Posts Tagged ‘gas prices’

National Gas Price Average Drops 21-cents Inside of a Month

November 12th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

State gas price averages are as much as 12-cents to a nickel cheaper a gallon on the week in more than two-thirds of the country. As demand drops and the end of refinery maintenance season wraps-up, the national gas price average is $2.70. That price is six cents less than last Monday, 21-cents less than last month and just 14-cents more than last year. In fact, the year-over-year price differential has not been this small since early January.

“Prices could plunge even lower, especially if we see a surge in gasoline production after refiners fully restart units from the fall maintenance season,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Also driving down pump prices is the fact that crude oil is selling under $65/bbl, a rare sight this year.”

Today, 41 percent of gas stations nationwide are selling unleaded gasoline for $2.50 or less. In comparison, the majority of gas stations were selling gas for $2.51 or more at the start of summer during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Delaware ($2.35), Missouri ($2.37), Oklahoma ($2.39), South Carolina ($2.40), Ohio ($2.40), Texas ($2.40), Louisiana ($2.42), Alabama ($2.43), Mississippi ($2.44) and Arkansas ($2.45).

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases: Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Nebraska (-10 cents), Iowa (-10 cents), Indiana (-9 cents), Kansas (-9 cents), Delaware (-9 cents), Missouri (-9 cents), Kentucky (-9 cents) and Oklahoma (-9 cents).

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices in eight Great Lakes and Central states land on the top 10 list of states with the biggest changes, a handful with double-digit drops: Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Nebraska (-10 cents), Iowa (-10 cents), Indiana (-9 cents), Kansas (-9 cents), Missouri (-9 cents) and Kentucky (-9 cents). Gas prices are, at a minimum, a nickel cheaper in every state in the region on the week.

Only six states in the country have cheaper gas prices today as compared to a year ago. Five are Great Lakes and Central states: Illinois ($2.68), Michigan ($2.60), Indiana ($2.52), Iowa ($2.53) and Ohio ($2.40). With gas prices just pennies more than last year, these three states also might see the same trend soon: Missouri ($2.37), Nebraska ($2.58) and Wisconsin ($2.61).

The region saw a small draw of 856,000 bbl on the week, tightening gasoline stocks to a new low for the year. The last time the region saw stocks register at the 46 million bbl mark was during October 2017, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. As refineries wrap-up maintenance season it is likely stocks will increase and drive prices potentially even cheaper amid declining demand.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

November continues to bring gas price averages under $3 for every state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. Connecticut ($2.92), New York ($2.91), Washington, D.C. ($2.88) and Pennsylvania ($2.88) have the most expensive averages. Delaware ($2.35) carries the cheapest average in the region and the country this week.

With a nine- and eight-cent decline, respectively, Delaware and Maryland, saw the largest week-over-week change in pump prices.

Despite refinery utilization down two percent to 74.5, the EIA reports that gasoline stocks remain relatively stable at 64 million bbl. Overall, stocks are at a 12 million year-over-year surplus.

South and Southeast

New Mexico ($2.65), Florida ($2.57) and Georgia ($2.56) carry the most expensive state gas price averages among all South and Southeast states. However, while these are pricey for the region, they all rank among the 25 cheapest averages in the country. This week, the following states are the cheapest in the region and rank among the top 10 least expensive in the country: Oklahoma ($2.39), South Carolina ($2.40), Texas ($2.40), Louisiana ($2.42), Alabama ($2.43), Mississippi ($2.44) and Arkansas ($2.48).

Prices are likely to drop even further as stocks built by 2.4 million bbl on the week. In addition, refinery utilization held steady at 97 percent. Total inventories sit at nearly 83 million bbl, which are about 5 million bbl more than this time last year and will continue to contribute towards driving gas prices cheaper.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying some of the highest pump prices in the nation, with six of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.91) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.70), Washington ($3.47), Alaska ($3.35), Oregon ($3.29), Nevada ($3.26), and Arizona ($2.89). On the week, all prices in the region are lower. California and Oregon saw the largest drops at a nickel each.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report for the week ending on November 2, showed West Coast gasoline stocks grew to 27.3 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 200,000 bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Rockies

Gas prices are as much as a nickel cheaper across the Rockies states on the week: Colorado (-5 cents) Montana (-4 cents), Idaho (-4 cents), Utah (-2 cents) and Wyoming (-1 cent). Despite the declines, these five states rank among the 20 most expensive in the country. Notably, motorists in Utah ($2.99) are paying under $3/gal to fill-up for the first time since mid-April

Compared to a year ago, gas price averages in the region are very expensive with four of the five states landing on the top 10 largest yearly changes: Utah (+51 cents), Idaho (+41 cents), Wyoming (+38 cents), Montana (+34 cents) and Colorado (+25 cents).

Refinery utilization decreased below 90 percent for the first time in eight weeks. However, the EIA reports that gasoline stocks built by a small 150,000 bbl on the week. Total stocks sit at 6.9 million bbl, a healthy level for this time of year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 48 cents to settle at $60.19. Oil prices drifted lower this week, following the release of EIA’s report that total domestic oil inventories grew by 5.8 million bbl last week. They now sit at 431.8 million bbl, which is 25.3 million bbl less than inventories last year at this time. Crude inventories have grown for seven consecutive weeks because of reduced refinery runs while the nation settles into the lower demand fall driving season. A new all-time high estimate in domestic crude production since EIA began publishing the data – 11.6 million b/d – also contributed to last week’s build in crude inventories. Moving into this week, crude prices may drop further if supply concerns remain reduced due to continued growth in inventories.

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

 

National Gas Price Average Drops to Cheapest Levels Since April

November 5th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

At $2.76, the national gas price average is at its cheapest in six months (end of April). On the week, motorists in every state but Hawaii are paying as much as a nickel less to fill-up. Today’s national average is six cents less than a week ago,15-cents less than a month ago but  24-cents more than a year ago. As demand continues to drop, gas prices could get even cheaper.

This price drop is happening at a time that analysts previously thought would likely see pump price increases due to the White House’s re-imposition of sanctions on Iran, some of which will target the country’s energy sector and impedes its ability to export oil. However, in May, when the decision was announced (to take effect in November), the market reacted quickly with crude oil prices (WTI) spiking as high as $77/bbl this summer. At the same time, Iran’s exports began to dip. Today, they are reported to be about one million b/d less than in May while crude oil prices have stayed below $70/bbl for two weeks.

“With the market anticipating and reacting to the pending Iran sanctions throughout the summer, motorists likely have seen the worst in terms of retail prices for the year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “If the crude oil market remains steady, gas prices are likely to continue to fall as much as ten cents in the near-term.”

That being said, should any factors cause an upward shift in crude oil prices, the cheaper gas prices would likely be a temporary trend.

