Community News

Gas Prices Feel Frozen as Oil Markets Hold Steady

by: Gas Buddy
Posted: August 10, 2020


HUNTINGTON BEACH...The national average price of gasoline has continued to move lower in the last week, falling 1.1 cents per gallon over the last week to $2.16 today according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average price of diesel has decreased 1.0 cents and stands at $2.41 per gallon over the same period.

“Gas prices have remained in very familiar territory for the sixth straight week as gasoline demand fell slightly last week, keeping oil prices confined as forces prevent it from falling under $39 but also from breaching $42 per barrel. However, as summer begins to fade, demand recovery may be limited, and there’s a possibility we may see more downside potential in the last quarter of the year,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Traditionally, gasoline demand weakens into the autumn, and as the coronavirus situation keeps more kids home and more parents from work, we may see a drop in gas prices as we progress through fall. However, since no one can predict when we may rebound from the coronavirus situation, nothing long-term is set in stone, but we are on track for a seventh straight week of stable gas prices.”

Crude oil prices have remained remarkably stable over the last six weeks, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil at $41.22 this morning, a slight rise from last week Monday morning’s $39.96. Brent crude oil is also seeing small gains, fetching $44.78 in early Monday trade, up from $43.30 a week ago. Some optimism has been returning to the oil patch in the last week as the number of new coronavirus cases in the world’s largest oil consumer have been slowing down, providing a catalyst as hopes rise for U.S. demand to continue recovery.

Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration was another reason for oil prices to rebound slightly, as crude oil inventories fell 7.4 million barrels. Oil inventories now stand 16% above the five-year average at nearly 519 million barrels. Gasoline inventories saw a slight 400,000 barrel gain, most of which was seen in PADD 3, which rose nearly 1 million barrels. PADD 1 also saw a slight 500,000 barrel rise in gasoline inventories as PADD 2, 4 and 5 all saw a decrease. Distillate inventories posted a lift of 1.6 million barrels and stand 30.9% higher versus a year ago, or 27% above the five-year average.

At gas pumps across the country, average prices changes were again a mixed bag state by state. The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists rose to $2.09 per gallon, up 10 cents from last week, followed by $1.99, $1.89 and $2.19. The average cost at the priciest 10% of stations stands at $3.04 per gallon, down 3 cents from a week ago, while the lowest 10% average $1.69 per gallon, down 2 cents from a week ago. The median U.S. price was unchanged at $2.09 per gallon, about 7 cents lower than the national average. The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($1.80), Texas ($1.81) and Louisiana ($1.82), while the highest priced states were California ($3.18), Hawaii ($3.12) and Washington ($2.79).

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