Is the Spring Peak in the Rear View Mirror?

PORTLAND, Ore., – Gas price hikes are cooling off this week and nearly two thirds of all states, including Oregon, ae seeing prices decrease. Lower crude oil prices, underwhelming demand for gas in the U.S., and increases in gasoline and crude oil supplies are putting downward pressure on pump prices. For the week, the national average for regular slips two cents to $3.64. The Oregon average loses four cents to $4.46 a gallon.

National State Local Gas Prices 5-7-2024

“Falling crude oil prices have helped push pump prices lower. While some refinery maintenance is still underway in the U.S., the seasonal spring run-up in gas prices is settling down. But crude oil prices are still the big wildcard as global conflicts in the Middle East and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will continue to keep oil markets volatile,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.

The national and Oregon averages remain at their highest prices since October. This week no Oregon counties have averages below $4 a gallon.

The Oregon average began 2024 at $3.79 a gallon compared to $4.46 today. Its lowest price so far this year is $3.58 on February 14 and the highest is nearly $4.51 on May 1. The national average started the year at $3.11 and is at $3.64 today. Its lowest price so far this year is just under $3.07 on January 15 and the highest is just under $3.68 on April 19.

Gas prices always rise starting in late winter through the spring as refineries undergo maintenance as the switch to summer-blend fuel occurs. The switch occurs first in California, which is why pump prices on the West Coast often rise before other parts of the country. The East Coast is the last major market to make the change to summer-blend fuel. Most areas have a May 1 compliance date for refiners and terminals, while most gas stations have a June 1 deadline to switch to selling summer-blend until June 1. Switch-over dates are earlier in California with some areas in the state requiring summer-blend fuel by April 1. Some refineries will begin maintenance and the switchover as early as February.

Crude oil prices have remained elevated and volatile due to geopolitical events around the world including increased volatility in the Middle East, drone attacks on Russian refineries, and Houthi militant attacks in the Red Sea. In addition, production cuts by OPEC+ have tightened global crude oil supplies.

Crude oil prices have backed away from six-month highs. West Texas Intermediate climbed above $80 on March 14 and above $85 on April 2, then dipped below $85 starting on April 17 and below $80 again on May 1. Major drivers of elevated crude prices are the unrest in the Middle East and the Ukrainian attacks on Russian refineries. Russia is a top global oil producer and the refinery attacks have reduced output.

Crude prices have been volatile after the attack on Israel by Hamas in October. While Israel and the Palestinian territory are not oil producers, concerns remain that the conflict could spread in the Middle East, which could potentially impact crude production in other oil-producing nations in the region.

Crude oil is trading around $78 today compared to $82 a week ago and $73 a year ago. In 2023, West Texas Intermediate ranged between $63 and $95 per barrel. Crude reached recent highs of $123.70 on March 8, 2022, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and $122.11 per barrel on June 8, 2022. The all-time high for WTI crude oil is $147.27 in July 2008.

Crude oil is the main ingredient in gasoline and diesel, so pump prices are impacted by crude prices on the global markets. On average, about 56% of what we pay for in a gallon of gasoline is for the price of crude oil, 19% is refining, 10% distribution and marketing, and 15% are taxes, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Demand for gasoline in the U.S. remains lackluster and is in the pre-Memorial doldrums. Demand for gas in the U.S. rose slightly from 8.42 million b/d to 8.62 b/d for the week ending April 26, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Demand is the same as a year ago when it was also 8. 62 million b/d. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks increased by .4 million bbl to 227.1 million bbl.

Tepid demand, increasing supply, and falling oil prices could lower pump prices.

Quick stats

Oregon is one of 32 states with lower prices now than a week ago. Ohio (-13 cents) has the biggest weekly decline. Colorado (+12 cents) has the largest week-over-week gain in the nation. The average in Connecticut is flat.

