(GasBuddy) For the second straight week, the nation’s average gas price has declined, falling 11.9 cents from a week ago to $3.64 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 16.4 cents from a month ago and 24.5 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 6.7 cents in the last week and stands at $5.28 per gallon.
“What an incredible turnaround in the last week. While a decline was expected in more states than last week, I didn’t expect every single state to hop on the bandwagon so quickly. But, it’s terrific news as motorists prepare for Thanksgiving travel, with tens of thousands of stations under $3 per gallon, and thousands more to join in the next few weeks, barring a dramatic turnaround,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Everyone will be seeing relief at the pump this week, with even more substantial declines on the way as oil prices plummeted last week to briefly trade under $80 per barrel. It’s not impossible that if oil markets hold here, we could see a national average of $2.99 around Christmas, certainly the gift that every motorist is hoping for. Drivers shouldn’t be in a rush to fill up as prices will come down nearly coast-to-coast into the heavily traveled Thanksgiving holiday.”
Oil markets have seen quite the drop as concerns about demand weigh on prices. In early Monday trade, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down 59 cents to $79.52 per barrel, a nearly $9 drop from last week Monday’s $87.90 per barrel start. Brent was last trading down 49 cents to $87.13 per barrel, down from $95.00 per barrel to start last week. The three week decline has developed as oil has turned bearish, discounting inventory levels that remain tight, focusing instead on economic concerns and a continued flare up in Covid cases in several major Chinese cities. In addition, last week’s decision by President Biden to ask to shield Mohammed bin Salman may have been a sign of tensions easing between the kingdom and the U.S. and could invite additional oil supplies.
According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was up by 3 rigs to 782 and was 219 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was up 1 rig to 201 and was 34 rigs higher than a year ago.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed a substantial 5.4 million barrel decline in oil inventories, while domestic crude oil production was unchanged, holding at 12.1 million barrels per day. The SPR fell 4.1 million barrels and stands 35% below its year ago level. Gasoline inventories perked up by 2.2 million barrels, still about 5% below the five year average seasonally, while distillate inventories rose 1.1 million barrels to a level 15% below the five year average seasonally. Refinery utilization rose 0.8 percentage points to reach 92.9%. Implied gasoline demand, a proxy for retail consumption, fell 269,000 barrels per day to 8.74 million barrels per day. Total U.S. petroleum inventories are down 7.1 million barrels from a year ago excluding the SPR. Including the SPR, inventories are down 221 million barrels from a year ago.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand rose last week (Sun-Sat) by 5.7% as motorists prepare to take to the road for Thanksgiving. Broken down by PADD region, demand rose 7.6% in PADD 1, rose 5.6% in PADD 2, rose 3.0% in PADD 3, rose 4.4% in PADD 4, and rose 4.7% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.49 per gallon, up 10 cents from last week, followed by $3.39, $3.29, $3.99, and $3.19 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.49 per gallon, down 10 cents from last week and about 15 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $5.06 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $2.87 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Texas ($2.93), Georgia ($3.07), and Mississippi ($3.08).
The states with the highest average prices: California ($5.18), Hawaii ($5.14), and Nevada ($4.82).