 1.7 million bbl build, gasoline inventories are above the 53 million bbl mark for the first time in a month. In fact, this was the first build for the region since the end of June and contributed to this week’s cheaper or stable prices across the Great Lakes and Central states.

South and Southeast

The majority of states in the South and Southeast saw gas prices drop between one and two cents on the week. However, some states saw prices increase close to a nickel or more: Florida (+6 cents), New Mexico (+4 cents), and Louisiana (+2 cents).

Of the top 10 cheapest state gas price averages this week, seven are in the South and Southeast region: Mississippi ($2.56), South Carolina ($2.57), Alabama ($2.57), Arkansas ($2.59), Texas ($2.62), Louisiana ($2.62) and Oklahoma ($2.62)

The EIA reports regional inventory increased by 1.3 million bbl, lifting regional levels back above 79 million bbl total and pushing the majority of gas price state averages down. Despite the increase, total levels are at a 2.1 million bbl deficit compared to this time last year.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are mostly flat across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region with eight states seeing two to one cent pump price drops while seven states’ gas price averages held flat on the week. Delaware (-3 cent) saw the largest change of any state in the region.

Four states in the region currently carry gas prices above the $3 mark: Connecticut ($3.06), Pennsylvania ($3.06), Washington, D.C. ($3.03) and New York ($3.01).

Pump prices and inventories remained relatively flat at 64 million bbl on the week, according to the latest EIA data available. Total inventory levels are on par with levels this time last year. If they tighten, prices would likely increase.

Rockies

Idaho ($3.22) and Utah ($3.12) are among the top 10 states with the most expensive gas prices in the country. Both of these states saw pump prices jump on the week – seven and four cents respectively, along with Wyoming (+1 cent).  Montana’s ($2.94) gas price average dropped a penny while Colorado’s ($2.80) gas price average held flat since last Monday.

However, compared to a year ago, gas prices are much more expensive. Utah (+59 cents), Idaho (+57 cents) and Wyoming (+57 cents) are on the top 10 list for largest year-over-year change in gas prices. Gas prices are nearly 50 cents or more in Montana (+53 cents) and Colorado (+47 cents).

Gasoline inventories took the largest plunge since the end of June with a nearly 300,000 bbl drop. EIA reports that regional inventory levels are at the lowest levels of the year. If they keep pushing down, which is likely as peak tourism season in the region draws to a close, gas prices may increase.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 82 cents to settle at $67.63. Oil prices took a slight step back last week after EIA’s report showed a smaller-than-expected drawdown of crude inventories. Falling approximately 1.35 million bbl, total crude inventories now sit at 407.4 million bbl, which is roughly 68 million bbl lower than where they were this time last year. Lower crude stocks, amid high global crude demand, have helped to increase global crude prices this year over last. However, if total domestic crude inventories continue to disappoint the market this week, oil prices may slide further.

In related news, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the U.S. added 10 oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 869. Currently, there are 101 more active rigs this year than last year at this time.

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

 

At 9.88 million b/d, gasoline demand last week was near an all-time record high according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). More so, the latest EIA data shows gasoline inventories tightening from 240 million bbl at the end of June down to 231 million bbl at the end of July. The boost in demand and drop in inventory have driven the national gas price average to $2.87, which is the most expensive gas price seen in August since 2014.

“We are likely going to see an end of summer pump price rally as inventories continue to tighten, especially on the East Coast,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “This week’s EIA demand and inventory reports will give further indication of how much higher the national gas price average could jump before summer is over.”

While today’s gas price average is one-cent more than last week, it is the same price as one month ago, yet 52-cents more than this time last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii($3.76), California ($3.62), Washington ($3.40), Alaska ($3.37), Oregon ($3.28), Nevada ($3.20), Idaho ($3.15), Utah ($3.08), Connecticut ($3.07) and Pennsylvania ($3.06).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly changes are: New Mexico (-11 cents), Arizona (-10 cents), Delaware (+9 cents), Utah (-7 cents), South Carolina (+6 cents), Georgia (+5 cents), Nevada (-5 cents), Colorado (-5 cents), Kentucky (-5 cents) and Alabama (+4 cents).

West Coast

Motorists in states in the West Coast region are paying some of the highest pump prices in the country: Hawaii ($3.76), California ($3.62), Washington ($3.40), Alaska ($3.37), Oregon ($3.28), Nevada ($3.20) and Arizona ($2.91). When compared to last week, most gas prices in the region are down or flat. Hawaii and Arizona saw the largest drops at a penny each.

According to EIA’s petroleum status report for the week ending on July 27, inventories of gasoline in the region dropped by 400,000 bbl. They now sit at 30.2 million bbl, which is nearly 3.5 million bbl lower than total levels at this time last year. Tighter supplies leave little cushion for price shocks, which could increase prices at the pump if supply becomes more constrained.

