The price for a gallon of regular gasoline reached its lowest level in more than two years this week at a national average of $2.22 a gallon. That’s three cents less than a week ago and more than 27 cents lower than at the same time a year ago.
The median price is even lower: $2.06 a gallon, with 42% of U.S. gas stations charging less than $2 a gallon. The national average is skewed higher by high prices on the West Coast. In 11 states, the average price is below $2 a gallon.
Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, commented:
After a brief hiccup that saw the nation’s average gas price rise for two days last week, the overall trend remains in favor of lower gas prices, even as oil prices have rallied. The window for cheap gas prices continues to close, however, and by mid-February will likely be completely closed- so do take advantage of the low prices while they last. … [E]ven motorists [on the West Coast] will see more relief in the form of lower prices.
Nearly all (47) states saw gas prices fall last week. Gas prices rose nine cents in Michigan, four cents in Ohio and two cents in Indiana. The good news for drivers in those three states is how much lower prices are this year compared with the same time last year. Michigan’s average price is 52 cents lower than a year ago, Ohio’s is 48 cents lower and Indiana’s is 46 cents lower.
The states where prices have risen most year over year are Arizona (30 cents), California (21 cents) and Utah (16 cents).
States with the lowest average prices are Missouri ($1.84), Oklahoma ($1.85), Texas ($1.88), Louisiana ($1.88) and Mississippi ($1.89).
The highest average prices per gallon last week were reported from Hawaii ($3.50), California ($3.35), Alaska ($3.06), Washington ($2.94) and Nevada ($2.85).
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil for February delivery traded up about 2.7% in the early afternoon Monday at $49.28, while Brent for March delivery traded at $58.23, up about 2%. The price differential (spread) between front-month WTI and Brent crude is now around $8.95 a barrel, slightly more than it was in mid-December.