Energy Economy

Gas Prices Lower Every Day for Nearly a Month

Paul Ausick

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell 4.3 cents in the past week to $2.229. The median price dropped 4.0 cents a gallon to $2.159, and the average difference between the highest 5% of prices and the lowest 5% prices widened by 1.2 cents per gallon to $1.187. One year ago, a gallon of regular gas averaged $2.764 in the United States, more than 53 cents a gallon more than this year.

Gasoline prices have declined for 29 consecutive days, and only six states have seen prices rise since last week: Indiana, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Wyoming and Hawaii.

For the fourth week in a row, gas prices have continued to drop sharply in the Midwest as more gasoline is being produced at the region’s refineries following earlier outages. The average price for a gallon of gas fell 11 cents in Ohio, week over week, declined 10 cents in Michigan and nine cents in Missouri.

That streak may end soon, though, according to GasBuddy:

With gasoline prices in the Great Lakes falling so sharply due to fierce competition, many stations find themselves selling gasoline at or close to a loss, typically setting up a widespread price hike that may occur any time in the next couple of days. Indiana already saw a minor price hike last week, though many may not have even noticed. Motorists in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky may see average prices rise 10-20 cents a gallon thanks to the price cycling behavior in those areas that is behind the likely price hike soon.

The five states with the lowest average prices are South Carolina ($1.916), Oklahoma ($1.956), Mississippi ($1.999), Missouri ($2.002) and Arkansas (2.008). There are just seven states where gas prices exceed $2.50, led by California ($2.883), Hawaii ($2.831), Washington ($2.667), Alaska ($2.615) and Nevada ($2.57). Washington, D.C., and Oregon are the other two.

Motorists in Tulsa, Oklahoma, currently enjoy the lowest prices in the country, $1.867, followed closed by Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina, at $1.868. Gasoline is most expensive in San Francisco ($3.011).

West Texas Intermediate crude oil for August delivery traded up about 0.2% Monday morning at $45.49, following a 7% drop last week. Both crude oil and refined products inventories remain well above their five-year averages.