Great Lakes and Central

Unlike most states in the country, Michigan’s gas price average dropped quite a bit on the week: eight cents. Now, Michigan ($2.92) has fallen from the most expensive Great Lakes and Central state to the second spot behind Illinois ($2.94).

With the exception of Michigan, Kentucky (-2 cents) and Kansas (-1 cent) all state gas price averages in the Great Lakes and Central region are more expensive compared to last Monday. The largest jumps on the week were Minnesota (+3 cents), Wisconsin (+2 cents) Illinois (+2 cents) and South Dakota (+2 cents).

Gasoline inventories continue to tighten in the region following the fourth consecutive weekly draw. Total inventories register at the 51 million bbl mark. While this is the region’s lowest measurement for the year, it is on par with levels last year at this time, according to EIA data.

South and Southeast

For a second week, pump prices are on the rise in the South and Southeast. With a six-cent increase, Georgia ($2.78) has the largest jump of any state in the country while South Carolina (+3 cents) has the ninth largest. Arkansas ($2.59), Texas ($2.63) and New Mexico ($2.75) were the only states in the region to see prices hold steady on the week.

Year-over-year, gas prices are 54-cents (Georgia) to 45-cents (Louisiana) more expensive in the South and Southeast.

With a draw of 700,000 bbl, the EIA reports regional inventory is the lowest level since before Memorial Day at 78.3 million bbl. Inventories have been tightening for two weeks alongside rising gas prices. The South and Southeast have not seen levels below 78.3 million bbl during the month of July since 2015.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Five Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region states land on this week’s top 10 largest jumps: Delaware (+6 cents), Tennessee (+4 cents), North Carolina (+3 cents), Maryland (+3 cents) and Pennsylvania (+2 cents). Rhode Island (-1 cent) was the only state to see a decrease at the pump while many other states’ averages held steady on the week: West Virginia ($2.86), Massachusetts ($2.90), Washington, D.C. ($3.05) and Connecticut ($3.07)

Motorists in Delaware ($2.83) are feeling the biggest pain at the pump. Compared to this time last month, gas prices are nine-cents more expensive for the state. That is the largest month-over-month gas price difference not only for the region, but also the country.

During July, total gasoline inventory levels in the region dropped from 66.4 million bbl to 64 million bbl. The latest EIA numbers report inventories were drawn down by 1.2 million bbl – the largest draw of any region for the week ending July 27. With gasoline import numbers slowing, this region could see inventory levels really tighten and gas prices amplify despite having a year-over-year surplus.

Rockies

Pump prices in the Rockies region are mostly trending higher on the week following declines last week: Idaho (+4 cents), Colorado (+1 cent) and Montana (+1 cent). Utah’s state average dropped a penny to $3.08 while Wyoming held at $2.94.

With a draw of 82,000 bbl, inventory levels sit right at 7 million bbl. A draw this week would mean levels would dip below this mark for the first time in six weeks and encourage more expensive pump prices.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped 47 cents to settle at $68.49. Oil prices made some gains last week, but are ending at a loss after EIA reported that total oil inventories across the country grew by 5.6 million bbl last week. The build in crude stocks was supported by crude exports falling to 1.31 million b/d.

Crude price losses may not extend into this week as global supply concerns re-emerge. One concern is that based on recent reports, Saudi Arabia’s crude output unexpectedly fell 200,000 b/d to 10.3 million b/d last month. Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in OPEC, so a drop in its production means that the planned increase in crude production that the cartel and its partners announced in June may be moving slower than expected. Additionally, an announcement on U.S.-imposed sanctions against Iran is expected early this week, which could heighten geopolitical concerns in the crude market.

In related news, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the U.S. lost two oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 859. Currently, there are 94 more active rigs this year than last year at this time.

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

As U.S. gasoline demand strengthened and supply declined, the national gas price average jumped two-cents on the week to land at $2.86. According to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, total crude inventories fell on the week and now register at 405 million bbl, which is 80 million bbl lower than levels at the same time last year.

“As crude and gasoline inventories tighten, motorists can expect gas prices to trend higher and remain volatile,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “On the week, pump prices increased as much as 11-cents for some states with others seeing decreases of up to four-cents.”

While today’s gas price average is one-cent less than last month, it is 55-cents more than a year ago and crude oil prices are up $20/bbl compared to this time last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii($3.78), California ($3.62), Washington ($3.40), Alaska ($3.37), Oregon ($3.29), Nevada ($3.20), Idaho ($3.11), Utah ($3.09), Connecticut ($3.07) and Washington, D.C. ($3.05).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Michigan (+11 cents), Indiana (+9 cents), Ohio (+8 cents), Kentucky (+6 cents), Illinois (+4 cents), Kansas (+4 cents), Delaware (-4 cents), New Mexico (-3 cents), West Virginia (+3 cents) and South Carolina (+3 cents).

