Great Lakes and Central
Gas prices are dropping – and for some by a lot – on the week across the Great Lakes and Central states. Seven states in the region land on the top 10 largest weekly change in gas prices list: Ohio (-13 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Indiana (-11 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents), Illinois (-7 cents) Missouri (-5 cents) and Nebraska (-4 cents).
Despite cheaper gas prices on the week, state gas price averages are nearly 50-cents or more expensive than a year ago. North Dakota ($2.85) and South Dakota ($2.87) have the largest year-over-year increase at 61- and 60-cents, respectively. Nebraska has the smallest year-over -year increase at 47-cents.
On the week, gasoline inventories in the region took a draw of 870,000 bbl and now face a 2.3 million bbl deficit, the only region in the country to have one according to EIA data. As regional gasoline inventories tighten, gas prices could see jumps.
South and Southeast
Across the South and Southeast states, gas prices range from as expensive as $2.77 in Florida to as cheap as $2.55 in Alabama. On the week, prices in the region are as much as four cents cheaper.
This week’s top four states with the cheapest gas averages in the country can be found in the South and Southeast region. Coincidentally, they are the same four states with the cheapest prices from one year ago with motorists paying at least 50-cents more a gallon to fill-up, compared to a national average difference of nearly 60 cents.
On the month, gasoline inventories in the region have drawn by 3.4 million bbl yet are 1.2 million bbl ahead of levels this time last year. Much of the decline in inventory levels can be attributed to high U.S. export levels.
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
Gas prices are as much as five cents cheaper on the week across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. Looking at prices compared to a month ago, most states in the region are seeing cheaper pump prices – as much as four cents less. On the other hand, six states are paying more, with Delaware seeing the largest month-over-month increase in the country: Delaware (+8 cents), West Virginia (+3 cents), Washington, D.C. (+3 cents), Pennsylvania (+1 cent), Maryland (+1 cent) and New Jersey (+1 cent).
Gasoline inventory sits at a healthy 66.3 million bbl with the EIA reporting a small 148,000 bbl draw in their latest report. Despite the region seeing a 2 million bbl surplus year-over-year, gas prices are more than 50-cents more than last summer, but the strong inventory levels may help to stabilize or drop gas prices in the coming week.
On average, gas prices are 62-cents more expensive than a year ago for motorists filling up in states in the Rockies region. Wyoming (+69 cents) has the largest year-over-year difference in pump prices. On the week, there is a little relief at the pump with state gas price averages dropping in Colorado (-2 cents), Utah (-2 cents), Idaho (-2 cents) Wyoming (-1 cent) and Montana (-1 cent).
Inventories in the region built by a small 50,000 bbl on the week, according to EIA data. The build was not enough to move gas prices up. At 7.1 million bbl in total inventory, levels are 425,000 bbl ahead of last year. More so, during July 2017, the inventory levels in the region did not exceed 6.7 million bbl.
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.00 to settle at $70.46. Oil prices trended higher at the end of last week following news from EIA on record-breaking crude production in the U.S. At 11 million b/d, total crude production in the U.S. hit its highest rate ever recorded since the EIA began reporting its data. Moving into this week, analyst are continuing to keep an eye on the global supply restraints due to U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and ongoing d economic troubles in Venezuela, which could send crude production prices higher.
The U.S. dropped five oil rigs last week leaving today’s total at 858. In spite of this, with nearly 94 more active oil rigs over last year’s count, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., increased oil production shows few signs of slowing down through the second half of 2018. Growth in domestic oil production helped total crude inventories around the country increase by 5.8 million bbl last week, bringing the total to 411.1 million bbl.