Thirteen States including Oregon have double-digit Increases
PORTLAND, Ore., – Drivers in all 50 states are seeing higher pump prices due to increasing demand and tightening gasoline stocks across the country. For the week, the national average shoots up nine cents to $2.65 a gallon. The Oregon average jumps 12 cents to $2.99.
“March gas prices came in like a lion and will go out like a lion,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “The national average has been climbing since mid-February while the Oregon average started increasing in early March. Factors impacting pump prices include higher crude oil prices, reduced output from refineries due to maintenance and the annual switchover to summer-blend fuels.”
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have higher prices now than a week ago. California (+16 cents) and Indiana (+15 cents) have the largest jumps. Oregon (+12 cents) has the fifth-largest weekly increase in the country. West Virginia (+2 cents) and Alaska (+3 cents) have the smallest weekly gains. This week three states, California, Hawaii and Washington, have averages at or above $3 a gallon, up from two states a week ago.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have higher prices now than a month ago. The national average is 25 cents more and the Oregon average is also 25 cents more than a month ago. This is the 25th-largest monthly increase in the country. Minnesota (+37 cents) has the largest monthly jump. Alaska (+6 cents) has the smallest month-over-month increase.
The West Coast continues to have some of the most expensive gas prices in the nation with most of the region’s states landing on the top 10 most expensive list. California bumps Hawaii out of the top spot this week, with Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Alaska rounding out the top six. Oregon is fourth most expensive for the second week in a row.
|Rank||Region||Price on 3/26/19|
|7||District of Columbia||$2.82|
The weekly report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that that West Coast gasoline stocks fell by 1.5 million bbl from the previous week and now sit at 31.3 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 1.5 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region.
The nation’s cheapest markets are Utah ($2.35) and Alabama ($2.38). For the sixth week in a row, no states have an average below $2 a gallon.
Oil Market Dynamics
Crude oil prices are rising today, climbing to a four-month high around $60 per barrel due to falling supplies around the world. Last week, U.S. stock market losses dragged oil prices lower despite new data from EIA that revealed that total domestic crude inventories fell by nearly 10 million bbl to 439.5 million bbl. The larger-than-expected drawdown could be a sign of higher crude prices in the near future in light of crude export sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and OPEC’s 1.2 million b/d production reduction agreement which is in place with other major global crude producers through June 2019. Crude prices are poised to continue to rise this week if there is another major drawdown. Pump prices will likely follow suit as the country enters the late spring and summer driving seasons.
Crude oil prices have climbed about $12 bbl since the start of the year. Every $1 increase leads to an approximately 2.4-cent increase in the price of gasoline.
In related news, Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the U.S. lost nine oilrigs last week, bringing the total to 824. When compared to last year at this time, there are 20 more rigs this year.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 94 cents to settle at $59.04. At the close of Monday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI fell 22 cents to settle at $58.82. Today crude is trading around $60, compared to $59 a week ago. Crude prices are up about eight percent in the last month and are about $7 per barrel lower 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 AAA.com/mobile.
For the week, the national average adds a penny to $3.02 a gallon. Oregon’s average gains two cents to $3.12. A year ago the national average for diesel was $2.95 and the Oregon average was $3.13.
Find current fuel prices at GasPrices.AAA.com.
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