Quick Stats

 The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-9 cents), Indiana (-9 cents), Delaware (-8 cents), Oklahoma (-8 cents), Texas (-7 cents), Maryland (-7 cents), Missouri (-7 cents), Florida (-7 cents) and Georgia (-7 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Delaware ($2.44), Missouri ($2.46), South Carolina ($2.46), Oklahoma ($2.47), Texas ($2.48), Louisiana ($2.49), Mississippi ($2.49), Alabama ($2.49), Arkansas ($2.51) and Virginia ($2.52).

Great Lakes and Central

Motorists in seven Great Lakes and Central states are seeing some of the country’s largest month-over-month decreases when filling-up at the pump: Ohio (-35 cents), Indiana (-35 cents), Michigan (-32 cents), Kentucky (-28 cents) Iowa (-25 cents), Missouri (-24 cents), and Illinois     (-23 cents). The cheaper pump prices come as regional refinery maintenance season begins to wrap-up and are in-line with the national trend. On the week, four states land on the top 10 list of largest changes in the country: Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-9 cents), Indiana (-9 cents) and Missouri (-7 cents).

Compared to a year ago only four states in the country have cheaper gas prices and they are all Great Lakes and Central states. Ohio ($2.52) and Indiana ($2.61) are both down 12 cents while Illinois ($2.76) and Michigan ($2.71) are down two cents compared to the same time last year

Regionally, gas prices dropped amid stocks plummeting by 2.5 million bbl to total the lowest level of the year at 47 million bbl, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Typically, a large draw and low supply levels would push prices higher. However, the region saw lots of volatility in gas prices throughout the summer and early fall, which is continuing.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Motorists across the region are all seeing cheaper prices on the week with Delaware (-8 cents) and Maryland (-7 cents) seeing the largest decreases. Rhode Island saw the smallest change with a two-cent drop since last Monday.

Delaware ($2.44) and Virginia ($2.52) have the cheapest gas price average in the region and land among the lowest state averages in the country. Neither state has seen prices this low since March and mid-April, respectively.

For a second week, the EIA reports that the region saw the largest draw in gasoline stocks in the country. Similar to last week, the draw can be attributed to exports in addition to regional refinery utilization rates falling to 76 percent. Stocks drew by 3.1 million bbl for a total at 64.5 million bbl.

South and Southeast

Nearly half of the country’s top 10 states with the largest weekly decreases are South and Southeast states: Oklahoma (-8 cents), Texas (-7 cents), Florida (-7 cents) and Georgia (-6 cents). As gas prices drop, they are shrinking the year-over-year difference in price. In the region, Georgia and Alabama both have the largest difference of 28 cents more while South Carolina (+22 cents) and Oklahoma (+14 cents) have the smallest difference compared to this time last year. Regardless, South Carolina ($2.46) carries the cheapest gas price average of the South and Southeast states this week.

After four weeks of increases, the EIA reports the region added 2.7 million bbl this past week. Refinery utilization increased slightly to 97 percent and total inventories sit at 80.5 million bbl. The utilization rate is the highest and stock levels are the largest of any region in the country, according to EIA data.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying some of the highest pump prices in the nation, with six of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.91) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.75), Washington ($3.51), Alaska ($3.35), Oregon ($3.34), Nevada ($3.28), and Arizona ($2.90). On the week, all the prices in the region except for Hawaii (+1 cent) are lower. California (-5 cents) saw the largest drop.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report for the week ending on October 26, showed West Coast gasoline stocks remained flat at 27 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 600,000 bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Rockies

Compared to the rest of the country, gas prices in the Rockies are falling modestly. On the week, Colorado (-4 cents) saw the largest decline followed by Utah, Idaho and Montana, each with a two-cent drop, and Wyoming (-1 cent).

If Utah’s ($3.00) gas price average continues to drop and falls below $3/gal mark, that will be the first time the state’s average has reached this price point since mid-April.

Regional stocks dropped slightly (200,000 bbl) to measure at 6.8 million bbl. Alongside the decrease in stocks, refinery utilization decreased by 4.3 percent to 91.2 percent, which is the second highest rate on the week according to EIA data.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped 55 cents to settle at $63.14. Oil prices moved lower last week as total domestic crude inventories grew by 3.2 million bbl last week, according to the EIA’s latest weekly petroleum status report. Stocks now sit at 426 million bbl, which is 28.9 million bbl lower than the level seen at this time last year, but the highest level since mid-June. Steady growth, for the sixth consecutive week, in crude inventories has helped to check excessive increases in crude prices. Moreover, reimposed sanctions on Iran’s crude exports have not ignited fears in the market about constrained global supply this winter, since the U.S. will reportedly issue eight waivers that allow some of Iran’s top export destinations to continue importing its oil. Oil prices could remain flat or continue falling this week due to reduced concerns about a global crude supply shortage as a result of the sanctions.

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 been dropping slowly and steadily for the past 16-days. At $2.82, the national gas price average is the lowest since mid-September, but the cheaper gas prices may just be a temporary treat for motorists.

“Just like the outside temperature, motorists are seeing gas prices cool off. The last few weeks saw peak refinery maintenance season start to wrap-up and push less expensive gas prices, but the lower prices are not likely to be a long-term trend,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “AAA expects that gas prices will likely start to increase as early as later this week ahead of the Nov. 4 Iran sanctions announcement and the mid-term elections.”

How expensive gas prices will be depends on how the market reacts to the early November events. However, motorists are not likely to pay summer prices this winter.

Today’s average is three cents less than last week, six cents cheaper than last month and 35- cents more expensive than this time last year.

Quick Stats

The Nation’s Largest Monthly Changes are: Michigan $2.79 (-20 cents), Iowa $2.68 (-18 cents), Indiana $2.70 (-18 cents), Delaware $2.52 (-17 cents), Oklahoma $2.55 (-17 cents), Wisconsin $2.74 (-16 cents), Missouri $2.52 (-14 cents), Kentucky $2.61 (-14 cents), Washington $2.53 (+13 cents) and Kansas $2.62 (-13 cents).

The Nation’s Top Ten Least Expensive Markets are: Delaware ($2.52), South Carolina ($2.52), Missouri ($2.52), Mississippi ($$2.54), Louisiana ($2.54), Texas ($2.55), Oklahoma ($2.55), Alabama ($2.55), Arkansas ($2.56) and Virginia ($2.58).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the highest in the nation with six of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.90) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.80), Washington ($3.53), Alaska ($3.38), Oregon ($3.36), Nevada ($3.29), and Arizona ($2.91). On the week, all the prices in the region except for Hawaii are lower.

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly petroleum status report for the week ending on October 19, showed West Coast gasoline stocks fell to 27 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 1.7 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.

Great Lakes and Central

Except in Ohio (+8 cents) and Michigan (+3 cents), state gas price averages in the Great Lakes and Central region continue downward. This week, Iowa (-8 cents) saw the largest drop in the country and the region. With a six-cent decrease each, Missouri, Nebraska and Kentucky join Iowa as a top 10 state with the largest change on the week. The pump prices in Ohio and Michigan are atypical of the nationwide-trend this week and likely due to the general fluctuations seen in this region from time-to-time.

