(GasBuddy) For the twelfth consecutive week, the nation’s average gas price has fallen, declining 7.7 cents from a week ago to $3.75 per gallon Tuesday, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 stations nationwide. The national average is down 29.5 cents from a month ago but 57.6 cents higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has declined 2.0 cents in the last week and stands at $5.02 per gallon.
“The national average has declined for 12 straight weeks, the longest tally since 2018, and it could soon eclipse that mark if we see two more weeks of decline. Though, that may be more challenging given OPEC’s decision yesterday to cut oil production,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “For now, price movements will be contingent on where you are, with California seeing some minor increases, while the Great Lakes could see an upward move as BP’s refinery outage has had an impact on supplies. In the Gulf and Rockies, prices may continue to fall, so a very mixed bag for motorists in the week ahead. In addition, there are several disturbances in the Atlantic to keep an eye on, but we do switch back to cheaper winter gasoline in just over a week which should provide some additional relief.”
Oil was trading slightly higher in early Tuesday trade after OPEC’s announcement that it was cutting oil production by 100,000 barrels per day, surprising the market. While the decline is very small, the significance is important, as OPEC weighs economic factors, China’s continued Covid-zero policy stifling demand and falling consumption in the United States. In early Tuesday trade, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude was up 87 cents to $87.74 per barrel, a drop from last Monday’s $93.25 level. Brent crude oil was down $1.73 per barrel to $94.01, a nearly $7 drop from last Monday’s $101 per barrel fetch.
According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was down by 5 rigs to 760, and was 263 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was up 7 rigs to 208, and was 56 rigs higher than a year ago.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. oil inventories fell 3.3 million barrels last week, 7 million barrels below a year ago and about 6% below the five year average for this time of year. The SPR fell 3.1 million barrels and stands nearly 28% below its year ago level. Domestic crude oil production rose 100,000 barrels per day to 12.1 million, some 600,000 barrels higher than a year ago. Gasoline inventories fell 1.2 million barrels, and are down 1.2 million from a year ago, and 7% below the five year average for this time of year. Distillate inventories rose by 100,000 barrels but remain 25 million barrels lower than a year ago and 23% below the five year average. Implied gasoline demand, EIA’s proxy for retail gasoline demand, rose 157,000 barrels per day to 8.59 million barrels, with year-to-date gasoline demand 1.2% below last year. Refinery utilization fell by 1.1 percentage points to 92.7% of capacity.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a gain last week (Sun-Sat), rising 2.5%. Broken down by PADD region, demand rose 1.8% in PADD 1, rose 0.9% in PADD 2, rose 7.2% in PADD 3, rose 4.3% in PADD 4 and rose 2.2% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.49 per gallon, 10 cents lower than last week, followed by $3.59, $3.39, $3.99 and $3.69 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.59 per gallon, down 6 cents from last week and about 16 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $5.13 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.07 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Texas ($3.22), Arkansas ($3.22) and Mississippi ($3.25).
The states with the highest average prices: Hawaii ($5.21), California ($5.21) and Nevada ($4.81).