(GasBuddy) The decline in gas prices has now reached the tenth straight week with the national average falling 5.1 cents from a week ago to $3.86 per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 stations nationwide. The national average is down 51.3 cents from a month ago but 72.2 cents higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 6.3 cents in the last week and stands at $4.97 per gallon.
“While some areas saw gas prices rise slightly last week, the national average saw yet another weekly decline, extending the streak to ten straight weeks. The pace of declines is certainly slowing down as oil prices have bounced up slightly, but the West Coast and Northeastern U.S. are areas that still may see gas prices decline, while the South and Midwest see the drop fade and potentially slight increases,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “In addition to falling gasoline prices, the average price of diesel has fallen below $5 per gallon for the first time since March, likely helping to cool off aggressive inflation numbers. Thus far, Mother Nature has spared us from disruptions from hurricanes, but that remains a wildcard as we head into the peak of hurricane season.”
Oil markets rallied last week as global oil supply continues to tighten, but balancing concerns of an economic slowdown in many major developed countries. In early Monday trade, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down 42 cents to $90.35 per barrel, up from last week’s $87.66 start. Brent crude was down 44 cents to $96.28 per barrel, also up nearly $3 from last week’s $93.50 per barrel level. Oil markets continue to weigh gobs of data about the U.S. and global economy, struggling supply, the possibility of a new nuclear deal with Iran, OPEC’s challenges in meeting quotas and China’s zero-Covid policy. U.S. oil supplies fell by 7.1 million barrels, contributing to a mid-week rally in oil.
According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was down by 1 rig to 762, and was 259 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was unchanged at 201, but was 45 rigs higher than a year ago.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
According to the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report, U.S. commercial oil inventories fell 7.1 million barrels last week, about 6% below the five week average, while the SPR fell 3.4 million barrels, or nearly 26% below its year ago level. Domestic crude oil production fell 100,000 barrels to 12.1 million barrels, but was 700,000 barrels higher than a year ago. Gasoline inventories fell by 4.6 million barrels, and now stand 8% below the five year average for this time of year. The Midwest and Gulf regions (PADD 2 and 3) saw the largest declines in gasoline inventories, while only the East Coast (PADD 1) saw a rise. Distillate inventories rose a slight 800,000 barrels per day, but remain 23% below the five year average for this time of year. Implied gasoline demand rose 225,000bpd to 9.35 million barrels, while year-to-date implied gasoline demand is now 0.5% lower than 2021. Refinery utilization fell 0.8 percentage points to 93.5%.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a slight decline last week (Sun-Sat), falling 1.0%. Broken down by PADD region, demand fell 0.6% in PADD 1, fell 1.5% in PADD 2, fell 1.0% in PADD 3, fell 0.7% in PADD 4 and fell 0.6% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.49 per gallon, down 10 cents from last week, followed by $3.59, $3.69, $3.99 and $3.39 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.69 per gallon, down 8 cents from last week and about 17 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $5.18 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.20 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Arkansas ($3.37), Mississippi ($3.39) and Georgia ($3.40).
The states with the highest average prices: California ($5.27), Hawaii ($5.25) and Nevada ($4.89).