West Coast

Pump prices in states in the West Coast region are among the highest in the country: Hawaii ($3.78), California ($3.62), Washington ($3.40), Alaska ($3.3), Oregon (3.29), Nevada ($3.20) and Arizona ($2.92). Yet on the week, all gas prices in the region are down. Arizona (-2 cents) saw the largest decrease. Washington, Nevada, and Alaska are close behind as each dropped by a penny.

According to EIA’s petroleum status report for the week ending on July 20, inventories of gasoline in the region grew by 300,000 bbl. They now sit at 30.6 million bbl, which is nearly 3.5 million bbl higher than total levels at this time last year. The surplus will likely help guard against price spikes in the event that supply tightens in the region this week.

 

Great Lakes and Central The seven Great Lakes and Central states that saw large declines last week are seeing higher pump prices this week. In fact, Michigan’s decreases from last week were reversed with motorists seeing an 11-cent jump, bringing the state’s average to the $3 mark for the first time since July 15.

State July 23 Difference in Price from Week Prior July 30 Difference in Price From Week Prior July 30 State Gas Price Average
Ohio -13 cents +8 cents $2.78
Michigan -11 cents +11 cents $3.00
Indiana -11 cents +9 cents $2.90
Kentucky -8 cents +4 cents $2.78
Illinois -7 cents +4 cents $2.92
Missouri -5 cents +2 cents $2.63
Nebraska -4 cents +2 cents $2.73

While no states in the region saw prices decrease on the week, North Dakota ($2.85) was the one to see the state gas price average hold steady.

Gasoline inventories in the region declined for a third week. With the drop, total inventories are at the lowest mark of the year at 51.6 million bbl, a 1.2-million bbl year-over-year deficit. If inventories continue to tighten, motorists in the region can expect gas prices to climb.

South and Southeast

Pump prices are more expensive for all states across the South and Southeast except in New Mexico (-3 cents) and Florida (-1 cent). The largest pump price increase on the week was three-cents in South Carolina ($2.57) and Texas ($2.64).

Compared to one month ago, the majority of states in the region are paying more to fill up, with South Carolina seeing the largest month-over-month increase at five-cents. Motorists in New Mexico (-13 cents) and Texas (-1 cent) are the only states to see a drop in gas prices on the month.

Inventories dropped by 900,000 bbl on the week, but remain above the 79 million bbl mark. More so, the region faces a substantial 2.6 million bbl year-over-year deficit. The week’s draw combined with the deficit is contributing to the increasing pump prices across the region.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are volatile across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. This week’s top 10 states in the country with the biggest changes in gas prices include Delaware (-4 cents) and West Virginia (+3 cents). However, most states in the region saw gas prices hold steady on the week: Virginia ($2.61), Tennessee ($2.61), North Carolina ($2.67), New Hampshire ($2.80), Vermont ($2.90), New York ($3.00) and Connecticut ($3.07).

Four states in the region carry gas prices that are $3 or more: Connecticut ($3.07), Washington, D.C. ($3.05), Pennsylvania ($3.04) and New York ($3.00).

With a nearly one million bbl decline, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region saw the largest drop in gasoline inventories in the country on the week, according to EIA data. At 65.2 million bbl, the region has a 3 million bbl inventory surplus compared to last year at this time, which could continue to help stabilize gas prices in the region.

Rockies

In the Rockies region, all states’ gas price averages decreased or held steady on the week: Utah (-2 cents), Colorado (-2 cents), Wyoming (-2 cent), Idaho (-1 cent) and Montana (no change). Despite the positive shifts in gas prices lately, Idaho ($3.11), Utah ($3.09), Wyoming ($2.94) and Montana ($2.94) carry among the top 15 most expensive gas prices in the country.

Inventories remain above the 7million bbl mark, which is a 537,000 bbl year-over-year surplus and a contributing factor in the downward shift in gas prices.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 92 cents to settle at $68.69. Oil prices trended higher with the release of EIA’s weekly report that total crude inventories fell by 6.2 million bbl and face a year-over-year deficit of 80 million bbl. The tightened domestic crude supply amid robust global gasoline demand and high global crude demand will likely sustain into the near future the more expensive crude oil prices, which are $20/bbl more compared to last year.

Additionally, the market will look at EIA’s supply data and July crude production data from OPEC and its partners — both of which will be released later this week — to determine how supply and demand are faring since the cartel announced that it would increase production to ease global crude price growth. Moreover, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the U.S. added three oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 861. Currently, there are 95 more active rigs this year than last year at this time.

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

July Gas Prices are Proving Volatile

July 23rd, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

Volatility is the trend for July gas prices as the rate for crude oil rises and drops amid lingering geopolitical concerns. In the U.S., the first half of the month saw pump prices increase from $2.85 to $2.89, while the second half is proving cheaper with the national gas price average down to $2.84 today. The national average has not been this low since early May.

