Gas Prices Holding Steady

The national average gas price held virtually steady, falling just a tenth of a penny in the last week to an average of $2.860 per gallon this week, according to GasBuddy data compiled from over 10 million price reports from over 135,000 stations in the last week.

In addition, the national average is virtually unchanged versus a month ago, so while prices remain just under the key $3 per gallon level, they have been remarkably quiet this summer.

“The national average price of gasoline jumped to start last week before slowly tapering off during the latter half, but remains very close to their week ago levels. Oil prices have held under $70 per barrel, giving promise that gas prices will continue to hold south of $3 per gallon near where they have spent much of the summer so far,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

“With several bullish and bearish factors weighing on oil prices, you may see gas prices stuck in some sort of late summer blues before motorists see more sizable relief coming after Labor Day. Refiners continue to hum along meeting high demand with few kinks, leading to gas prices that have remained between $2.80-$2.89 per gallon the entire summer thus far.”

Oil prices start the week pushing into higher territory, with West Texas Intermediate crude oil rising 73 cents per barrel to $69.22 on an unexpected decline in July crude oil output from Saudi Arabia and after Washington announced that it will indeed restart sanctions on Iran after President Trump ditched the nuclear deal in May. Still, WTI crude oil spent a good portion of last week in negative territory on fears of an escalating trade war brewing between the U.S. and China. Early expectations are that U.S. oil and gasoline inventories may see a decline in the week ahead, possibly pushing oil prices back past $70, along with future concerns surrounding Iran also mounting.

Crude oil inventories posted a rise of nearly 4 million barrels last week according to data from the Energy Information Administration, whereas gasoline inventories fell 2.5 million barrels, yet remained 3.5 million barrels higher than a year ago. Refineries continued to hum along with few outages this summer, certainly positive news for motorists who on occasion have been faced with large inclines in retail gas prices during summer months when disruptions do occur.

Retail gasoline prices at the state level were mixed with 29 states seeing prices increase, two saw no change, while 19 states saw average prices decline.

States with the largest change in average prices in the last week: Michigan (-9 cents), Delaware (+7 cents), Georgia (+4 cents), Indiana (-4 cents), Tennessee (+3 cents), Wyoming (-3 cents), North Carolina (+3 cents), Idaho (+3 cents), South Dakota (+3 cents) and Nebraska (+2 cents).

States with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($2.56), Alabama ($2.57), South Carolina ($2.57), Louisiana ($2.58), Arkansas ($2.58), Oklahoma ($2.59), Texas ($2.62), Kansas ($2.63), Virginia ($2.63) and Tennessee ($2.64).

States with the highest average prices: Hawaii ($3.74), California ($3.60), Washington ($3.38), Alaska ($3.35), Oregon ($3.27), Nevada ($3.17), Idaho ($3.12), Utah ($3.06), Pennsylvania ($3.06) and Connecticut ($3.04).

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