The national average for a gallon of gas fell three cents since last week to $3.39. The main reason is the oil price, which fell into the mid $70s per barrel, nearly $5 cheaper than a week ago.
“The cost for oil accounts for 55% of what we pay at the pump,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, “so higher or lower oil costs will play a major role in the price we pay when fueling up.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand increased slightly from 8.27 million b/d to 8.91 million b/d last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 1.8 million bbl to 240.1 million bbl last week. However, fluctuating oil prices have contributed to pushing pump prices lower. But if gas demand keeps rising amid tightening domestic stocks, drivers may see an end to future pump price drops.
Today’s national average of $3.39 is three cents less than a month ago and 14 cents less than a year ago.
Since last Thursday, these 10 states have seen the largest changes in their averages: Ohio (−9 cents), California (+7 cents), Iowa (−7 cents), Tennessee (−7 cents), New Jersey (−7 cents), Wisconsin (−7 cents), Oregon (+6 cents), Virginia (−6 cents), Rhode Island (−6 cents) and Alabama (−6 cents).
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Texas ($2.96), Mississippi ($2.99), Kentucky ($3.02), Missouri ($3.03), Arkansas ($3.04), South Carolina ($3.04), Alabama ($3.05), Tennessee ($3.06), Oklahoma ($3.07) and Louisiana ($3.07).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $2.41 to settle at $73.95. Crude prices have declined due to the strengthening of the dollar and market concerns about increasing domestic oil inventories. An increase in supply could mean that demand may not move as high as anticipated. EIA reported that total domestic commercial crude inventories increased substantially by 7.6 million bbl to 479 million bbl last week.
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