“July gas prices have been on a roller coaster ride, but appear to be on a downward slope at the moment. If demand and supply stay consistent, prices have the potential to stabilize barring any major events – geopolitical or natural disasters,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The market is also following this up and down trend lately. Last week, crude prices dropped below $70/bbl for the first time since June, but then returned above the price point to close out the week.”

On the week, Hawaii (+1 cent) was the only state to see gas prices increase, Montana ($2.93) was the only state whose gas price average held steady, while all other states saw prices drop as much as 13 cents.

Today’s national gas price average is four cents cheaper than last week, two cents cheaper than last month, but 57-cents more expensive than a year ago. Motorists can find gas for $2.76 or more at 52 percent of stations across the country.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.54), South Carolina ($2.54), Mississippi ($2.54), Arkansas ($2.58), Louisiana ($2.58), Oklahoma ($2.60), Virginia ($2.61), Tennessee ($2.61), Texas ($2.61) and Missouri ($2.61).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly changes are: New Mexico (-13 cents), Arizona (-12 cents), Nevada (-8 cents), Delaware (+8 cents), Utah (-8 cents), Nebraska (-7 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Texas (-6 cents), Idaho (-6 cents) and California (-5 cents).

West Coast

Motorists in states in the West Coast region are paying the most expensive pump prices in the country: Hawaii ($3.78), California ($3.63), Washington ($3.41), Alaska ($3.38), Oregon (3.29), Nevada ($3.20) and Arizona ($2.94). Still, gas price averages in the majority of states in the region have declined on the week, with Arizona (-3 cents) leading the way. Only Hawaii (+1 cent) saw an increase.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) petroleum status report for the week ending on July 13, inventories of gasoline in the region dropped by 500,000 bbl. They now sit at 30.3 million bbl, which is nearly 3.5 million bbl higher than total levels at this time last year. The surplus will likely help guard against price spikes in the event that supply tightens in the region this week.

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices are dropping – and for some by a lot – on the week across the Great Lakes and Central states. Seven states in the region land on the top 10 largest weekly change in gas prices list: Ohio (-13 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Indiana (-11 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents), Illinois (-7 cents) Missouri (-5 cents) and Nebraska (-4 cents).

Despite cheaper gas prices on the week, state gas price averages are nearly 50-cents or more expensive than a year ago. North Dakota ($2.85) and South Dakota ($2.87) have the largest year-over-year increase at 61- and 60-cents, respectively. Nebraska has the smallest year-over -year increase at 47-cents.

On the week, gasoline inventories in the region took a draw of 870,000 bbl and now face a 2.3 million bbl deficit, the only region in the country to have one according to EIA data. As regional gasoline inventories tighten, gas prices could see jumps.

South and Southeast

Across the South and Southeast states, gas prices range from as expensive as $2.77 in Florida to as cheap as $2.55 in Alabama. On the week, prices in the region are as much as four cents cheaper.

This week’s top four states with the cheapest gas averages in the country can be found in the South and Southeast region. Coincidentally, they are the same four states with the cheapest prices from one year ago with  motorists paying at least 50-cents more a gallon to fill-up, compared to a national average difference of nearly 60 cents.

Cheapest Gas Prices on July 23: 2017 vs. 2018

State Price on July 23, 2017 Price July 23, 2018 Difference in Price
South Carolina $1.99 $2.54 +55 cents
Alabama $2.00 $2.58 +54 cents
Mississippi $2.02 $2.54 +52 cents
Arkansas $2.04 $2.59 +54 cents

 
On the month, gasoline inventories in the region have drawn by 3.4 million bbl yet are 1.2 million bbl ahead of levels this time last year. Much of the decline in inventory levels can be attributed to high U.S. export levels.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are as much as five cents cheaper on the week across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. Looking at prices compared to a month ago, most states in the region are seeing cheaper pump prices – as much as four cents less. On the other hand, six states are paying more, with Delaware seeing the largest month-over-month increase in the country: Delaware (+8 cents), West Virginia (+3 cents), Washington, D.C. (+3 cents), Pennsylvania (+1 cent), Maryland (+1 cent) and New Jersey (+1 cent).

Gasoline inventory sits at a healthy 66.3 million bbl with the EIA reporting a small 148,000 bbl draw in their latest report. Despite the region seeing a 2 million bbl surplus year-over-year, gas prices are more than 50-cents more than last summer, but the strong inventory levels may help to stabilize or drop gas prices in the coming week.

Rockies

On average, gas prices are 62-cents more expensive than a year ago for motorists filling up in states in the Rockies region. Wyoming (+69 cents) has the largest year-over-year difference in pump prices. On the week, there is a little relief at the pump with state gas price averages dropping in Colorado (-2 cents), Utah (-2 cents), Idaho (-2 cents) Wyoming (-1 cent) and Montana (-1 cent).