Gas prices are pushing cheaper as regional refinery utilization rates are climbing, signaling refinery maintenance season is starting to wrap-up and gasoline stocks could build. However, the region’s large draw of 1.9 million bbl could mean prices may jump early on this week. At 49.8 million bbl in total, stocks sit at their lowest level in 54-weeks. While low, the region typically sees stocks at this or lower levels around year-end, according to EIA data.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

As pump prices continue to drop, motorists in Pennsylvania ($2.99), Connecticut ($2.99), Washington, D.C. ($2.97) and New York ($2.96) are paying some of the cheapest prices to fill-up since May. These four states were consistently at the $3.00 or more mark the majority of the summertime.

On the week, four states saw the largest declines in gas price averages in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region: Maryland (-6 cents), Virginia (-5 cents), Maine (-5 cents) and Tennessee (-5 cents). Today, Delaware ($2.52) carries the cheapest gas in the region and country.

The region saw the largest draw in gasoline stocks of any region with a 2.3 million bbl drop. Some of the draw can be attributed to exports.  Despite the decline, levels are relatively strong at 67 million bbl total. In fact, that is a nearly 11 million bbl surplus year-over-year.

South and Southeast

With a six-cent drop, six states saw the largest gas price average decreases in the South and Southeast on the week: Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. All other states saw prices drop by as much as four-cents.

Seven of the top 10 cheapest gas prices in the country reside among states in the South and Southeast region this week. At $2.52, South Carolina has the least expensive gas price average in the region and is tied with Delaware for cheapest gas in the country.

Gasoline stocks hover near the 78 million bbl mark and only saw a 258,000 bbl draw this past week. This level is on par with this time last year.

Rockies

Idaho (+2 cents) and Utah (+2 cents) are among only four states in the country to see gas prices increase on the week. Meanwhile, Colorado (-3 cents), Wyoming (-2 cents) and Montana (-2 cents) saw prices decline since last Monday.

Compared to a year ago, state gas price averages in the Rockies region are at least 41-cents more expensive. The five Rockies region states rank as the seventh through eleventh states, respectively, with the largest year-over-year average increase in the country: Utah (+49 cents), Idaho (+45 cents), Colorado (+42 cents) Wyoming (+41 cents) and Montana (+41 cents).

With an increase of 300,000 bbl, the Rockies was the only region in the country to see gasoline stocks build on the week. At nearly 7 million bbl, stocks are on par with this time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 26 cents to settle at $67.59. Crude prices ended last week with mostly losses, following release of EIA’s weekly petroleum report that showed crude inventories increased for the fifth consecutive week. Domestic crude inventories gained 6.3 million bbl to total 422.8 million bbl – a level not seen since the beginning of the driving season in June, according to EIA’s latest data. If this week’s EIA report shows another substantial build in total crude inventories, prices are likely to face more downward pressure. However, the potential price decline is likely to be short-lived, as U.S-imposed sanctions on Iran’s crude exports will take effect on Sunday, which may heighten fears in the market about reduced global supply amid growing global crude demand.

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.

 

October is Finally Falling into Cheaper Gas Prices

October 22nd, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

The national gas price average is $2.85. That is six-cents cheaper than this month’s highest price of $2.91, which was the most expensive average during the month of October since 2014. Today’s price is also four cents cheaper than last week, the same price as last month and 39- cent more than this time last year.

Reduced refinery runs, due to peak maintenance season, have contributed to stable gasoline inventories amid lower demand, which is a contributing factor driving gas prices down.

“Motorists across the country are seeing gas prices more than a dime cheaper than last week, with 41 states having less expensive state averages on the week,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Prices are falling despite market concerns about global supply and geopolitical tensions, but that could change later this month ahead of the U.S. announcement of imposed sanctions on Iran.”

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Delaware ($2.56), Ohio ($2.57), South Carolina ($2.58), Mississippi ($2.58), Missouri ($2.59), Alabama ($2.60), Louisiana ($2.60), Texas ($2.61), Arkansas ($2.61) and Oklahoma ($2.61).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Ohio (-12 cents), Delaware (-10 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Indiana (-10 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents), Iowa (-7 cents), Maryland (-7 cents), Illinois (-7 cents), Oklahoma (-7 cents) and Missouri (-6 cents).

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest prices for retail gasoline in the country, with six of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.90) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.82), Washington ($3.54), Alaska ($3.39), Oregon ($3.38), Nevada ($3.29), and Arizona ($2.92). On the week, most prices are flat. However, Hawaii and Alaska have seen the largest increases, gaining two cents each.

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly petroleum status report showed West Coast gasoline stocks decreased slightly to 27.6 million bbl during the week that ended on October 12. Stocks are approximately 1.5 million bbl lower than where they were at 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

Seven Great Lakes and Central states land on this week’s top 10 list with the biggest declines for a second week: Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Indiana (-10 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents), Iowa (-7 cents) Illinois (-7 cents) and Missouri (-6 cents).

In the region, South Dakota ($2.89) has the most expensive gas price average this week, followed by North Dakota ($2.86) and Illinois ($2.82). With the significant price drops this week, Ohio ($2.57) and Missouri ($2.59) have the cheapest price in the region and rank among the top 10 least expensive pump prices in the country.

Gasoline inventories drew by 456,000 bbl on the week, a factor lending to cheaper prices in the region. Despite the decrease, inventories sit at a 3.3 million bbl year-over-year surplus.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

On the week, pump prices are as much as a dime cheaper across Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. Delaware (-10 cents) and Maryland (-7 cents) saw the largest declines of all states in the region, landing on the top 10 list of states with the largest weekly change.

With the large decline in Delaware ($2.56), the state’s average ranks as the cheapest in the country, a rare occurrence for the state. It is the cheapest in the region followed by Virginia ($2.63) and Tennessee ($2.64).

With a draw of 602,000 bbl, gasoline inventories in the region register right at the 70 million bbl mark, according to EIA data. The small drop is helping to drive gas prices down. Notably,  at 70 million bbl, the region is sitting on a 12.1 million bbl year-over-year surplus underscoring the nation’s high gasoline production rates this year.

South and Southeast

Gas prices continue to decline across South and Southeast states this week, dropping 2 to 6 cents for all states. Oklahoma (-6 cents) saw the largest pump price drop on the week. Prices are a nickel cheaper in Louisiana ($2.60) and Texas ($2.61). Influencing part of the cheaper prices is that all Colonial pipeline and terminal operations in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic have returned to normal following Hurricane Michael.

Despite this week’s cheaper prices, state gas price averages are significantly more expensive than a year ago with Arkansas (+41 cents), New Mexico (+38 cents) and Alabama (+38 cents) seeing the largest year-over-year differences.

This week’s 229,000 bbl decline pales in comparison to the previous two weeks, which each saw a more than 1 million bbl draw. The small drop in the South and Southeast region is not surprising given that it reflects the impact from Hurricane Michael for the week ending October 12, according to EIA.

