GasBuddy: Prices at pump continue to rise, but relief could be in sight

National/World

(GasBuddy) The nation’s average gas price has increased 3.8 cents from a week ago and stands at $3.36 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 17.1 cents from a month ago and $1.21 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has risen 5.9 cents in the last week and stands at $3.58 per gallon.

“Gas prices continued to soar in a majority of the nation over the last week as oil’s meteoric rise pulls gasoline and other refined product prices higher. But, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “The sharp rise we’ve seen over the last three weeks should begin slowing down soon, barring another jump in the price of oil. This is because gasoline prices have now largely caught up to the jump in oil that started nearly a month ago. This isn’t an all clear for the future, however, as oil prices could rise again at any time. But for now, oil has held around $83 per barrel, and without a further climb, gas price increases should slow down soon in the bulk of the nation.”

OIL PRICES

The price of crude oil remained under pressure as global fundamentals continue to point out falling oil inventories and not enough supply amidst a continued energy crunch overseas. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up $1.22 per barrel in early Monday trade, up from last week’s start of $83.10. Brent crude oil was also higher at $86.41 in early Monday trade, up from $85.40 last Monday morning. OPEC+ decided to hold oil production increases unchanged at their October meeting, but will be meeting again on November 4 and could revisit the decision to hold back production amidst the clear global case for a rise in production.

According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count fell by 1 to 542, and was 255 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count fell by 4 to 164, or 81 more than a year ago.

OIL AND REFINED PRODUCT INVENTORIES

Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed a small 400,000 barrel drop in oil inventories, but a large 5.4 million barrel decline in gasoline inventories and a 3.9 million barrel drop in distillate inventories as refinery utilization plunged 2 percentage points to 84.7% as refinery snags and seasonal maintenance gets underway. Domestic oil production was nearly unchanged, falling by 22,000 barrels per day in Alaska with production in the Lower 48 unchanged at 10.9 million barrels per day, far below pre-Covid levels.

FUEL DEMAND

According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand fell slightly, in line with seasonal expectations. Nationally, weekly gasoline demand was down 0.6% from the prior week, while demand fell 1.8% in PADD 1, rose 0.7% in PADD 2, fell 2.6% in PADD 3, fell 4.0% in PADD 4 and rose 0.6% in PADD 5.

GAS PRICE TRENDS

The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.29 per gallon, up 20c/gal from last week, followed by $3.09, $3.19, $2.99 and $3.39 rounding out the five most common prices.

The average cost at the priciest 10% of stations stands at $4.27 per gallon, up 2 cents from a week ago, while the lowest 10% average $2.92 per gallon, up 7 cents from a week ago.

The median U.S. price is $3.27 per gallon, up 8 cents from last week and about 9 cents lower than the national average.

The states with the lowest average prices: Oklahoma ($2.98), Arkansas ($3.02) and Texas ($3.02).

The states with the highest priced states: California ($4.51), Hawaii ($4.21) and Nevada ($3.93).

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