(WASHINGTON, June 2, 2014) One week into the summer driving season, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.67 per gallon. This is one cent less than last month but it is a penny more than last week and a nickel more than on the same date last year.
Entering the summer months, AAA expects that drivers will experience little relief at the pump and prices are likely to remain near a range of $3.55-$3.70 per gallon, which is similar to last summer’s range of $3.47-$3.67. Continuing geopolitical concerns, major refinery disruptions or a severe hurricane season (June 1- November 30) could send the national average higher than anticipated, while the absence of such catalysts could allow prices to fall below this range.
After 11 straight weeks, New York and the District of Columbia have fallen out of the top ten most expensive markets, and for the ninth consecutive day consumers in Hawaii, California and Alaska are all paying more than $4 per gallon at the pump.
Although the price at the pump in the majority of states (38) and the District of Columbia has remained relatively stable (+/- 2 cents) over the past seven days, consumers in Ohio (+10 cents), Indiana (+8 cents) and Michigan (+8 cents) are experiencing a bit of sticker-shock at the pump due to week-over-week price increases that are the highest in the nation. Over the last several years Midwestern gas prices have regularly been the most volatile in the country as refinery issues, supply bottlenecks and logistical issues have caused sometimes dramatic fluctuations.
In comparison to this same date last year, drivers in 22 states and the District of Columbia are paying premiums at the pump in the double-digits, led by: Pennsylvania (+26 cents), South Carolina (+23 cents) and Kentucky (+23). Conversely, consumers seven states are paying at least a quarter less per gallon: North Dakota (- 44 cents), Iowa (-36 cents), Minnesota (-36), Colorado (-32 cents), South Dakota (-32 cents), Nebraska (-28 cents) and Kansas (-26 cents).
The situation in Russia and Ukraine remains unresolved, and pro-Russian separatists continue to clash with Ukrainian military forces throughout the region. However analysts still report that the likelihood of a disruption in supply remains low, which was supported by today’s announcement that Russia plans to delay the introduction of a prepayment system for natural gas supplies to Ukraine. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 24 cents lower at $102.47 per barrel. This marks the WTI’s 15th consecutive settlement above the $100 per barrel threshold.