Inventories in the region built by a small 50,000 bbl on the week, according to EIA data. The build was not enough to move gas prices up. At 7.1 million bbl in total inventory, levels are 425,000 bbl ahead of last year. More so, during July 2017, the inventory levels in the region did not exceed 6.7 million bbl.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.00 to settle at $70.46. Oil prices trended higher at the end of last week following news from EIA on record-breaking crude production in the U.S. At 11 million b/d, total crude production in the U.S. hit its highest rate ever recorded since the EIA began reporting its data. Moving into this week, analyst are continuing to keep an eye on the global supply restraints due to U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and ongoing d economic troubles in Venezuela, which could send crude production prices higher.

The U.S. dropped five oil rigs last week leaving today’s total at 858. In spite of this, with nearly 94 more active oil rigs over last year’s count, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., increased oil production shows few signs of slowing down through the second half of 2018. Growth in domestic oil production helped total crude inventories around the country increase by 5.8 million bbl last week, bringing the total to 411.1 million bbl.

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 is $2.87, which is a penny more expensive on the week. Pump prices in nearly 30 states are seeing a jump of as much as eight cents, a dozen states saw prices drop and another dozen states’ gas price averages remain stable from last Monday.

“Demand for gasoline this summer remains very strong week-over-week, driving gas prices higher alongside rising crude prices,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Today motorists are seeing gas for $2.76 or more at 56 percent of gas stations across the country.”

Today’s gas price average is six-cents cheaper than last month, but 61-cents more expensive than at the same time last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Delaware (+8 cents), Michigan (-7 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Maryland (+4 cents), New Mexico (-3 cents), Pennsylvania (+3 cents), Georgia (+3 cents), Kentucky (+3 cents) and Oklahoma (+3 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.53), Alabama ($2.53), Mississippi ($2.55), Louisiana ($2.58), Arkansas ($2.60), Missouri ($2.61), Tennessee ($2.61), Oklahoma ($2.62), Virginia ($2.62) and Kansas ($2.66).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the most expensive in the country: Hawaii ($3.73), California ($3.66), Washington ($3.44), Alaska ($3.40), Oregon (3.32), Nevada ($3.24) and Arizona ($3.00). Most prices in the region have declined on the week, with Arizona (-2 cents) leading the group.

Inventories of gasoline in the region fell for a third consecutive week, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) petroleum status report for the week ending on June 29. Dropping by nearly 150,000 bbl, total inventories now sit at 30.5 million bbl. However, inventories are approximately 2.2 million bbl higher than they were at this point last summer, which will likely help prices stabilize if there are any major supply disruptions in the region this week.

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices are volatile on the week in the Great Lakes and Central region with gas prices anywhere from seven cents cheaper to six cents more expensive. A handful of states’ gas price averages remain stable on the week. Four states from these regions land on this week’s largest gas price changes list: Michigan (-7 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Indiana (+5 cents) and Kentucky (+3 cents).

At $2.95, Illinois has the most expensive gas prices in the region followed by Michigan ($2.92). At $2.61, Missouri is the cheapest.

Gasoline inventories built for a fourth week in the region. Adding nearly 440,000 bbl, total inventories sit at 53.7 million bbl. According to the EIA, levels are similar to this time last year.

South and Southeast

States in the South and Southeast are seeing more expensive gas prices on the week, with a jump of as much as three cents in Georgia and Oklahoma. New Mexico (-3 cents) and Florida (-1 cent) were the only states to see a decline at the pump. South Carolina ($2.53) continues to tout the cheapest gas price average in the country and the region.

With gas prices nearly a dime or more cheaper than last month, New Mexico (-13 cents), Texas (-10 cents), Florida (-9 cents) and Alabama (-9 cents) land on the top 10 states with the largest month-over-month changes in pump prices.

Gasoline inventories drew down by nearly 500,000 bbl on the week. Even with the dip, total inventories register close to 83 million bbl, which is on par with levels year-over-year and are keeping prices somewhat stable.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Delaware (+8 cents) is seeing the largest jump at the pump of any state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region on the week. There were no pump price declines, but a few states saw gas prices remain stable: Wisconsin ($2.81), Vermont ($2.92) and Massachusetts ($2.91).

Prices compared to one year ago are as much as 66-cents more expensive with three states landing on the top 10 list of biggest year-over-year changes: Connecticut (+66 cents), Rhode Island (+64 cents) and Massachusetts (+63 cents).

Following last week’s 1.2 million bbl build, the region saw the largest draw of any region in the country at 1.6 million bbl this week, according to EIA data. The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region inventory level now measures 65.5 million bbl, the lowest level recorded the region in the month of June and a potential factor driving prices this week.

Rockies

Gas prices are mostly cheaper on the week among states in the Rockies: Idaho (-2 cents), Utah (-2 cents) and Wyoming (-1 cent). Colorado’s ($2.85) and Montana’s ($2.93) average held steady the last seven days.