Rockies

On the week, Colorado (- 3 cents) was the only state to see a change in gas prices. All other pump prices remained stable. All five Rockies states carry among the 15 most expensive state gas price averages in the country: Idaho ($3.11), Montana ($3.01), Utah ($3.01), Wyoming ($2.95) and Colorado ($2.92).

Gasoline inventories remained relatively stable at 6.7 million bbl. According to EIA inventory data, the Rockies region current inventory level is at a deficit compared to this time the last two years.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 47 cents to settle at $69.12. The crude market mostly saw losses last week following EIA’s latest weekly petroleum report, which showed domestic crude inventories grew by 6.5 million bbl. Total crude inventories now sit at 416.4 million bbl, marking the fourth week of consecutive growth and highest level since late June. The larger-than-expected growth in crude levels shocked the market, leading crude prices to fall. This week, prices could rise again due to concerns about U.S.-Saudi Arabia relations and upcoming U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran’s crude exports.

In related news, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. gained four oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 873. When compared to last year at this time, there are 137 more rigs now than in 2017.

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 $2.89, the national gas price average is two-cents cheaper than it was a week ago amid consumer gasoline demand declining for a third week. Today’s gas price average is four-cents more than a month ago and 42-cents more expensive than a year ago.

The majority of states have seen gas prices decrease on the week with the exception of a handful of states, some of which were impacted by fuel disruptions on the west coast and in the southeast.

“Gas prices may be signaling that they are taking a turn toward slowly decreasing, which is a welcomed change for motorists who have been paying unseasonably high pump prices to fill-up as of late,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Two events last week caused small spikes in retail prices, but those spikes are short-lived.”

On Wednesday, October 12, Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida and subsequently caused retail fuel shortages along its path in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Roadway clean-up efforts are underway and as power is restored, fuel deliveries will be a priority.

In addition, last week, a natural gas pipeline rupture in the Western Canadian province of British Columbia forced three Pacific Northwest (PNW) Puget Sound refineries to shut production units. Those refineries are beginning to resume normal operations, but states in the PNW saw spikes in gas prices that will likely last into the week.  

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.61), South Carolina ($2.61), Alabama ($2.62), Missouri ($2.65), Arkansas ($2.65), Louisiana ($2.65), Texas ($2.65), Delaware ($2.66), Virginia ($2.67) and Tennessee ($2.68).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Ohio (-14 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Indiana (-10 cents), Washington (+9 cents), Oregon (+9 cents), Illinois (-8 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents), Delaware (-5 cents), Wisconsin (-5 cents) and Oklahoma (-4 cents).

South and Southeast

Hurricane Michael caused pump prices in Georgia (+2 cents) to increase on the week. However, Florida (-2 cents), South Carolina (no change) and Alabama (no change), which were also affected by the storm, saw minimal-to-no impact on gas prices. All other states in the South and Southeast are paying less or saw no change in pump prices on the week. Oklahoma (-4 cents) saw the largest price drop in the region.

One factor driving Georgia’s gas price increase is the shutdown of a Colonial Pipeline stub line, which is not a major pipeline, that runs from Atlanta south to Bainbridge. This shutdown, caused by a power outage, will have limited impact on Southern Georgia due to lower demand brought on by the storm. On Friday, officials reported the line could open over the weekend, but no reports have since been available.

For a second week, inventories saw a substantial drop, this time 1.2 million bbl on the week according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). At 78.3 million bbl, total levels sit more than one million bbl ahead of this time last year. It is likely the next EIA report will not see a large inventory decrease due to Hurricane Michael’s impact on demand, unless there is a high number of exports on the week.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are the highest for retail gasoline in the country, with six of the region’s states represented landing in the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.88) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.82), Washington ($3.53), Oregon ($3.38), Alaska ($3.37), Nevada ($3.29), and Arizona ($2.92). All prices in the region have increased on the week, with Washington and Oregon (+9 cents) leading the way, due to refinery shutdowns in the PNW.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report showed West Coast gasoline stocks increasing slightly to 28.28 million bbl during the week that ended on October 5. Stocks are approximately 1.5 million bbl lower than where they were at this time last year, which has lead to price volatility as the region grapples with refinery shutdowns in the PNW. The year-on-year deficit will likely leave prices vulnerable to more shocks this week as refineries in the region resume normal operations.

Great Lakes and Central

For the first time in weeks, all Great Lakes and Central states are seeing gas prices decline, with some pump prices declining by double-digits. Six states top the list of the largest decreases in the country: Ohio (-14 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Indiana (-10 cents), Illinois (-8 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents) and Wisconsin (-5 cents). 

A factor helping to drive down gas prices is the increase of nearly 600,000 bbl of gasoline inventories amid declining gasoline demand. With the build, EIA data measures levels at 52 million bbl once again, which, despite being a low inventory level for the region this year, is a 2.4 million year-over-year surplus. If inventories continue to increase, prices are likely to continue to decrease.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The majority of Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are seeing cheaper or steady gas prices on the week. Motorists in Delaware (-5 cents), Washington, D.C. (-4 cents) and Maryland (-4 cents) saw the largest declines of all states in the region.

Not only did Delaware ($2.66) have the largest pump price drop on the week, but also it is the state with the largest month-over-month decrease at 17 cents. 

A large 1.4 million bbl build in gasoline inventories helped to keep gas prices mostly stable in the region. With the increase, total inventories measure at 70.6 million bbl, which is the highest for the region in nearly two years. The last time the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region measured at this level was January 2017. This should help to push gas prices down or stabilize them for motorists.

Rockies

After weeks of increasing gas prices, motorists in Colorado (-2 cent) and Montana (no change) are seeing signs of relief at the pump. Prices are also cheaper in Idaho (-2 cents), Utah (-1 cents) and Wyoming (-1 cent) on the week.

State gas price averages in the region fall within a 16-cent range: Idaho ($3.11), Utah ($3.01), Montana ($3.01), Wyoming ($2.95) and Colorado ($2.95). 

With a drop of nearly 190,000 bbl, gasoline inventories register at 6.75 million bbl according to EIA data. Total inventory measures close to a 325,000 deficit compared to this time last year. If inventories can remain stable amid declining demand, motorists can expect gas prices to remain mostly steady.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 37 cents to settle at $71.34. Oil prices saw whiplash last week, falling in line with the major selloff that occurred for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Crude prices may continue to climb this week as tensions in the Middle East take center stage, while U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran’s energy sector continue to loom over the market.

The slight gains crude prices saw at the end of last week occurred despite total domestic crude inventories growing to 410.0 million bbl last week, according to EIA’s latest weekly petroleum status report. However, crude storage levels are 52.2 million bbl lower than where they were this time last year. The year-over-year deficit has contributed to rising crude prices, which has led to the most expensive fall gas prices since 2014. 

