With May Approaching, Pump Prices Stick to the Slow Lane

With domestic gasoline demand decidedly in the doldrums and the cost of oil retreating, the national average dipped two cents since last week to $3.65. 

“Domestic gas demand is pretty pokey at the moment, which is often the case in the runup to Memorial Day and the traditional start of summer driving season,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “The recent national average price of  $3.67 could be the peak until hurricane season is well underway. But as always, the wildcard will be the cost of oil, so stay tuned.” 

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand fell from 8.66 to 8.42 million b/d last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by .6 million bbl to 226.7 million bbl. Lower demand and a drop in oil prices could push pump prices lower. 

Today’s national average is $3.65, 12 cents more than a month ago and the same as a year ago. 

Quick Stats 

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($3.09), Colorado ($3.13), Louisiana ($3.15), Oklahoma ($3.16), Arkansas ($3.21),  New Mexico ($3.23), Kansas ($3.23), Alabama ($3.25), Texas ($3.25), and Tennessee ($3.27).  

The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($5.40), Hawaii ($4.80), Washington ($4.65), Nevada ($4.59), Oregon ($4.43), Alaska ($4.37), Arizona ($4.09), Utah ($3.97), Idaho ($3.93), and Illinois ($3.91). 

Oil Market Dynamics 

At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 55 cents to settle at $82.81. Oil prices dipped despite the EIA reporting crude oil inventories fell by 6.4 million barrels from the previous week. At 454 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are 4% below the five-year average for this time of year.




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