At 7.3 million bbl, total gasoline inventories measure at the highest level in the region since late April. On the week, inventories built by nearly 239,000 bbl and register 363,000 bbl ahead of this time last year, which is an indicator that refinery runs are returning to a normal schedule following a long maintenance season.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 86 cents to settle at $73.80. Crude prices trended lower last week following EIA’s report that showed U.S. crude oil inventories increased by a total of 1.3 million bbl last week. It was the first time in three weeks that the U.S. has seen a build in inventories, which typically sees drawdowns throughout the summer. At 417.9 million bbl, crude inventories in the U.S. are 85 million bbl lower than they were at this time last year. The surprise build in total crude stocks gave market observers pause amid a slew of other factors influencing the oil market, including increasing geopolitical factors – in Iran, Libya, and Venezuela – potentially destabilizing global supply. Moving into this week, market observers will watch these factors to determine their impact on supply. If it appears that supply could be reduced amid high global crude demand, oil prices may increase.

In related news, the U.S. oil rig count increased by five last week, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., bringing the total number of rigs to 863. When compared to last year’s count at this time, there are 100 more rigs presently.

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 $2.86, gas prices are at their highest point for an Independence Day holiday in four years. However, for the nearly 40 million motorists expected to travel this week, they will find prices at the pump 11-cents cheaper than this past Memorial Day holiday.

“The national gas price average has held fairly steady for the past 10 days, suggesting that U.S. demand is keeping pace with supply and stabilizing summer gas prices,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “However, elevated crude oil prices and other geopolitical concerns could tilt gas prices more expensive in the early fall despite an expected increase in global crude production from OPEC and its partners.”

AAA is tracking the following factors that will continue to impact pump prices through the fall:

  • Domestic crude inventories: For the first summer driving season in five years, the U.S. has seen the largest one-week reduction (9.9 million bbl) in crude inventories. A consistent decline in supplies could spark higher gas prices.
  • Crude production and exports: Refinery runs are at an all-time high and exports are at record levels, which impacts supply levels.
  • Gasoline demand: The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows U.S. demand at 9.7 million b/d, one of the highest levels of the year, and could hit a new record with Independence Day holiday travel.
  • Crude oil prices: Last week, crude oil hit $74/bbl – its highest level since 2014.
  • Geopolitical concerns: Market observers are watching crude production levels in Libya and Venezuela amid economic woes in Venezuela, and details on the Iran sanctions all of which are influencing market prices.

“If U.S. demand remains strong, domestic and global supply decline and crude inventories continues to sell over $70/bbl, motorists may see the national gas prices average to potentially jump back up to nearly $3/gallon in coming months,” added Casselano.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.53), Alabama ($2.53), Mississippi ($2.53), Louisiana ($2.57), Arkansas ($2.58), Oklahoma ($2.59), Tennessee ($2.60), Virginia ($2.60), Missouri ($2.60) and Texas ($2.64).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Delaware (-18 cents), Illinois (-16 cents), Indiana (-16 cents), Florida (-15 cents), Virginia (-15 cents), Maryland (-14 cents), Texas (-14 cents), Georgia (-13 cents), Iowa (-13 cents) and Nebraska (-13 cents).

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are seeing the most expensive pump prices in the country: Hawaii ($3.73), California ($3.66), Washington ($3.43), Alaska ($3.41), Oregon (3.31), Nevada ($3.26) and Arizona ($3.02). However, the majority of prices in the region have declined since last week, with Nevada and Arizona seeing the largest decrease at three cents each. Only Oregon saw a slight one penny increase.

According to the EIA’s petroleum report for the week ending on June 22, gasoline stocks in the region fell by 300,000 bbl and now sit at 30.7 million bbl. However, inventories are 1.7 million bbl higher than they were at this point last summer, which will likely help prices stabilize if there are any major supply disruptions in the region this week.

Great Lakes and Central

The majority of motorists in the Great Lakes and Central region are seeing cheaper gas prices –up to three cents less — on the week. However, gas prices are noticeably on the rise in Ohio (+11 cents), Michigan (+10 cents), Indiana (+7 cents), Kentucky (+5 cents) and Illinois (+4 cents) following major decreases in these states at the pump the week prior. It is typical to see this type of volatility from week to week in the region. With the jump, Michigan’s ($2.99) is just a penny away from reaching the $3 threshold with Illinois ($2.94) not far behind.

While most gas prices are cheaper in the region on the week, they are extremely expensive compared to last July. Some Great Lakes and Central states are seeing gas prices that are close to 75-cents more than last year: Indiana (+71 cents), Michigan (+69 cents), Illinois (+65 cents), North Dakota (+64 cents), Kentucky (+63 cents), South Dakota (+63 cents) and Ohio (+63 cents).

On the week, gas prices saw mostly modest changes in the region as gasoline inventories added 600,000 bbl to total 63.2 million bbl, according to the EIA.

