(GASBUDDY) For the third consecutive week, the nation’s average gas price has declined, falling 7.5 cents from a week ago and stands at $4.10 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 down 23.3 cents from a month ago and $1.25 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 4.4 cents in the last week and stands at $5.04 per gallon.

“Gas prices have continued to move in the right direction – down- saving Americans approximately $100 million every day compared to when prices peaked about a month ago. And, more good news is on the horizon: the national average this week will likely fall back under the critical $4 per gallon mark,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “It remains possible that gas prices may have hit their 2022 peak, barring the typical caveats like the Russia war on Ukraine, the economy, hurricane season and Covid don’t take drastic and unexpected turns. Diesel prices are also falling and likely to go back under the $5 per gallon average this week. The situation for now continues to show signs of improving, with the national average falling back into the $3 range as early as this week.”

OIL PRICES

The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was deep in the red in early Monday trade as Covid’s stronghold in China continues to drive concern, as do the rising number of economic forecasts projecting the U.S. economy to enter recession in the months ahead, which would reduce oil demand further. In early trade, WTI crude was down $4.47 per barrel to $93.79, a $8 decline from last Monday’s $101.66 per barrel start. Brent crude oil was also trading significantly lower, under the $100 per barrel mark, to $98.46, shedding $4.32 per barrel. The drop over the last week was also a significant one, nearly $8 from $106.13 per barrel.

According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was up 16 rigs to 689, and was 257 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was down by 13 to 111, or 53 more than a year ago.

OIL AND REFINED PRODUCT INVENTORIES

According to the Energy Information Administration, last week brought a 2.4 million barrel increase to crude oil inventories, while the SPR fell 3.7 million barrels, both down over 10% from the year ago level. Gasoline inventories fell 2 million barrels, but were up 2.2 million barrels from the year ago level, while distillate inventories rose 800,000 barrels but remained about 22% lower than a year ago. Implied gasoline demand rose 63,000bpd from the prior week to 8.56 million barrels per day. Refinery utilization rose 0.4 percentage points to 92.5% as refiners boost output to meet high gasoline, diesel and jet fuel demand as the economy continues to recover from Covid and we see some return to normalcy.

GAS PRICE TRENDS

The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.99 per gallon, unchanged from last week, followed by $3.89, $3.79, $3.69, and $4.09 rounding out the five most common prices.

The median U.S. price is $3.89 per gallon, down 10 cents from last week and about 21 cents lower than the national average.

The states with the lowest average prices: Oklahoma ($3.65), Kansas ($3.68), and Arkansas ($3.68).

The states with the highest prices: California ($5.76), Hawaii ($5.20), and Nevada ($5.08).