Year-End Gas Prices Expected to Surge

Print Email

Year-end gasoline prices will be at their highest level since 2014, according to the AAA. This will be the case despite a modest drop in prices from current levels.

Today, the average price of a gallon of regular nationwide is $2.51. The same day last year, the price was 38 cents lower. Much of this has to do with the price of crude, which was $52 a barrel a year ago and has traded above $57 for over a week. Over the course of the year, gas prices peaked September 11 at $2.67 and hit a low for the year at $2.23 on July 5.

Commenting on the trend, Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson, said:

Despite a forecasted 5 to 20 cents decrease in coming weeks, motorists will see higher than expected December gas prices – especially compared to year-end prices from 2015 and 2016. Driving factors for cheaper gas prices this winter include colder temperatures, the threat of inclement weather and online shopping.

Prices continue to fluctuate significantly across the nation by state. Prices in states close to the refineries south of Houston on the Gulf Coast have stayed low, with temporary blips during hurricanes. The average price in Alabama for the year has been $2.14. The price in Louisiana has been $2.18. In Mississippi, it has averaged $2.15 and in Texas $2.19.

Hawaii and California almost always have the highest prices by state. For the year, the average in Hawaii has been $3.09. In California, the figure is $3.00. Over 38 million of the 323 million U.S. residents live there.

It is hard to forecast prices as next year approaches. Crude prices continue to be unstable, but mostly higher. Among the reasons for the lift are production restrictions by OPEC. Shale production in the United States has partially offset that. Instability of governments in Venezuela, a huge oil producer, and parts of the Middle East also have made forecasts difficult.

 

 

State

2017 Year-to-Date Average

Percentage of Gas Stations Selling $2.51+

Alaska

$        2.88

100%

Alabama

$        2.14

0%

Arkansas

$        2.15

2%

Arizona

$        2.28

18%

California

$        3.00

100%

Colorado

$        2.34

44%

Connecticut

$        2.53

93%

District of Columbia

$        2.59

84%

Delaware

$        2.30

4%

Florida

$        2.37

19%

Georgia

$        2.29

6%

Hawaii

$        3.09

100%

Iowa

$        2.33

30%

Idaho

$        2.56

84%

Illinois

$        2.43

55%

Indiana

$        2.32

34%

Kansas

$        2.23

3%

Kentucky

$        2.29

16%

Louisiana

$        2.18

3%

Massachusetts

$        2.39

63%

Maryland

$        2.37

29%

Maine

$        2.39

65%

Michigan

$        2.44

46%

Minnesota

$        2.32

26%

Missouri

$        2.17

0%

Mississippi

$        2.15

1%

Montana

$        2.42

94%

North Carolina

$        2.27

4%

North Dakota

$        2.34

52%

Nebraska

$        2.35

32%

New Hampshire

$        2.34

47%

New Jersey

$        2.42

57%

New Mexico

$        2.30

30%

Nevada

$        2.66

89%

New York

$        2.54

93%

Ohio

$        2.29

18%

Oklahoma

$        2.15

10%

Oregon

$        2.71

100%

Pennsylvania

$        2.61

100%

Rhode Island

$        2.41

77%

South Carolina

$        2.12

1%

South Dakota

$        2.38

32%

Tennessee

$        2.17

6%

Texas

$        2.19

3%

Utah

$        2.46

29%

Virginia

$        2.19

6%

Vermont

$        2.43

84%

Washington

$        2.86

100%

Wisconsin

$        2.35

38%

West Virginia

$        2.40

56%

Wyoming

$        2.35

37%