In related news, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. gained eight oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 869. When compared to last year at this time, there are 126 more rigs now than in 2017.

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

Gas Prices Seeing Resurgence

October 8th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

The national gas price average increased three-cents on the week to $2.91. All but seven states are paying more on the week. Today’s national gas price average is six-cents more than a month ago and 41-cents more than a year ago.

“The September switch-over to winter-blend gasoline ushered in cheaper gas prices compared to the summer, but that drop was short lived,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Crude oil accounts for half of the retail pump price and crude is selling at some of the highest price points in four years. That means fall and year-end prices are going to be unseasonably expensive.”

Crude oil has priced higher amid concerns of global crude supply and geopolitical tensions, including pending sanctions with Iran and Venezuela’s unstable economy.

As a result, fall gas prices have not been this expensive since 2014. At that time, motorists were paying on average more than $3/gal and crude oil was selling well above $70/bbl. This year, despite stocks increasing in the U.S. by 8 million bbl on the week, crude oil is selling at a good $25/bbl or more than last year, hitting $75/bbl last week.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($3.84), California ($3.80), Washington ($3.44), Alaska ($3.33), Oregon ($3.29), Nevada ($3.27), Idaho ($3.13), Pennsylvania ($3.08), Washington, D.C. ($3.05) and Connecticut ($3.03).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Ohio (+9 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents), Louisiana (+7 cents), California (+7 cents), Indiana (+7 cents), Virginia (+ 6 cents), New Jersey (+6 cents), Georgia (+6 cents), Washington, D.C. (+6 cents) and Alabama (+5 cents).

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices are more expensive for every state in the Great Lakes and Central region except Wisconsin ($2.89) where prices saw no change on the week. Three states land on this week’s biggest changes list: Ohio (+9 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents) and Indiana (+7 cents). Regional refinery maintenance and expensive crude oil prices are two major factors contributing to the increase.

Compared to September, motorists are paying 5-13 cents more to fill-up in the region. Nebraska (+13 cents), Kentucky (+11 cents), Minnesota (+11 cents) and North Dakota (+11 cents) rank among the top 10 largest states in the country with the largest month-over-month increase.

Gasoline inventories dipped by 661,000 bbl, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, dropping total inventories to 51.5 million bbl.  Levels sit at one of the lowest for the region this year, but are comparable to this time last year. If inventories continue to decline, prices will likely continue to increase.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Three states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast land on the top 10 list with the largest jumps in the country this week, each with a six-cent increase: Virginia ($2.68), New Jersey ($2.91) and Washington, D.C. ($3.05).

Prices have barely dipped below the $3/gal mark since May for Pennsylvania ($3.08), Washington, D.C. ($3.05), Connecticut ($3.03) and New York ($3.01).

For a second week, gasoline inventories in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region added more than 1.6 million bbl. Totaling at 69 million bbl, inventories sit at the highest level since June 2017. Despite the build, prices continue to increase due to more expensive crude oil.

South and Southeast

Florida ($2.82) was one of the only states in the country and the only state in the South and Southeast to see gas prices remain stable on the week. For all other states, prices increased with Louisiana (+7 cents) seeing the largest jump in the region and among the top five largest increases in the country.

Even with these increases, the region carries the top six cheapest gas prices in the country, all of which are nearly a quarter or more expensive than this time last year.

State Oct 8, 2018 average Year-over-year difference
South Carolina $2.61 +27 cents
Mississippi $2.61 +30 cents
Alabama $2.62 +29 cents
Texas $2.66 +30 cents
Arkansas $2.66 +40 cents
Louisiana $2.67 +37 cents

The latest EIA data reports gasoline inventories dropped substantially (1.9 million bbl) on the week. Despite total levels registering just below 80 million bbl, the region is sitting on a 5-million bbl year-over-year surplus.

Rockies

Utah (-4 cents) and Idaho (-3 cents) were the only states in the country to see gas prices decrease on the week. Colorado (+2 cents), Montana (+1 cent) and Wyoming (+1 cent) all saw small increases in comparison to the rest of the country.

With the changes, Utah ($3.02) and Idaho ($3.13) are trending toward some of their cheapest averages since this spring. Meanwhile, Montana ($3.01) and Colorado ($2.97) reached a new-recorded high for the year in the last week.

For a second week, gasoline inventories in the Rockies increased. EIA reports a build of 231,000 bbl for 6.9 million bbl. This is the largest inventory since early May, but was expected, given the end of peak tourism season.

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest prices for retail gasoline in the country, with six of the region’s states represented in the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.84) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.80), Washington ($3.44), Alaska ($3.33), Oregon ($3.29), Nevada ($3.27), and Arizona ($2.91). All prices in the region have increased on the week, with California (+7 cents) leading the way. Nevada increased five cents, while Hawaii and Washington each increased four cents.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report showed West Coast gasoline stocks increased slightly to 27.89 million bbl during the week that ended on September 28. Stocks are approximately 760,000 bbl lower than where they were at this time last year, which could lead to price volatility if there are any supply shocks in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased a penny to settle at $74.34. Crude prices bounced between gains and losses last week due to concerns around the impact of U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran, which will go into effect early next month and target Iran’s energy sector. The volatility is also attributed to concerns about the possible collapse of Venezuela’s economy. The increase in crude prices occurred despite crude oil inventories increasing by 8 million bbl to 404 million bbl last week, according to EIA. As speculation ramps up before the new sanctions on Iran take effect — which is driving increased investment in crude under the allure of even higher prices being reached later this year — crude prices will likely continue climbing next week.

In related news, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. lost two oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 861. However, when compared to last year at this time, there are 113 more rigs now than in 2017.

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

Motorists Seeing Unexpected Gas Price Jumps at the Pump

October 1st, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

Despite gasoline demand dropping to 9.0 million b/d and inventories growing to 235.7 million bbl, according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, the national gas price average has increased three cents on the week to land at $2.88 – a pump price not seen at the national average since mid-July.

“The last quarter of the year has kicked off with gas prices that feel more like summer than fall,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “This time of year, motorists are accustomed to seeing prices drop steadily, but due to continued global supply and demand concerns as well as very expensive summertime crude oil prices, motorists are not seeing relief at the pump.”

Today’s national gas price average ($2.88) is the most expensive for the beginning of October since 2014. The average is four cents more than a month ago and 32 cents more than a year ago.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.57), Alabama ($2.57), South Carolina ($2.58), Louisiana ($2.59), Virginia ($2.62), Arkansas ($2.62), Tennessee ($2.63), Texas ($2.63), Missouri ($2.68) and Delaware ($2.69).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Florida (+10 cents), Michigan (+10 cents), California (+8 cents), West Virginia (+7 cents), Missouri (+7 cents), Ohio (-6 cents), Delaware (-6 cents), New Mexico (+6 cents), Iowa (+6 cents) and Nebraska (+5 cents).

