Gas Prices Make a Pit Stop

After suddenly spiking more than a dime two weeks ago, the national average for a gallon of gas had a calm week by remaining at $3.27.  News that the large BP-Whiting refinery in Indiana, offline since early February due to power issues, is reopening soon may have contributed to easing pump price nerves. The refinery processes nearly 440,000 barrels of crude daily, and the shutdown caused gasoline prices throughout the Midwest to rise.   

“Old man winter is shuffling toward the exit, and with milder weather and longer days looming, the seasonal rise in gas prices is primed to begin,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “But it will probably be a slow, wobbly start to rising prices.”

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand mostly remained flat at 8.2 million b/d last week. Total domestic gasoline stocks declined slightly by 300,000 bbl to 247 million bbl. Flat demand, amid falling supply, has helped to stabilize the national average this week.

Today’s national average of $3.27 is 20 cents more than a month ago but 12 cents less than a year ago.

Quick Stats

  • Since last Thursday, these 10 states have seen the largest changes in their averages: Utah (+17 cents), South Dakota (+11 cents), Idaho (+11 cents), Wyoming (+8 cents), Nebraska (+8 cents), Montana (+8 cents), Iowa (+8 cents), Ohio (−8 cents), New Mexico (−7 cents) and Texas (−6 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: Hawaii ($4.70), California ($4.63), Washington ($3.92), Nevada ($3.91), Oregon ($3.60), Pennsylvania ($3.53), Illinois ($3.51), Alaska ($3.46), Washington, DC ($3.41) and Arizona ($3.36).

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 87 cents to settle at $77.91. Oil prices rose with a softer dollar and continuing attacks in the Red Sea, causing the market to remain concerned that shipping routes will be hindered as hostilities linger. Additionally, total domestic commercial crude stocks increased by 3.6 million bbl to 443 million bbl last week.




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