Energy Economy

Gas Prices Continue Sliding, Down 5 Cents Last Week

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline decreased by 5.1 cents per gallon last week to reach $2.58, according to industry analysts at GasBuddy. The drop marks the third consecutive week of falling pump prices.

Crude oil traded around $56.55 a barrel early Monday morning, down just 0.2% from Friday’s closing price. Over the past month, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for immediate delivery has risen by about $2.50 a barrel (4.6%). All (and more) of the increase came in the past week.

GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, Patrick DeHaan, commented, “Most states saw notable declines, while California and the Great Lakes states saw the largest dips. Solidly in the rear view are California’s previous refinery issues that caused prices to soar, but now a new problem–filling up with the cheaper gasoline as power outages have cut access to hundreds of stations across the state. … [T]his event is unlikely to impact gas prices, so long as refineries don’t lose power.”

Crude oil prices jumped by $3.25 a barrel last week, primarily due to optimism that the United States and China may have reached an agreement that would pause, if not stop, their trade war and a report that U.S. inventories had dropped by 1.7 million barrels

Retail price movements were mixed last week, with about three-quarters of the states seeing declines. The week’s median price for a gallon of regular gas was $2.38, some 20 cents a gallon below the national average. The average price at the 10% of gas stations charging the most for gas was $3.91 a gallon (down eight cents), while the average at the 10% charging the least was $2.12 (down four cents). The most common price across the country was $2.29 a gallon, 10 cents lower week over week.

The five states where drivers are paying the most for a gallon of gas are California ($4.12), Hawaii ($3.83), Nevada ($3.51), Washington ($3.39) and Oregon ($3.34). Alaska is the only other state that currently reports a price of more than $3 a gallon.

The five states where gas is cheapest are Mississippi ($2.24), Louisiana ($2.24), Alabama ($2.27), Missouri ($2.27) and South Carolina ($2.28).

Compared to last month, the national average is down 3.2 cents per gallon, and compared to last year, prices are down 19.9 cents.