Great Lakes and Central

Refinery maintenance across the Great Lakes and Central states continues to contribute to higher gas prices in the region. In fact, refinery utilization in the region dropped to 83 percent, which is the lowest rate since April 2016. On the week, four states have gas prices that are a nickel or more expensive: Michigan (+10 cents), Missouri (+7 cents), Iowa (+6 cents) and Nebraska (+5 cents). For a few days last week, Michigan’s gas price returned to $3.00 – a price point the state has not seen in six weeks. Once refineries wrap-up maintenance, gas prices in the region are expected to ease, though maintenance could last through November.

Three states in the region are benefitting from cheaper pump prices at the start of the week: Ohio (-6 cents), Indiana (-4 cents), Kentucky (-3 cents) and Illinois (-3 cents).

The positive news is that Great Lakes and Central states’ gasoline inventories remain at a healthy 52.2 million bbl level. If inventories fall dramatically, motorists could see prices spike even more in the region.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

States in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region are seeing fluctuation on the week. For most states, that means small jumps or declines of a few pennies. West Virginia (+7 cents), Delaware (-6 cents) and Tennessee (+5 cents) saw the largest changes in gas prices on the week in the region. With some gasoline supply likely coming from the Mid-West, West Virginia and Tennessee’s spikes can be tied to refinery maintenance in that region.

With the addition of 1.6 million bbl, gasoline inventories sit at their highest level – 67.4 million bbl –  for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast this year. The large increase helped to minimize gas price increases for most states. The last time levels exceeded the 67.4 million bbl was mid-June 2017.

South and Southeast

Most states in the South and Southwest region saw small – one to four cent – increases with the exception of Florida (+10 cents) and New Mexico (+6 cents). Given that gasoline inventories in the region sit at a large 7.2 million bbl year-over-year surplus, the unseasonal price pump jumps are likely due to more expensive crude oil prices, which account for 50 percent of a retail price. Gas stations are just now likely passing on the increased costs of more expensive gasoline.

Three states in the region have the smallest year-over-year change in gas price of all states in the country: Georgia (+10 cents), South Carolina (+16 cents) and Alabama (+16 cents).

On the week, gasoline inventories built by 920,000 bbl to total at 81.5 million bbl.

Rockies

Utah and Idaho continue to see gas prices decline this week, with each seeing a four-cent decrease. Wyoming (-1 cent) also saw a drop. Conversely, motorists in Montana (+5 cents) and Colorado (+2 cents) are paying more on the week.

Compared to this summer, Colorado and Montana are seeing more expensive fall pump prices, which could be tied to higher costs for gas stations to purchase gasoline, due to higher crude oil prices in the summertime.

According to the EIA, gasoline inventories grew by 220,000 bbl to register at 6.7 million bbl. Despite this being a healthy inventory level for this time of year, it is not contributing toward cheaper gas prices for some states in the region.

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the highest prices for retail gasoline in the nation, with six of the region’s states represented in the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.80) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.73), Washington ($3.40), Alaska ($3.30), Oregon ($3.26), Nevada ($3.22) and Arizona ($2.88). All prices in the region have increased on the week, with California (+8 cents) leading the way. Alaska and Nevada each increased three cents, while Hawaii and Washington each increased two cents.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report showed West Coast motor gasoline stocks fell by a sizeable 1 million bbl to 27.9 million bbl during the week that ended on September 21. Stocks are 800,000 bbl lower than where they were at this time last year, which could lead to price volatility if there are any supply shocks in the region this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.13 to settle at $73.25. Crude prices rallied last week due to concerns around the impact of U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran and economic collapse in Venezuela on global crude supply this fall. The increase in crude prices occurred despite crude oil inventories increasing to 396 million bbl last week after five consecutive weeks of decline, according to EIA’s report for the week ending on September 21. Domestic crude inventories are now roughly 75 million bbl lower than were they were at this time last year. The new crude data from EIA will likely leave the market searching for additional evidence of supply constraints, including this week’s EIA report, which could push crude prices even higher this fall.

In related news, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. lost three oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 863. However, when compared to last year at this time, there are 113 more rigs now than in 2017.

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 Trend Lower for Majority of Motorists

September 24th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

Motorists in 32 states are welcoming cheaper or stable gas prices at the start of the workweek. Today’s national gas price average is $2.85, which is the same price as last Monday, one-cent more than last month and 27-cents more expensive than this time last year.

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data reports that both U.S. gasoline demand and stocks declined signaling supply and demand are in sync post the summer. This is true for most regions, except in the Great Lakes and Central region where prices are increasing due to maintenance at a handful of refineries.

While the national gas price has remained stable throughout September, the price of crude oil started to increase in the last week.

“Crude oil prices pushed past $70/bbl for three days last week,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “If they trend above this level for a sustained amount of time, we could see a trend reversal in pump prices meaning it may cost more to fill-up as we get closer to the end of the year.”

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.53), Mississippi ($2.53), Louisiana ($2.57), South Carolina ($2.58), Tennessee ($2.58), Arkansas ($2.59), Texas ($2.59), Virginia ($2.61), Missouri ($2.61) and North Carolina ($2.68).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Delaware (-8 cents), Kentucky (+6 cents), Michigan (-5 cents), North Dakota (+5 cents), Oklahoma (+5 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Iowa (+5 cents), Minnesota (+5 cents), Illinois (+4 cents) and Nebraska (+4 cents).

Great Lakes and Central

Unlike most of the country, state gas price averages in the Great Lakes and Central region continue to trend more expensive. States in the region with the largest increase on the week: Kentucky (+6 cents), North Dakota (+5 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Iowa (+5 cents), Minnesota (+5 cents), Illinois (+4 cents), Nebraska (+4 cents), Wisconsin (+4 cents), and Kansas (+4 cents). There was one outlier, Michigan (-5 cents), the only state to see prices drop in the last seven days.

Overall, the increase in gas prices can be attributed to planned and unplanned maintenance at half a dozen refineries in the region. In fact, total inventory in the Great Lakes and Central region sits at 52.3 million bbl according to the EIA. Despite being on par with levels this time last year, the 52 million mark is one of the lowest levels seen since Memorial Day Weekend this year. The low inventory is a contributing factor for the increasing gas prices.

Despite similar year-over-year inventory levels, some motorists in the region are paying in the neighborhood of 50-cents more to fill up compared to last September: Indiana (+58 cents), Ohio (+53 cents), Illinois (+49 cents) and Michigan (+46 cents).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

On the week, gas prices are cheaper across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states with Delaware (-8 cents) seeing the largest pump price drop in the country and the region.

Following Hurricane Florence, state gas price averages dropped a penny in both North Carolina and Virginia. The Department of Energy’s latest situational report dated September 22 details that some coastal areas in North Carolina continue to see localized gas station outages due to power outages and conditions preventing resupply from terminals.

Compared to one month ago, gas prices fluctuate between two cents more expensive or cheaper across the region: Maryland (+2 cents), Connecticut (-2 cents), Rhode Island (-2 cents), Pennsylvania (+2 cents), West Virginia (+2 cents) and Maine (+2 cents).

