(GasBuddy) – For the sixth consecutive week, the nation’s average gas price has rallied, rising 0.9 cents from a week ago to $4.60 per gallon Tuesday 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 42.8 cents from a month ago and $1.56 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 4.0 cents in the last week and stands at $5.50 per gallon.
In Fort Wayne, gas at one station has risen to $4.89. The Speedway located on Sherman just south of West State Boulevard has that as the posted price, a record high.
“After several weeks of soaring gas prices, last week saw prices nationally slow down ahead of Memorial Day, but I’m afraid the good news ends there,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “While gasoline demand has been seasonally soft, the large decline in refining capacity over the last few years has meant that refiners are struggling to produce even lower amounts of refined products. This has led inventories to struggle to see any gains, boosting concern that they won’t be able to catch up. Coupled with continued talk that the EU is still working on sanctioning Russian oil, even though Hungary is a hold out, oil markets are quite on edge. As a result of the continued decline in gasoline inventories in recent weeks, wholesale gas prices surged last week, which will likely boost prices at the pump in short order. Motorists in the Great Lakes could see prices jump early in the week to new record highs, and the rest of the nation will follow. Odds are rising that we’ll eventually see the national average reach that dreaded $5 per gallon.”
Oil prices were up significantly in early Monday trade as the EU approved a slow-moving curb on Russian oil, agreeing to sanction 90% of Russian shipments by the end of 2022, while allowing interim shipments via pipeline to appease Hungary. As a result, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude was up $3.94 to $119.01 per barrel in early trade, nearly $8 per barrel higher than last week Monday. Brent crude oil was up $2.04 per barrel to $123.71, a nearly $10 per barrel rise from its level at the start of last week. In addition, China’s two week lockdown of Shanghai expires tomorrow, boosting hopes that oil demand will quickly recover.
According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was down 1 rig to 727, and was 270 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was up 15 to 103, or 41 more than a year ago.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCT INVENTORIES
Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed a million barrel decline in U.S. oil inventories, which stand 14% below the five year average for this time of year, while the SPR fell 6 million barrels to 15% below the year ago level. Domestic oil production was unchanged at 11.9 million barrels, but fell 100,000bpd in the Lower 48. Gasoline inventories fell 500,000 barrels to 8% below the five year average for this time of year. Distillate inventories jumped by 1.7 million barrels, but are still 21% below the five year average for this time of year. Implied gasoline demand fell 230,000 barrels per day to 8.80 million, a fairly weak seasonal level, likely due to high gasoline prices. Refinery utilization jumped 1.4 percentage points to 93.2% as refiners in PADD 4- the Rocky Mountains- saw a plummet of 13.4% to just 63.2% of capacity due to refinery maintenance and a fire. Overall oil supply remains down 9.6% from a year ago.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a slight rise last week (Sun-Sat). Nationally, weekly gasoline rose 0.6% from the prior week, while demand fell 0.0% in PADD 1, rose 0.4% in PADD 2, rose 0.9% in PADD 3, rose 1.9% in PADD 4, and was up 0.6% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $4.29 per gallon, down 20 cents from last week, followed by $4.19, $4.59, $4.39, and $4.49 rounding out the five munchanged from last week and about 21 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $4.88/gal, while the bottom 10% average $4.01/gal.
The states with the lowest average prices: Georgia ($4.12), Arkansas ($4.13), and Kansas ($4.14).
The states with the highest prices: California ($6.14), Hawaii ($5.42), and Nevada ($5.27).