For the seventh straight week, the nation’s average gas price has risen, surging 26.0 cents from a week ago to $4.85 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 56.0 cents from a month ago and $1.81 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has risen 11.5 cents in the last week and stands at $5.62 per gallon.
“After a blistering week of gas prices jumping in nearly every town, city, state and area possible, more bad news is on the horizon. It now appears not if, but when, we’ll hit that psychologically critical $5 national average,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Gasoline inventories continue to decline even with demand softening due to high prices, a culmination of less refining capacity than we had prior to COVID and strong consumption, a situation that doesn’t look to improve drastically anytime soon. Nine states have average gas prices that stand beyond the $5 per gallon mark, with more set to join in the days and weeks ahead. In addition, diesel prices also stand at a record high, a second gut-punch to consumers which pushes prices of most goods higher.”
Oil prices were mostly quiet in early Monday trading after another volatile week. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 4 cents to $118.91 per barrel, down slightly from last Monday’s early surge to $119.01, while Brent crude oil was up 12 cents in early trade to $119.84 per barrel, down from last Monday’s $123.71 level. After surging to start last week, OPEC’s somewhat surprising decision to raise production quotas by 648,000 barrels per day instead of the previously agreed to 432,000 barrels was seen as a glimmer of hope to a market badly in need of oil amidst continued economic recovery. With China’s economy now largely fully reopen, demand is likely to rise further, with OPEC citing Russia’s inability to meet its quota for boosting output.
According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was unchanged at 727, and was 271 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was up 14 to 117, 40 more than a year ago.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCT INVENTORIES
Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed a 5.1 million barrel decline in oil inventories, while the SPR declined an additional 5.4 million barrels. Both commercial oil inventories and the SPR are at significant deficits to a year ago as demand has remained robust. Domestic crude oil production was unchanged at 11.9 million barrels per day. Gasoline inventories saw yet another decline, falling 700,000 barrels and are down 15 million barrels from a year ago. Distillate inventories also saw a drop of 500,000 barrels and now stand 24% below the five year average for this time of year. Gasoline supplied was 8.98 million barrels per day, 179,000 barrels higher than the prior week. Year to date, gasoline supplied is 2.0% higher than 2021. Refinery utilization saw a slight hit to 92.6%, while gasoline production rose to 10 million barrels per day and distillate fuel production fell to 5 million barrels per day. Overall supply (excluding the SPR) is down nearly 10% from a year ago.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a slight rise last week (Sun-Sat). Nationally, weekly gasoline demand fell 2.3% from the prior week, while demand fell 2.2% in PADD 1, fell 1.8% in PADD 2, fell 4.6% in PADD 3, fell 2.8% in PADD 4, and fell 3.0% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $4.49 per gallon, up 20 cents from last week, followed by $4.59, $4.99, $4.79, and $4.39 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. price is $4.64 per gallon, about 21 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $4.98/gal, while the bottom 10% average $4.01/gal.
The states with the lowest average prices: Georgia ($4.27), Arkansas ($4.39), and Oklahoma ($4.41).
The states with the highest prices: California ($6.32), Nevada ($5.46), and Hawaii ($5.45).