Gasoline inventories declined by 1 million bbl on the week, according to the EIA. However, sitting at a healthy 65.8 million bbl in total, the draw did not have a large impact on week-over-week gas prices.

South and Southeast

Gas prices continue to trend cheaper for the majority of South and Southwest states with South Carolina and Florida seeing the largest decreases on the week of two-cents. Only Oklahoma (+5 cents), New Mexico (+2 cents) and Arkansas (+2 cents) saw gas prices increase in the region.

The region lays claim to six of the top 10 cheapest gas prices in the country this week: Alabama ($2.53), Mississippi ($2.53), Louisiana ($2.57), South Carolina ($2.58), Arkansas ($2.59) and Texas ($2.59).

With a draw of nearly 675,000 bbl, total inventories sit at 80.5 million bbl, which is the lowest level for the region in the last four weeks. Most motorists in the region can expect gas prices to continue to decrease as demand steadily drops.

Rockies

Utah (-4 cents), Idaho (-2 cents) and Wyoming (-2 cents) are among the top 10 states in the country to see the largest pump price drops on the week. Motorists in Colorado (+2 cents) saw a slight increase while those in Montana saw no change. Overall, gas prices in the Rockies states remain relatively stable as gasoline inventories increased slightly, pushing closer to the 6.5 million bbl mark.

The five Rockies states rank among the top 16 most expensive gas price averages in the country: Idaho ($3.19), Utah ($3.10), Wyoming ($2.97), Montana ($2.95) and Colorado ($2.93).

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying some of the highest prices for retail gasoline, with six of the region’s states represented in the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.78) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.65), Washington ($3.38), Alaska ($3.30), Oregon ($3.25), Nevada ($3.19) and Arizona ($2.87). Prices in the region remain relatively flat compared to last week, except for one-cent jumps in California and Hawaii. Alaska’s price dropped a penny, marking the largest decrease in the region on the week.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report showed West Coast motor gasoline stocks grew by 500,000 bbl to 28.9 million bbl during the week that ended on September 14. Stocks are 1.2 million bbl higher than where they were at this time last year, which could shield against a price spike this week.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, the WTI increased 46 cents to settle at $70.78. Oil prices jumped higher last week after EIA’s report showed another decline in oil inventories, which now sit at 394.1 million bbl. The supply drop from the previous week’s 396.2 million bbl has put another spotlight on limited global supply as fall approaches. U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran and sharp reductions in economically stressed Venezuela are two factors driving concerns that this fall there could be major global crude supply challenges. If EIA’s report this week shows another decrease in domestic crude stocks, oil prices are likely to continue their ascent amid continuing global supply concerns.

In related news, OPEC and its partners who have worked to reduce their combined total crude output since January 2017 met on September 23 in Algiers, Algeria, to discuss compliance with their production agreement. After the meeting, OPEC’s leaders confirmed that the cartel does not intend to increase crude production in the near future to offset global supply concerns.

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 jumped a penny to land at $2.85. Prices remain relatively stable across the country as gasoline demand dipped slightly and gasoline inventories incrementally built according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports.

With the switchover to winter-blend gasoline fast approaching (September 15), gas prices are expected to decline this month. The threat of Hurricane Florence —  which is now a Category 2 storm and projected to hit between South Carolina and Virginia by end of this week —will likely have an impact on East Coast gas prices this week should the storm follow its projected path.

“A storm like this typically causes an increase in fuel purchases in the market and a slowdown in retail demand. Motorists can expect spikes in pump prices to be brief, but possibly dramatic,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “AAA will continue to monitor the storm and will provide updates. Motorists can find the latest gas prices at GasPrices.AAA.com.”

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.52), Mississippi ($2.54), Arkansas ($2.57), Louisiana ($2.58), South Carolina ($2.59), Tennessee ($2.59), Virginia ($2.61), Missouri ($2.61), Texas ($2.62) and Oklahoma ($2.63).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly changes are: Michigan (-12 cents), South Dakota (-10 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), Colorado (+7 cents), North Dakota (-7 cents), Alaska (-7 cents), Nebraska (-6 cents), Florida (-6 cents), District of Colombia (-5 cents) and Tennessee (-5 cents).

West Coast

The West Coast remains the nation’s most expensive region for retail gasoline, with six of the region’s states represented in the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.77) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.63), Washington ($3.39), Alaska ($3.31), Oregon ($3.26), Nevada ($3.20) and Arizona ($2.86). Prices in the region remain relatively flat compared to last week, except for a one-cent jump in California, Washington and Nevada.

According to OPIS, a handful of West Coast refineries including Andeavor’s Martinez refinery, Chevron’s Richmond refinery and two Phillip’s 66 refineries near San Francisco and Puget Sound may begin refinery maintenance in the coming weeks. The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report showed West Coast motor gasoline stocks totaled 28.3 million bbl, which is 2 million more than the 26.3 million bbl seen at the same time last year. This 2 million bbl cushion in gasoline stocks may prevent increases at the pump during refinery turnaround season, barring any unforeseen unplanned outages or prolonged maintenance.

Great Lakes and Central

Motorists in the Great Lakes and Central states are seeing pump prices mostly remaining steady on the week. Only three states saw any ‘significant’ spikes in gas prices: Michigan (+6 cents), Indiana (+4 cents) and Kentucky (+4 cents). South Dakota and Missouri both have the largest pump price drop – three cents – of all states in the region.

Compared to one month ago, motorists in every state in the region – except Ohio (+1 cent) – are paying less to fill up. Five Great Lakes and Central states land on the top 10 largest monthly changes list: Michigan (-12 cents), South Dakota (-10 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), North Dakota (-7 cents) and Nebraska (-6 cents).

Gasoline inventories built slightly on the week to register at 53.1 million bbl, which is the largest inventory level recorded for this time of year since 2008. With demand expected to continue declining, and taking into account high inventory levels, motorists in the region can expect prices to steadily decline this fall.

South and Southeast

Pump prices have jumped as much as a nickel in the South and Southeast on the week, but only for a few states: South Carolina (+5 cents), Georgia (+3 cents) and Texas (+3 cents). These three states land on the Top 10 with the largest jumps in pump prices on the week. Florida saw prices drop by four cents, the largest of any state in the region, while most states are seeing pump prices a penny cheaper or stable since last Monday.

As Hurricane Florence approaches, South Carolina and surrounding states could see brief spikes in pump prices this week.

Gasoline inventories continue to register slightly above 80.6 million bbl, according to the EIA’s latest data report. Total inventories are slightly higher compared to most of July and early August, which saw levels below 80 million, indicating that demand may be strong through the region through early fall. This could mean gas prices may not drop as quickly as expected post Labor Day.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Delaware saw gas prices make a late-in-the-season 12-cents spike on the week, which was the largest jump in the country and in the region. Part of this increase could be connected to a recent drop in regional refinery utilization that is linked to the unplanned shutdown at Phillip’s Bayway refinery last month. Also seeing increases of more than a penny on the week: Maryland (+4 cents), New Jersey (+3 cents), Pennsylvania (+2 cents) and Maine (+2 cents).