South and Southeast

Gas prices in the South and Southeast are seeing volatility on the week with Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina seeing gas prices increase by three cents while New Mexico, Arkansas and Texas saw prices drop by two cents. All other states are seeing pump prices decline by a penny or remain stable from last Monday. South Carolina ($2.53) has the cheapest gas in the country and the region followed by: Alabama ($2.53), Mississippi ($2.53), Louisiana ($2.57), Arkansas ($2.58) and Oklahoma ($2.59).

Most motorist’s wallets in the region are feeling relief at the pump not just on the week, but on the month with gas price averages double-digits cheaper than just this past June: Florida (-15 cents), Texas (-14 cents), Georgia (-13 cents), Alabama (-12 cents), Mississippi (-12 cents) and South Carolina (-10 cents).

Gasoline inventories continue to register above 83 million despite of an EIA reported decline of 478,000 bbl contributing to the small changes in price at the pump. Overall, inventories are a healthy 784,000 bbl ahead of levels reported this time last year.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

On the week, motorists in West Virginia (+3 cents) and Washington, D.C. (+2 cents) were the only states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region to see gas prices increase. Rhode Island (-2 cents) saw the largest decrease while other states saw pump prices drop by a penny or remain stable since last Monday. In the region, Connecticut ($3.08), New York ($3.01), Washington, D.C. ($3.01) and Pennsylvania ($3.01) carry the most expensive state gas price averages.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a decision to change the Air Quality Plan and eliminate the low-grade summer gasoline (7.8-lb RVP) mandate during the May 1 – Sept 15 summer driving season for six western Pennsylvania counties. This type of gasoline is more expensive to produce as compared to winter-blend. The impacted counties include Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmorland counties. The lift of the mandate is set to go into effect August 14, pending any objections. However, it is unclear if suppliers will deliver the lower grade gasoline into the market this summer.

With a build of 1.2 million bbl, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region saw the largest build of any in the country. Sitting at 67 million bbl, inventory measures at the highest level since June 2017. The higher inventory levels are contributing towards cheaper gas prices.

Rockies

Idaho ($3.17), Utah ($3.17) and Wyoming ($2.97) rank among the top 15 states with the highest gas price averages in the country this week. Wyoming’s gas price jumped two cents and Colorado’s one-cent to $2.85 on the week.

Wyoming (+5 cents) and Utah (+2 cents) are the only states in the region to see more expensive gas prices compared to last month while gas prices are cheaper in Colorado (-6 cents), Idaho (-2 cents) and Montana (-2 cents).

With a small 86,000 build, inventory levels in the Rockies region sit above 7 million bbl for a second week. Inventories typically measure between 6-7 million bbl during the summer driving season.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 70 cents to settle at $74.15. Crude prices reached new highs not seen since 2014 following a number of developments that will impact supply in the coming months. These include: OPEC confirming that it will work with its partners to produce a record high 11 million barrels per day of crude in July: the U.S. seeking greater crude oil sanctions on Iran; and the continuing economic crisis in Venezuela.

Moreover, crude prices spiked this week after EIA’s weekly report revealed that for the first summer driving season in five years, the U.S. has seen the largest one-week reduction (9.9 million bbl) in domestic crude inventories. Crude inventories now sit at 416.6 million bbl. When compared to this time last year, total crude inventories around the country are lower by 92.6 million bbl. The market will watch supply and demand closely in July for indicators that increased crude production from OPEC and its partners has helped to meet growing global crude demand. If it appears that supply remains tight amid high demand, prices may continue to climb.

In other news, the U.S. oil rig count dropped by four last week, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., bringing the total number of rigs to 858. However, there are still 102 more rigs now than a year ago.

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 $2.85, the national gas price average is five cents cheaper than a week ago, 12-cents less than a month ago, but 58-cents more than a year ago. Gas prices have consistently been declining since Memorial Day. On the week, 49 states saw pump prices drop with and motorists in Indiana and Michigan saw double-digit declines.

Gas prices may be poised to drop even more following OPEC’s announcement that the cartel will increase production by 1 million b/d in the second half of 2018. However, that number may be revised closer to 600,000 b/d, as there is speculation that some producers – including Libya, Venezuela and Iran – will not be able to meet the quota increase. Regardless, the production increase is expected to decrease crude prices and in turn drive down gas prices later this year.

“The OPEC production increase will help to offset concerns of shrinking global supply caused by high global demand this year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “For drivers in the U.S., pump prices likely will not see an impact immediately. Changes, and most likely not dramatic ones, are anticipated to hit pump prices late summer or early fall.”

