The national average for a gallon of gas has continued its summer U-turn, but price increases have slowed and more relief could be on the way. The national average increased by 11 cents since last week to $3.82. Pump prices have primarily risen due to the price of oil, which was near $80 per barrel last week, but has since softened recently.
“Last month’s extreme heat played a role in the recent spike in gas prices due to some refineries pulling back, but now operations are getting back to normal,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “Coupled with tepid demand and declining oil prices, this may help take the steam out of the tight supply price jolts we’ve seen lately.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand decreased slightly from 8.94 to 8.84 million b/d last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 1.5 million bbl to 219.1 million bbl. Lower gas demand amid increasing supply will likely help to slow price increases in the days ahead.
Today's national average of $3.82 is 29 cents more than a month ago and 34 cents less than a year ago.
Since last Thursday, these 10 states have seen the largest increases in their averages: Nebraska (+25 cents), Iowa (+23 cents), Minnesota (+21 cents), Florida (+19 cents), Missouri (+18 cents), North Dakota (+18 cents), Oklahoma (+17 cents), South Dakota (+17 cents), New Mexico (+16 cents) and Alabama (+16 cents).
The nation's top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($3.32), Louisiana ($3.43), Alabama ($3.45), Kentucky ($3.46), Ohio ($3.46), Tennessee ($3.48), Texas ($3.49), Arkansas ($3.49), South Carolina ($3.53) and Oklahoma ($3.56).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $1.88 to settle at $79.49. Oil prices tumbled yesterday after the U.S. credit rating declined, increasing market fears that oil demand could decline if the economy eases. If oil demand drops, prices would likely follow suit. Additionally, the EIA reported that total domestic, commercial crude inventories decreased by 17 million bbl to 439.8 million bbl.
Drivers can find current gas prices along their route using the AAA TripTik Travel planner.