As most states see prices decline, four Mid-Atlantic and Northeast state averages still remain at $3/gal or more heading into fall: Pennsylvania ($3.07), Connecticut ($3.04), New York ($3.00) and Washington, D.C. ($3.00).

Last week, all eyes were on tropical storm Gordon. This week it is Hurricane Florence, which will most likely impact North Carolina and Virginia pump prices and surrounding states if the storm stays on its projected path.

For a second week, gasoline inventories added a surprise build of nearly 2 million bbl, which is helping to keep most state gas price averages steady. Sources say a good bit of the inventory uptick can be attributed to strong imports. Total inventory for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast sits at 66 million bbl.

Rockies

Motorists in Utah (-3 cents), Idaho (-2 cents) and Wyoming (-1 cent) continue to welcome steady pump price declines after a very expensive summer. Despite the cheaper averages, Idaho ($3.23) and Utah ($3.16) still carry two of the ten most expensive gas price averages in the country.

Gasoline inventories had a small, but unexpected small 561,000 bbl build on the week, according to EIA data. At 6.5 million bbl, it is one of the lower readings for the region this year. Gas prices could see larger declines if inventories increase and demand drops in the coming weeks.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped two cents to settle at $67.75. The drop in the price of crude oil can be attributed to several factors including increasing U.S. gasoline inventories, wariness regarding U.S. sanctions against Iran, and instability in production in Libya and Venezuela. According to EIA’s report, total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.8 million bbl last week and are about 7 percent above the five-year average for this time of year. At the same time crude oil stocks dropped 4.3 million barrels from the previous week as refinery utilization rates reached 96.6 percent. These market dynamics are mostly keeping gas prices flat, but a factor that may negatively impact prices is the threat of Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic. While it is still too early to pinpoint exactly where it will make landfall, the National Hurricane Center reports landfall could occur somewhere between South Carolina and Virginia late 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 Prices Remain Steady Despite High Demand

September 4th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

At $2.83, the national gas price average is trending toward lower gas prices that motorists haven’t seen since early May. Today’s national gas price average is one-cent less on the week, four-cents cheaper than last month, but 19-cents more than a year ago.

Motorists took advantage of these stable and lower prices by driving gasoline demand to its highest level ever on record at 9.899 bbl for the week ending August 24, according to the Energy Information Administration. But that spike is not expected to continue.

“With summer in the rearview mirror, demand is expected to significantly drop off in the coming weeks which means motorists can expect to see gas prices steadily decline,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “AAA expects the national average to hit $2.70 or less this fall.”

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii($3.78), California ($3.62), Washington ($3.38), Alaska ($3.31), Oregon ($3.26), Idaho ($3.25), Nevada ($3.19), Utah ($3.18), Pennsylvania ($3.05), and Connecticut ($3.04).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly changes are: Indiana (-16 cents), Kentucky (-12 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), Delaware (-10 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Idaho (+10 cents), Utah (+10 cents), Alaska (-9 cents), South Dakota (-8 cents) and Michigan (-8 cents).

West Coast

The West Coast remains the nation’s most expensive region for retail gasoline, and most of the states represented in the nation’s top ten most expensive are located west of the Rockies. Hawaii ($3.78) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.62), Washington ($3.38), Alaska ($3.31), Oregon ($3.26), Nevada ($3.19) and Arizona ($2.86). Prices in the region are mostly flat compared to last week, except for a two-cent jump in both California and Oregon.

Last week’s, Energy Information Administration report showed West Coast gasoline supplies dropped by 1.2million bbl, their largest one-week draw in five months. The region’s supplies now sit at 28.9 million bbl, which is still 2.7 million bbl higher than the same week last year.

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices continue to be volatile in the Great Lakes and Central states with gas price averages as much as seven-cents cheaper in Michigan to six-cents more expensive in Missouri on the week. While some states in the region saw slight increases at the pump due to the holiday weekend, most states are seeing cheaper pump prices, which will likely be the trend for the region in coming weeks as gasoline demand is expected to level off.

Despite a draw in inventory, regional levels remain at a healthy nearly 53 million bbl – which is helping to keep most gas prices down. The EIA reports that total levels are on par with this time last year.

South and Southeast

Gas price averages are on a roller coaster ride in the South and Southeast. On the week, gas prices are up, down and stable throughout the region: Florida (+6 cents), Texas (-2 cent), Louisiana (-1 cent). Pump prices held fairly steady in Georgia ($2.70), Alabama ($2.53), South Carolina ($2.53), Arkansas ($2.57) and Mississippi ($2.55).

Some of the volatility is likely due the region’s drop in demand as seen in the year-over-year 1.5 million bbl deficit in gasoline inventories. Despite the deficit, the EIA reports total inventory for the South and Southeast at 80.9 million bbl, which is one of the largest readings in the region for July and August 2018 data.

Residents and businesses are bracing for tropical storm Gordon, which is forecast to make landfall late Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane along the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi. The National Hurricane Center warned of storm surges and possible tornadoes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. AAA will continue to monitor the storm and will provide updates and information that may impact gas prices.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices continue to trend flat across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states.

Gasoline inventories added a surprise for this time of year- landing at 837,000 bbl, according to the latest EIA data. The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast were the only regions to see an inventory build. At 64 million bbl in total, the region is sitting on a 1.5 million surplus, which is helping to keep gas prices flat and cheaper than earlier this summer.

Rockies

After weeks of steady increases, gas price averages in Utah (-2 cents), Wyoming (-1 cent) and Idaho (-1 cent) have dropped, though not by much. Conversely, prices are up on the week for motorists in Colorado (+3 cents).

The discrepancy in pump price can be attributed, in part, to declining inventory level. Totaling 5.9 million bbl, regional inventories sit at their lowest level since August 2014. The drop has contributed to the rise in prices in some states and toward small decreases in both Idaho’s ($3.25) and Utah’s ($3.18) very expensive state averages.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 45 cents to settle at $69.80. Oil prices reflected modest gains last week, following the release of EIA’s report, which showed U.S. crude inventories fell nearly 2.6 million bbl. The U.S. also saw gasoline production increase last week, averaging 10.2 million barrels per day and refinery capacity sitting at 93.6%. Another sign of increased U.S. production came with the gain of two oil rigs bringing the U.S. total to 862 according to Baker Hughes.

International factors are also impacting global supply and demand for crude oil as Iranian oil exports drop as a result of sanctions. The market may react to tightened supply and pressure prices higher as a result of the next round of U.S. economic sanctions against Iran that are expected in November.

Market watchers will keep a close eye on the impacts of additional Iran sanctions and the storm in the Gulf of Mexico. Both factors could affect prices at the pump moving forward.

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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