Energy Economy

National Average Gas Price Drops for Seventh Straight Week

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell to $1.83 on Monday, down by 7.2 cents week over week. The lowest prices in the country have increased slightly, however, from around $1.30 a week ago to about $1.34 on Monday morning.

Gas prices have dropped below $2.00 a gallon in 48 states. More than 115,000 gas stations across the country are selling gasoline for less than $2.00 a gallon on Monday, and nearly 25,000 are selling it for less than $1.50 a gallon, according to a recent report from GasBuddy. The most dramatic price changes continue to occur in the volatile Midwestern region.

The agreement reached over the weekend among major oil-producing counties, including the United States, will slice 9.7 million barrels a day from global production. However, that likely will not be enough to raise the price by much.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil traded down about 2.7% Monday morning to $23.38, after dipping to $22.63 on Sunday. International benchmark Brent crude traded up about 1.0% at $31.77.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, commented”

As expected, and for the seventh straight week, the national average moved considerably lower, as well as gas prices in every state as retail prices continue to play catch up to the dramatic decline in market prices in recent weeks. And good news for consumers–contrary to popular belief, an OPEC deal over the weekend to cut oil production will actually not have a near-term impact on gasoline prices, not even one bit.

DeHaan added more detail about why gas prices should remain low:

Establishing a floor on ultra-low oil prices will hopefully keep U.S. oil production online instead of bankrupting producers. The aim is exactly that–keep production online–which will keep prices affordable going forward, instead of ultra-low prices shutting in oil production, leading to a slingshot in gas prices years from now. Going back to gas prices, I expect prices to continue moderating for now, as gasoline demand appears to remain near 50-year lows.

The five states where drivers are paying the most for gas are Hawaii ($3.57), California ($2.86), Washington ($2.48), Oregon ($2.43) and Alaska ($2.37). Only 13 states are reporting an average of more than $2.00 a gallon.

The five states where gas is cheapest are Wisconsin ($1.34), Oklahoma ($1.38), Ohio ($1.48), Kentucky ($1.49) and Michigan ($1.49).

Compared to last month, the national average is down about 38.6 cents per gallon, and compared to last year, prices are down about nearly 97 cents.