Average gas prices are below $2 per gallon in twelve states today including Oklahoma ($1.85), Missouri ($1.90), Arkansas ($1.90), Kansas ($1.90), Texas ($1.92), Mississippi ($1.95), Alabama ($1.95), Minnesota ($1.95), South Carolina ($1.96), Tennessee ($1.96), Louisiana ($1.97) and Virginia ($1.99).
The West Coast remains the most expensive region to buy gasoline in the country, led by Hawaii ($2.86), California ($2.70), Washington ($2.63), Alaska ($2.61), Nevada ($2.47) and Oregon ($2.45).
Gas prices on the West Coast remain the highest in the country, including the top six most expensive state averages: Hawaii ($2.87), California ($2.70), Washington ($2.63), Alaska ($2.61), Nevada ($2.47), Oregon ($2.45). Drivers in California (-6 cents), Washington (-5 cents) and Oregon (-5 cents) saw the biggest weekly discounts. Prices in the region could potentially be impacted later in the month due to a fire at PBF Energy’s 157,000-b/d refinery in Torrance, California, last Tuesday. OPIS reports that PBF Energy was operating major gasoline production equipment at reduced rates on Friday which may have a slight impact on supply in the area.
Gas prices in the Rockies region have followed the national average trending lower over the past week. The region has generally been the most stable across the nation since it is geographically insulated from pump price movement tied to global crude oil prices. Regional prices are expected to continue dropping into the holiday season along with demand.
Great Lakes and Central States
The regions have the only five states in the nation that have seen prices increase over the past week: Ohio (+10 cents), Indiana (+10 cents), Michigan (+6 cents), Kentucky (+3 cent) and Missouri (+2 cents). The Great Lakes are often the most volatile area in the country for gas prices, and it is not uncommon for prices to move significantly from day to day. Despite recent increases, drivers in the region should see some relief at the pump soon. OPIS reports that BP’s 430,000-b/d Whiting refinery in Indiana is wrapping up its planned maintenance that first started in September. All units are expected to be back in production by the end of the month.
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
Pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast continue to drop at a steady rate, with prices across the region falling a couple of cents over the past week. Despite the drops, regional neighbors- New York ($2.37), Pennsylvania ($2.37) and Washington, D.C. ($2.36)- round out the list of top-10 most expensive markets in the country.
South and Southeast
Drivers in the southeastern quadrant of the U.S. continue to enjoy some of the lowest prices in the nation, due to the advantageous proximity to major Gulf Coast refineries and some of the lowest state gasoline taxes in the country. Five states in the region rank in the top-ten lowest prices nationwide: Texas ($1.92), Mississippi ($1.95), Alabama ($1.95), South Carolina ($1.96) and Tennessee ($1.96).
Oil Market Dynamics
Markets rallied early Monday morning and oil prices hit their highest point in three weeks as continued reports of an OPEC production agreement circulated. Last week, OPEC and non-OPEC members signaled that they might be getting closer to finalizing the details of their production agreement and proposed a production cap for Iran, which up until this point was not supportive of disrupting the amount of oil they produced. Following these discussions, many traders anticipate that it may be more likely that OPEC can solidify their production agreement at the November 30 meeting in Vienna, Austria. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 27 cents to settle at $45.69 per barrel.