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GAS PRICE DECLINE HITS 14TH STRAIGHT WEEK, FUTURE MURKY

Patrick De Haan
Patrick De Haan
For the 14th consecutive week, the nation’s average gas price has fallen, declining 3.9 cents from a week ago to $3.64 per gallon today, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 stations nationwide. The national average is down 25.7 cents from a month ago but 45.9 cents higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has declined 7.0 cents in the last week and stands at $4.93 per gallon.
“With a 14th consecutive weekly decline, the national average price of gasoline has now surpassed 2018’s record decline, seeing its longest downward streak since 2015,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “While some states continue to see gas prices trend higher, the majority have continued to decline. However, this week could change the downward trend. With some issues arising in Plains and Great Lakes states as the transition to winter gasoline begins, I think we have the best potential to see the weekly trend of falling prices snapped. West Coast states also continue to see increases as unexpected refinery issues continue to percolate, preventing a downward move. While gasoline could nudge higher, diesel prices should continue to ease after a much-needed jump in inventories last week.”
OIL PRICES
In early Monday trade, crude oil prices were seeing heavy selling pressure due to recent CPI reports indicating a higher level of inflation continuing. In early trade, WTI crude oil was down $2.80 per barrel to $82.31, a noticeable decline from last week’s $88.27 per barrel start. Brent crude was down $2.64 to $88.71 per barrel, also a hefty discount to last Monday’s $94.48 per barrel start. Continued concern over rising interest rates and a strong U.S. dollar continue to erode oil prices.
According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was up by 4 rigs to 763, and was 251 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was up 6 rigs to 211, and was 57 rigs higher than a year ago.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
According to data released last week by the Energy Information Administration, U.S. oil inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels thanks to an 8.4 million barrel drop in the SPR. Commercial crude inventories now stand nearly 3% above year-ago levels, but are down about 2% from the five-year average for this time of year. Domestic crude production was unchanged at 12.1 million barrels per day. Gasoline inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels, with the largest drop in PADD 2 after BP’s Whiting, Indiana refinery experienced an electrical fire, causing the refinery to shut down to make repairs before reopening. Distillate inventories finally saw a robust rebound, jumping 4.2 million barrels. Implied gasoline demand continued to decline as cooler weather continues, falling 233,000 bpd to 8.49 million barrels per day.
FUEL DEMAND
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand fell notably last week (Sun-Sat), declining 0.1%. Broken down by PADD region, demand rose 1.8% in PADD 1, fell 0.1% in PADD 2, fell 1.7% in PADD 3, fell 4.9% in PADD 4 and fell 1.9% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.39 per gallon, unchanged versus last week, followed by $3.29, $3.19, $3.49 and $3.59 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.44 per gallon, down 5 cents from last week and about 20 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $5.22 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $2.98 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($3.07), Louisiana ($3.09) and Georgia ($3.13).
The states with the highest average prices: California ($5.38), Hawaii ($5.22) and Nevada ($4.87).
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Patrick De Haan
Patrick De Haan @gasbuddyguy

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