RICHMOND — At $2.18, the national gas price average increased by 1 cent over the past week. That is the same price as a month ago and 41 cents cheaper than a year ago.
The minimal change reflects the slow movement at pumps across the country on the week. The vast majority of states, 30, saw pump prices fluctuate by a penny, if at all.
A few states in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest saw more significant jumps, including North Carolina (+7 cents), Kentucky (+6 cents), Virginia (+5 cents) and West Virginia (+5 cents), while Indiana (-5 cents) holds the spot for the largest weekly decrease.
The increase in those states could be a result of increased demand, but nationally demand saw a one week decline.
“Gasoline stocks hit their lowest level since the pandemic began and demand dipped on the week, down to 8.6 million b/d,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokeswoman “These decreases typically lead to cheaper pump prices, but this summer we’ve seen atypical gas price trends.”
The Energy Information Administration recorded gasoline stocks at their largest one-week draw since May.
Total stocks fell by 4 million bbl down to 243.7 million bbl. Year-over-year, stocks are at a 10 million surplus while demand sits 1.3 million b/d less. U.S refinery utilization rates continue to hover at 80 percent.
This week the market is watching Tropical Storms Marco and Laura.
Laura is forecasted to move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and become a hurricane by early Tuesday.
According to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, approximately 58 percent, or 1.065 million b/d, of crude production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shuttered ahead of the storms and 114 (18 percent) platforms evacuated.
While gasoline stocks remain at a healthy level, if platforms and rigs are offline for an extended amount of time, supply could tighten and gas prices could be impacted. AAA will continue to monitor activity and provide related gas price updates.
The 10 largest weekly changes in gas prices were in: North Carolina (+7 cents), Kentucky (+6 cents), Virginia (+5 cents), West Virginia (+5 cents), Indiana (-5 cents), Illinois (+3 cents), Michigan (+3 cents), Wisconsin (-3 cents), South Dakota (+2 cents) and Iowa (+2 cents).
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($1.83), Louisiana ($1.86), Arkansas ($1.87), Alabama ($1.88), Texas ($1.88), Oklahoma ($1.88), Missouri ($1.90), Tennessee ($1.91), South Carolina ($1.92) and Kansas ($1.97).
At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 48 cents to settle at $42.34 per barrel. Crude prices were supported by growth in the strength of the U.S. dollar. Additionally, domestic crude prices decreased despite
For this week, crude prices could increase, depending on the impact of Tropical Storms Laura and Marco.