California ($5.34) has the most expensive gas in the nation for the 10th week in a row and is the only state in the nation with an average at or above $5 per gallon. Hawaii ($4.81) is second, Washington ($4.67) is third, Nevada ($4.52) is fourth, Oregon ($4.46) is fifth, Alaska ($4.38) is sixth, and Arizona ($4.01) is seventh. These are the seven states with averages at or above $4, same as a week ago. This week 43 states and the District of Columbia have averages in the $3-range. No states have averages in the $2 range this week.

The cheapest gas in the nation is in Mississippi ($3.11) and Arkansas ($3.16) and. No state has had an average below $2 a gallon since January 7, 2021, when Mississippi and Texas were below that threshold.

The difference between the most expensive and least expensive states is $2.23 this week, compared to $2.29 a week ago.

Oregon is one of 37 states and the District of Columbia with higher prices now than a month ago. The national average is five cents more and the Oregon average is seven cents more than a month ago. Rhode Island (+30 cents) has the largest monthly jump. Indiana (-24 cents) has the biggest monthly decline.

Oregon is one of 35 states and the District of Columbia with higher prices now than a year ago. The national average is 10 cents more than a year ago and the Oregon average is 35 cents more than a year ago. This is the third-largest yearly gain in the nation. California (+52 cents) has the largest year-over-year increase. Arizona (-68 cents) has the largest yearly decrease.

West Coast

The West Coast region continues to have the most expensive pump prices in the nation with all seven states in the top 10. It’s typical for the West Coast to have six or seven states in the top 10 as this region tends to consistently have fairly tight supplies, consuming about as much gasoline as is produced. In addition, this region is located relatively far from parts of the country where oil drilling, production and refining occurs, so transportation costs are higher. And environmental programs in this region add to the cost of production, storage and distribution.

RankRegionPrice on 5/7/2024

As mentioned above, California has the most expensive gas in the country for the 10th week in a row. Hawaii, Washington, Nevada, Oregon, Alaska and Arizona round out the top seven. Oregon is fifth most expensive for the 29th week in a row.

States in the West Coast region are seeing small week-over-week changes. Nevada (-5 cents), California (-5 cents), Oregon (-4 cents), Washington (-2 cents), and Arizona (-1 cent) have week-over-week declines. Alaska (+1/2 cent) and Hawaii (+3/10ths of a cent) have week-over-week increases.

The refinery utilization rate on the West Coast decreased from 84.6% to 84.2% for the week ending April 26. This rate has ranged between about 74% to 97% in the last year. The latest national refinery utilization rate decreased from 88.5% to 87.5%. The refinery utilization rate measures how much crude oil refineries are processing as a percentage of their maximum capacity. A low or declining rate can put upward pressure on pump prices.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region rose from 27.46 million bbl. to 28.44 million bbl.

A decrease in the refinery utilization rate and/or a low rate can put upward pressure on pump prices, while an increase in gasoline stocks can put downward pressure on pump prices.

Oil market dynamics

Crude oil prices had steep declines last week as talks about a possible cease fire continued between Israel and Hamas, and inventories of crude oil surged in the U.S. on weaker demand. Prices dipped as the EIA reported crude oil inventories increased by 7.3 million barrels from the previous week. At 460.9 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 3% below the five-year average for this time of year. Crude prices are up slightly to start this week as Israel has warned Palestinians to leave the city of Rafah in southern Gaza and cease fire talks continue.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI slipped 84 cents to settle at $78.11. At the close of Monday’s formal trading session, WTI added 37 cents to close at $78.48. Today crude is trading around $78 compared to $82 a week ago. Crude prices are about $5 more than a year ago.

Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at

National Gas Price Comparison 5-7-2024


For the week, the national average decreases four cents to $3.97 a gallon. The record high is $5.816 set on June 19, 2022. The Oregon average loses three cents to $4.25. The record high is $6.47 set on July 3, 2022. A year ago the national average for diesel was $4.06 and the Oregon average was $4.52.

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Fuel prices are updated daily at AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge at AAA Gas Prices. For more info go  AAA Oregon/Idaho provides more than 890,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services, and is an affiliate of AAA National, serving more than 64 million motorists in North America.