(GasBuddy) The nation’s average gas price has increased 2.9 cents from a week ago and stands at $3.30 per gallon Monday according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average is up 7.5 cents from a month ago and $1.08 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has risen 7.8 cents in the last week and stands at $3.53 per gallon.
“The national average closed the week by climbing to yet another fresh seven year high, as the price of oil continues to drag gas prices along for the wild ride, leaving motorists on empty,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “With OPEC holding back oil production and strong global oil demand, the situation will no doubt pave the road with even higher gas prices in the weeks ahead. Until several bottlenecks ease, including supply chains and low global inventories of oil, natural gas and coal, we’ll be stuck feeling the pinch of rising oil and gasoline prices. The bad news is that for now, all I see is the upward trend at the pump continuing into the weeks ahead with no sign of relief just yet.”
The start of the new work week brought oil to yet another fresh seven year high as a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude jumped 82 cents, or 1%, to $83.10, up from last week’s start of $81.76, while Brent crude oil was up 54 cents per barrel, or 0.65%, to $85.40 from $84.32 a week ago. Oil prices continue to rally globally as demand continues to rebound as Covid-19 loosens its grip and new cases fall. In addition, OPEC appears to be maintaining discipline, keeping oil production capped near its quotas, even as oil prices rise. Global oil inventories remain tight, and with a looming global energy crunch in Europe and Asia, crude oil prices aren’t likely to receed, and more are calling for the possibility of $100 barrel crude in the months ahead.
According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count rose by 10 to 543, and was 261 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count rose by 1 to 168, or 88 more than a year ago.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCT INVENTORIES
According to the Energy Information Administration, crude oil inventories saw a surprising jump, thanks largely to refinery utilization, or inputs, dropping a significant amount. U.S. crude inventories rose 6.5 million barrels to 427 million, about 12.7% below last year’s level and about 6% below the five year average for this time of year. Domestic crude production inched slightly higher, with the EIA rounding up domestic production to 11.4 million barrels, just under the 11.5 million barrel Covid peak before Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf. Gasoline inventories fell some 2 million barrels and are close to the average for this time of year, while distillate inventories were unchanged, but were over 21% lower than last year and still about 9% below the five year average for this time of year. Refinery utilization fell nearly 3% to just 86.7%, as refiners begin seasonal maintenance work that usually happens in fall and late winter when demand is lower. Total U.S. petroleum inventories now stand down nearly 12% from a year ago.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand rose to its highest level in nearly a month. Nationally, weekly gasoline demand was up 2.2% from the prior week, while demand rose 3.0% in PADD 1, rose 2.9% in PADD 2, rose 1.6% in PADD 3, fell 0.4% in PADD 4 and fell 1.5% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.09 per gallon, unchanged from last week, followed by $3.19, $2.99 and $3.29.
The average cost at the priciest 10% of stations stands at $4.25 per gallon, up 5 cents from a week ago, while the lowest 10% average $2.85 per gallon, up 8 cents from a week ago.
The median U.S. price is $3.19 per gallon, up 5 cents from last week and about 11 cents lower than the national average.
The states with the lowest average prices: Texas ($2.92), Oklahoma ($2.94) and Arkansas ($2.97).
The states with the highest priced states: California ($4.45), Hawaii ($4.13) and Nevada ($3.90).