The cartel made the production decision after the U.S., China and India voiced support for an increase to prevent an oil deficit that could stifle economic growth in the latter half of 2018.  The production increase will occur ahead of this December’s expected dissolution of OPEC’s production reduction agreement, which has worked to reduce global oil supplies and increase the global price of crude since the beginning of 2017.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.50), Mississippi ($2.54), Alabama ($2.54), Oklahoma ($2.56), Louisiana ($2.57), Arkansas ($2.60), Tennessee ($2.60), Virginia ($2.61), Ohio ($2.61) and Missouri ($2.63).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Indiana (-14 cents), Michigan (-13 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Illinois (-8 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Florida (-5 cents), Texas (-5 cents), Kansas (-5 cents) and South Carolina (-5 cents).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the most expensive in the country: Hawaii ($3.73), California ($3.68), Washington ($3.44), Alaska ($3.41), Oregon (3.30), Nevada ($3.28) and Arizona ($3.05). On the week, the majority of prices in the region continue to decline, with California and Nevada leading the way at three cents each. Only Hawaii saw a slight increase by a penny.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) petroleum report for the week ending on June 15, gasoline stocks in the region fell by 600,000 bbl and now sit at 30.9 million bbl. However, inventories are 1.7 million bbl higher than they were at this point last summer, which will likely help prices stabilize if there are any major supply disruptions in the region this week.

Great Lakes and Central

Six Great Lakes and Central states top the largest weekly decreases list: Indiana (-14 cents), Michigan (-13 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Illinois (-8 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents) and Missouri (-6 cents). Gas prices are 3-14 cents cheaper than last Monday across the region except in South Dakota ($2.89) where prices remained stable. With the pump price drops, all state gas price averages are now under $3/gallon. Illinois carries the most expensive average at $2.91.

Not only are motorists in Ohio and Indiana seeing large declines in the last seven days, but gas prices are 30-cents and 26-cents cheaper, respectively, compared to last month. In fact, these two states and Michigan (-24 cents) lead the country in the biggest month-over-month decreases.

Inventories built slightly (81,000 bbl) and now sit at 52.6 million bbl. This is the third highest inventory level of all regions in the country, according to EIA data.

South and Southeast

South and Southeast states are seeing pump prices three to six cents cheaper on the week with Florida (-6 cents), Texas (-5 cents), South Carolina (-5 cents) and Georgia (-5 cents) seeing the largest decreases. In the region, state gas price averages range from as cheap as $2.50 in South Carolina to as expensive as $2.90 in New Mexico.

Compared to this time last year, gas prices are 49 to 70 cents more expensive: New Mexico (+70 cents), Oklahoma (+60 cents), Texas (+59 cents), Georgia (+59 cents), Arkansas (+57 cents), South Carolina (+57 cents) and Alabama (+55 cents). Florida (+49 cents) has the smallest year-over-year change.

Gasoline inventories made a substantial build with 3.4 million bbl, according to the latest EIA data. With a total of 83.6 million bbl, regional inventories sit at their highest mark since the end of March and about 1 million bbl ahead of this time last year.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

With a two-cent decrease on the week, Washington, D.C.’s gas price average falls below $3/gal, while Pennsylvania ($3.01), New York ($3.02) and Connecticut ($3.09) remain above this mark despite a four, three and three cent decrease, respectively. At a nickel, Maine’s gas price average saw the largest drop of any state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.

With gas prices nearly a quarter cheaper, Delaware (-24 cents) is seeing the largest month-over-month change of any states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. Other states seeing double-digit declines on the month: Maryland (-17 cents), Virginia (-15 cents), North Carolina (-13 cents), New Jersey (-13 cents), Tennessee (-13 cents), Pennsylvania (-12 cents), Maine (-11 cents), West Virginia (-11 cents) and Washington, D.C. (-10 cents).

EIA’s latest report shows that with a nearly 250,000 bbl build, regional inventories are sitting at some the highest levels of the year at 66 million bbl and contributing to price drops in the region.

Rockies

Wyoming (+2 cents) was the only state in the country to see an increase on the week. Among states in the Rockies region, Colorado (-3 cents) and Utah (-2 cents), saw the largest decrease, while gas price averages in Montana and Idaho decreased by a penny.

Gas prices are 62-cents more expensive in Utah and Wyoming than they were a year ago. Both states are among the top 12 in the country for largest year-over-year difference in gas prices. In the region, Colorado (+55 cents) has the smallest year-over-year change.

With a 129,000 bbl build, inventories sit just above 7 million bbl. According to EIA data, this is the highest inventory level seen since the end of April when levels measured at 7.2 million bbl.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $3.04 to settle at $68.58. Oil prices trended higher last week as the market digested OPEC’s announcement and analyzed its potential impact. This analysis is likely to continue influencing prices this week to determine if the supply increase will help to stabilize global crude prices.

On the domestic crude front, EIA’s report last week revealed that total crude inventories in the country decreased by 5.9 million bbl. Moreover, total crude exports hit their second highest rate since EIA began collecting this data at 2.4 million b/d. The rate was an increase of 344,000 b/d from the previous week. These findings highlight that domestic and global demand for crude from the U.S. remains high as OPEC works to increase the amount it supplies around the world.

In other news, the U.S. lost one oil rig last week, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., bringing the total number of rigs to 862. However, there are still 104 more rigs now than a year ago at the same time.

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

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