(GasBuddy) The nation’s average gas price has increased 0.6 cents from a week ago and stands at $3.38 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 19.5 cents from a month ago and $1.26 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has risen 3.7 cents in the last week and stands at $3.62 per gallon.
“The jump in gas prices that started nearly a month ago is finally running out of steam for the time being, as oil prices have stabilized. Yet, some areas of California are still at or near all-time record highs for prices,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “While California’s high prices will not become a nationwide norm, prices there will likely remain elevated due to refinery issues amidst the surge of rain and other refinery kinks. For most motorists, gas prices are likely to greatly slow their recent ascent, and we could even see some small declines in the week ahead. OPEC is planning to meet next week, and while it doesn’t seem likely there will be any boost in oil output, its meeting and comments could easily drive the market up or down. The odds remain high that gas prices will remain near today’s elevated levels going into the holidays, barring additional OPEC supply.”
Crude oil prices were again in rally mode in early Monday trade with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude up 70 cents to $84.27 per barrel. Brent crude oil was also trading higher, up 76 cents to $84.48 per barrel, nearly $2 per barrel lower than last Monday’s fetch of $86.41. Oil had been trading lower in overnight trade as China released some of its gasoline and diesel reserves, but shrugged off the report later as mounting oil demand pushed prices back into the black with OPEC countries likely to not raise oil production when its members meet November 4. President Biden over the weekend urged major oil producing countries to boost production to ensure a global economy continues to recover, and continued to pressure OPEC to boost supply.
According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count rose by 2 to 544, and was 248 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count also rose by 2 to 166, or 80 more than a year ago.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCT INVENTORIES
According to last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration, crude oil inventories posted a 4.3 million barrel gain, while U.S. domestic oil production remained virtually unchanged at 11.3 million barrels per day. Gasoline inventories fell 2 million barrels and stand nearly 5% lower than a year ago, while distillate inventories fell 400,000 barrels and are 20% lower than a year ago. Refinery utilization increased by just 0.3 percentage points to 85.1%, while gasoline and distillate production both increased. Total U.S. petroleum inventories now stand 11.4% lower than a year ago.
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 0.4% from the prior week, while demand fell 0.1% in PADD 1, fell 0.9% in PADD 2, rose 2.3% in PADD 3, fell 1.5% in PADD 4 and fell 2.8% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.19 per gallon, down 10c/gal from last week, followed by $3.29, $3.09, $3.39 and $2.99 rounding out the five most common prices.
The average cost at the priciest 10% of stations stands at $4.34 per gallon, up 7 cents from a week ago, while the lowest 10% average $2.93 per gallon, up 1 cent from a week ago.
The median U.S. price is $3.26 per gallon, down a penny from last week and about 12 cents lower than the national average.
The states with the lowest average prices: Oklahoma ($2.98), Texas ($3.03) and Arkansas ($3.05).
The states with the highest priced states: California ($4.58), Hawaii ($4.26) and Nevada ($3.94).