(WASHINGTON, August 18, 2014) With approximately one month remaining before the start of the shift from more expensive summer blend gasoline (September 15) to the relatively less expensive winter blend, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline continues to drift lower and currently sits at $3.45 per gallon. Today’s national average price is two cents less than one week ago, 13 cents less than one month ago, and nine cents less than one year ago. Today’s average of $3.45 is the lowest daily price since February and the lowest August price since 2010.
Consumers in Hawaii continue to pay the nation’s highest price per gallon at the pump, registering a statewide average of $4.30 per gallon. Alaska ($4.08) and Oregon ($3.90) round out the top three most expensive markets. Drivers in South Carolina ($3.15) are paying the least per gallon, a savings of more than one dollar ($1.15) compared to motorists in Hawaii.
Over the past seven days the price at the pump has declined in the majority of states (43 states and Washington D.C.), with drivers in Ohio (-11 cents), Michigan (-10 cents) and Indiana (-9 cents) saving the most per gallon. This is in stark contrast to last Monday when these same three states registered the largest two-week increases in the nation. This recent decrease follows a run up in prices due to refinery issues at several facilities that serve the Great Lakes region. Price volatility is unfortunately nothing new for Midwestern drivers, as their state averages have consistently been among the most volatile in the country over the last several years.
Month-over-month discounts are reflected in the average price per gallon in 47 states and Washington D.C. Of this total, the price in 34 states and Washington D.C. is discounted by a dime or more with the largest declines in eastern states: New Jersey (-20 cents), West Virginia (-19 cents), Pennsylvania (-19 cents) and Maryland (-18 cents). Drivers in 43 states and Washington D.C are paying less per gallon, based on a year-over-year price comparison. The largest year-over-year savings are found in Kansas (-21 cents), Rhode Island (-18 cents), Delaware (-18 cents), and New Jersey (-18 cents). On the other side of this trend, motorists in seven states are paying premiums at the pump versus this time last year. The largest year-over-year increases in the price per gallon are recorded the western states of Nevada (+14 cents), Colorado (+13 cents) and Oregon (+12 cents), where consumers are paying a dime or more per gallon.
Geopolitical tensions remain front page news as the situations in Russia, Ukraine and Iraq continue to make headlines. Unlike years past when global events would lead to sharp increases in oil prices, due to concerns of supply disruptions, these events have been largely dismissed as global oil prices continue to slide. This is largely due to the relative stability of global supply projections, attributed to the U.S. approaching its highest annual level of oil production since 1972 and Libya’s returning to previous production levels. The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled 94 cents lower at $96.41 per barrel at the close of formal trading today, which is slightly higher than the more than six-month low of $95.58 per barrel registered last Thursday.