(GasBuddy) For the second straight week, the nation’s average gas price has declined, falling 8.8 cents from a week ago to $4.88 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 28.3 cents from a month ago and $1.79 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 2.7 cents in the last week and stands at $5.79 per gallon.

“With Independence Day a week away, gas prices have continued to fall for the second straight week as the price of oil has faltered, ushering in the drop we’re seeing. The good news is we could also see a third straight week of decline,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “While prices will be at their highest July 4th level ever, they’ll have fallen close to 20 cents since our peak in early June. Motorists should be wary that while the decline could continue for the week ahead, any sudden jolts to supply could quickly cause a turnaround, and risk remains that when the peak of hurricane season arrives, we could see a super spike at the pump.”

OIL PRICES
Oil prices saw a mixed bag in early Monday trade on word the Biden administration and G7 countries were preparing to launch a price cap on Russian oil. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 17 cents to $107.79 per barrel at presstime, over $1 per barrel lower than last Monday’s open. Brent crude was up 33 cents to $113.45 per barrel, 47 cents higher than last Monday’s open.

According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was up 13 to 753, and was 283 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was down 2 to 154, 28 more than a year ago.

OIL AND REFINED PRODUCT INVENTORIES
Due to computer issues, the EIA did not issue a report last week, but highlighting current conditions, as of the last report, U.S. crude oil inventories were 10% below a year ago and 14% below the five year average for this time of year. The SPR is now 18% below year ago levels as the President’s plan to release oil into the global market continues. Gasoline inventories stand about 10.5% lower than a year ago and are 11% below the five year average for this time of year. Distillate inventories are down 19.4% from year ago levels and 23% below the five year average for this time of year. Refinery utilization rates have remained high as crack spreads, or a measure of refinery profitability, remain high.

FUEL DEMAND
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a rise last week (Sun-Sat). Nationally, weekly gasoline demand rose 1.6% from the prior week, while demand rose 2.0% in PADD 1, rose 2.1% in PADD 2, rose 2.0% in PADD 3, fell 0.1% in PADD 4, and fell 0.5% in PADD 5.

GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $4.59 per gallon, down 40 cents from last week, followed by $4.69, $4.99, $4.89, and $4.79 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. price is $4.77 per gallon, down 8 cents from last week and about 11 cents lower than the national average.

The top 10% of stations in the country average $6.09/gal, while the bottom 10% average $4.27/gal.
The states with the lowest average prices: Georgia ($4.37), South Carolina ($4.39), and Mississippi ($4.39).
The states with the highest prices: California ($6.30), Alaska ($5.58), and Nevada ($5.56).