(GasBuddy) For the second straight week, gas prices have headed higher, with the nation’s average gas price posting a rise of 11.1 cents from a week ago to $3.78 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 up 0.4 cents from a month ago and 59.8 cents higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has declined 2.9 cents in the last week and stands at $4.86 per gallon.
“With gas prices continuing to surge on the West Coast and Great Lakes, the national average saw its second straight weekly rise. But at the same time, areas of the Northeast and Gulf Coast have continued to see declines as the nation experiences sharp differences in trends between regions,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Some West Coast states saw prices rise 35 to 55 cents per gallon in the last week as refinery issues continued to impact gasoline supply, which fell to its lowest level in a decade in the region, causing prices to skyrocket. While I’m hopeful there will eventually be relief, prices could go a bit higher before cooling off. In addition, OPEC could decide to cut oil production by a million barrels as the global economy slows down, potentially creating a catalyst that could push gas prices up further.”
Crude oil prices were sharply higher in early Monday trade as OPEC prepares to meet this week and appears likely to cut oil production as the global economy slows down, which had seen West Texas Intermediate crude oil (WTI) fall under $80 per barrel, the lowest since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. WTI was up $4.72 per barrel early Monday to $84.21, up from last Monday’s $78.15 per barrel start. Brent crude was also jumping in early action, up $4.41 to $89.55, up from last Monday’s $85.37 print.
According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was up by 1 rig to 765, and was 237 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was down 2 rigs to 213, and was 48 rigs higher than a year ago.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
According to the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report last week, U.S. oil inventories fell some 200,000 barrels, while the SPR fell 4.6 million barrels. U.S. oil inventories stand about 2% below the five year average for this time of year. Gasoline inventories fell by 2.4 million barrels and are about 6% below the five year average for this time of year, while distillate inventories fell 2.9 million barrels and are about 20% below the five year average for this time of year. Refinery utilization fell to 90.6% of capacity as gasoline and distillate production fell last week. Implied gasoline demand rose 500,000bpd to 8.83 million barrels, while domestic U.S. oil production slipped 100,000 barrels to 12.1 million barrels per day.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand fell last week (Sun-Sat) by 1.8%. Broken down by PADD region, demand fell 7.3% in PADD 1, rose 0.2% in PADD 2, rose 2.6% in PADD 3, rose 1.7% in PADD 4 and rose 0.9% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.29 per gallon, unchanged versus last week, followed by $3.39, $3.19, $3.69 and $3.99 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.49 per gallon, unchanged from last week and about 29 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $6.09 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $2.92 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($3.02), Louisiana ($3.06) and Texas ($3.06).
The states with the highest average prices: California ($6.25), Oregon ($5.36) and Nevada ($5.34).