At $2.52, the national gas price average is the cheapest pump price seen this February. The national gas price average for the month of February is $2.56, which is 29-cents more expensive than the $2.28 average of February 2017. On the week, gas prices decreased 1 cent.
“Gas prices continue to trend cheaper for the majority of motorists as demand for consumer gasoline declines for a second week,” said Jeanette Casselano. “Even with the small drop-off, demand continues to register above 9 million b/d, which is a four percent year-on-year increase, according to the Energy Information Administration’s latest report.
While cheaper gas prices are welcomed by motorists, AAA does not expect the trend to continue and will issue a Spring Gas Price Report later this week.
- The largest weekly changes are: Indiana (-9 cents), Florida (-5 cents), Michigan (+5 cents), Kentucky (+4 cents), New Jersey (-4 cents), Ohio (+4 cents), South Carolina (-3 cents), New Mexico (-3 cents), Maryland (-3 cents) and Tennessee (-3 cents).
- The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Texas ($2.25), South Carolina ($2.25), Mississippi ($2.26), Alabama ($2.26), Missouri ($2.29), Arkansas ($2.30), Ohio ($2.30), Tennessee ($3.31), New Mexico ($2.32) and Oklahoma ($2.33).
Six states in the West Coast region have some of the most expensive pump prices in the country: Hawaii ($3.48), California ($3.34), Alaska ($3.02), Washington ($2.99), Oregon ($2.87) and Nevada ($2.79). On the week, Hawaii and California each increased by a penny, while Alaska dropped by a penny. Washington, Oregon and Nevada’s state averages remain unchanged since last week.
According to the EIA, gasoline inventories in the region fell slightly for the second week. Inventories still sit at a comfortable 34.2 million bbl, which is nearly 4 million bbl higher than they were at this time last year.
Great Lakes and Central
Great Lakes and Central states’ gas prices are showing signs of volatility. On the week, the majority of states saw prices decrease, but a handful of states are paying more compared to last week: Michigan (+5 cents) Kentucky (+4 cents),Ohio (+4 cents) Illinois (+3 cent) and Missouri (+2 cents).
With a 10-cent decrease, Indiana saw the largest pump price drop for the region and the country this past week. In the region, Iowa (-2 cents) saw the second largest drop, and at $2.51 sells among the most expensive gas.
Gasoline inventories continue to build week over week since the start of the year. According to the EIA’s latest report, inventories built by 740,000 bbl to total at 58.3 million bbl. Inventories are just 1.8 million below last year this week.
South and Southeast
On the week, Florida (-5 cents), South Carolina (-3 cents) and New Mexico (-3 cents) lead the South and Southeast states with price declines and land on the top 10 states with the biggest changes this week. All states are paying less on the week except for Oklahoma where prices increased one cent.
Gas prices across the region are among the cheapest in the country: Texas ($2.25), South Carolina ($2.25), Mississippi ($2.26), Alabama ($2.26), Arkansas ($2.30), New Mexico ($2.32) and Oklahoma ($2.33). At $2.52, Florida carries the most expensive gas in the South and Southeast.
Gasoline inventories remain above 83 million bbl despite a small dip of 32,000 bbl on the week. The region carries the largest total inventory of gasoline in the country.
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
Gas prices are 1-4 cents cheaper across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. New Jersey (-4 cents), Maryland (-3 cents), Tennessee (-3 cents), Delaware (-3 cents), Virginia (-3 cents) and Vermont (-3 cents) saw the largest changes on the week. Despite the drops, motorists in the region are seeing very expensive prices at the pump. In the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region, the majority of states have gas averages between $2.34 (Virginia) up to $2.81 (Pennsylvania).
Compared to gas prices this week last year, Rhode Island (+32 cents), Massachusetts (+31 cents), New Jersey (+31 cents), Vermont (+31 cents), Connecticut (+29 cents) and Pennsylvania (+29 cents) all land on the top 10 states with the largest year-over-year changes.
Regional inventories dropped to the 65 million bbl mark on the week. According to the EIA, inventory fell by 748,000 bbl. Inventories are 10.2 million bbl below totals compared to this week last year.
Motorists across the Rockies continue to see gas prices drop. This week, Colorado (-3 cents) and Utah (-3 cents) saw the largest changes at the pump. Compared to one month ago, gas prices are only more expensive in Wyoming (+1 cents). However, compared to a year ago, gas prices are as much as 27-cents more expensive in Montana. Across the region, everyone is paying more year-over-year: Wyoming (+22 cents), Colorado (+21 cents) Idaho (+15 cents) and Utah (+12 cents).
Building by 453,000, gasoline inventories surpassed the 8 million bbl mark. Total inventories are comparable to inventory levels at this time last year.
Oil market dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 78 cents to settle at $63.55. Oil prices are likely to continue rebounding this week after the EIA’s latest petroleum report revealed that U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly fell by 1.6 million barrels. The drop gave some market observers hope that global demand growth this year may help drain global inventories further, even with U.S. production continuing to grow.
EIA’s report also found that U.S. domestic crude production and exports remain high, hitting 10.270 million b/d and 2.04 million b/d respectively. A steady increase in crude oil exports underscores that growth in domestic production has led to the U.S. ability to meet growth in global appetite for oil. The growth and price gains for crude since the end of last year have helped to drive additional investment in drilling activity in the U.S., which currently has 799 active oil rigs, according to Baker Hughes, Inc.
Motorists 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.