Gas Prices Dropping Nationally, But Slowly
TULSA, OK -- At $2.55, the national gas price average is just two cents cheaper on the week and the most expensive pump price seen at start of October since 2015, when motorists where paying $2.29 for a gallon of unleaded.
“When fall arrives, motorists expect gas prices to be cheaper than they were in the summer. That’s just not the case this year,” said Leslie Gamble, AAA spokesperson. “Backto-back hurricanes packed a punch to Gulf Coast refineries’ gasoline production and inventory levels. As they play catch-up, gas prices are going to be higher than we’d like to see.”
Today, Gulf Coast refineries are building toward resuming normal operations, but it could take some longer than others to return to prehurricane production rates. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that Gulf Coast utilization rates are up nearly 12 percent to 85 percent of capacity since last week. As utilization rates increase and operations improve, gas prices will drop.
“While the market continues to be volatile, post-hurricanes, AAA expects gas prices to slowly, but steadily drop by up to ten cents in the coming month,” added Gamble.
Across the country, the majority of states saw prices at the pump drop as much as eight cents on the week – with Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states benefiting the most. While five Great Lakes and Central States are paying up to 11 cents more for gas. Today, motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 56 percent of gas stations in the country.
The nation’s top ten markets with the largest weekly changes are: Indiana (+11 cents), Ohio (+9 cents), Michigan (+9 cents), Delaware (-8 cents), Illinois (+7 cents), New Jersey (-6 cents), Maryland (-6 cents), Georgia (-6 cents), Florida (-6 cents) and Maine (-6 cents).
The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($3.11), California ($3.10), Alaska ($2.99),Washington ($2.99),Oregon ($2.83), Connecticut ($2.78), Nevada ($2.77), Washington, D.C. ($2.77), Pennsylvania ($2.76) and Idaho ($2.76). South and Southeast Gas prices continue to get cheaper by the week by as much as six cents in many states, including: Georgia (-6 cents), Florida (-6 cents), South Carolina (-5 cents), Alabama (-5 cents) and Tennessee (-5 cents). Four states land on this week’s top ten least expensive markets in the country: Oklahoma ($2.62), Arkansas ($2.32), Louisiana ($2.34) and Mississippi ($2.38).
Despite a two million barrel drop on the week in gasoline inventory, the South and Southeast tout the highest inventory level of any region in the U.S. However, sitting at 74.2 million barrels, the region’s gasoline inventories are at the lowest level for the region since November 2015, according to EIA data. As Gulf Coast refineries come back online and inventory levels build, gas prices will continue to drop, possibly bringing the lowest pump price by year-end. Current Price Averages per Gallon of Regular Gasoline
Tulsa – $2.28, down 13 cents from one month ago … up 28 cents from a year ago
OKC – $2.18, down 12 cents from one month ago … up 13 cents from a year ago
Oklahoma – $2.26, down 9 cents from one month ago … up 21 cents from a year ago
U.S. – $2.55, down 4 cents from one month ago … up 33 cents from a year ago The most expensive major city gasoline price averages today in Oklahoma: Ada - $2.40 Idabel - $2.39 Eufaula - $2.37 The least expensive major city gasoline price averages today in Oklahoma: Yukon - $2.07 Edmond - $2.13 Oklahoma City - $2.14