Motorists are paying on average six cents less for a gallon of gasoline on the week with all states seeing prices at the pump either drop or hold steady. Today’s national gas price average is $2.49, which is 18 cents cheaper than a month ago. With the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report measuring gasoline demand at 9.2 million b/d, down 281,000 b/d from the week prior, retail gas prices are showing steady promise of returning to pre-hurricane rates.
“Gas prices have fallen steadily for the past four weeks and now we are seeing gasoline demand drop alongside prices,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The latest demand figures show the lowest since the week Hurricane Harvey hit and can likely be the beginning of a downward demand trend indicating even cheaper gas prices to come this fall.”
Over the weekend, Hurricane Nate made landfall over the Gulf Coast and is now a tropical depression. Ahead of the storm, many Gulf Coast oil platforms and rigs were shut down and employees evacuated. In addition, two refineries, accounting for six percent of total Gulf Coast refining capacity, shut down. Early reports speculate that refineries did not sustain damage and operations could start up today, Monday.
Overall, motorists will see minimal to no impact to gas prices in the region hit by the storm.
- The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly decreases: Georgia (-10 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), South Carolina (-9 cents), Indiana (-9 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Alabama (-8 cents), Tennessee (-8 cents), North Carolina (-8 cents), Mississippi (-8 cents) and Florida (-8 cents).
- The nation’s top ten markets with the largest year-over-year changes: New Jersey (+49 cents), Connecticut (+43 cents), Massachusetts (+42 cents), Rhode Island (+39 cents), New Hampshire (+35 cents), New York (+35 cents), Alaska (+34 cents), Utah (+34 cents), Pennsylvania (+33 cents) and Texas (+33 cents).
Hurricane Nate has had little impact on South and Southeast regional gas prices. In fact, only four other states in the country are selling gas cheaper than Louisiana. In the region, gas prices are on average six cents cheaper than last Monday, with Oklahoma ($2.23), Arkansas ($2.26), Louisiana ($2.29) and Mississippi ($2.30) carrying the cheapest gas in the region. Meanwhile, five states in the region land on this week’s top 10 states with the largest decreases: Georgia (-10 cents), South Carolina (-9 cents), Alabama (-8 cents), Mississippi (-8 cents) and Florida (-8 cents).
For the first time since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, the region’s gasoline inventories increased, adding 1.9 million bbl on the week for a total inventory of 76 million bbl. This positive build indicates supply levels are getting closer to normal. However, year-over-year, the region sits at a 7.8 million bbl supply deficit, according to the EIA. Despite the shortfall, gas prices are expected to continue to decline toward more traditional fall pump prices throughout the month.