CASPER, Wyo. — The national average gas prices fell again this week in what has been the longest decline in average gas prices since the COVID-19 pandemic began, GasBuddy reported Monday.
GasBuddy users reported the national mean price today was $4.66 per gallon, down 12.8 cents since a week ago and 34.4 cents from a month ago. The national average price of diesel stands at $5.65 per gallon, down 8.5 cents from last week.
GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick De Haan said prices could decline again if certain conditions if oil prices don’t surge beyond $105 per barrel and if refinery production of gas remains strong.
“But we’re not completely out of the woods yet – we could also see a sharp reversal in the decline,” he said. “There remains the risk of a spike in prices that could send us to new record levels in August, should any disruptions occur. It could be a wild ride, but for now, the plummet at the pump shall continue.”
As of 8:09 p.m. Monday, the lowest posted price in Natrona County GasBuddy users reported was $4.46 per gallon, seen at Sam’s Club, 4600 E. 2nd St., Casper. The lowest midgrade fuel price was $4.67 per gallon, which was seen at about 9 a.m. Monday at Loaf ‘N Jug, 59 S. Curtis St., Evansville.
The lowest prices in Wyoming that County 17 saw reports of as of 8 p.m. Monday were $4.24 per gallon, sold at Tumbleweed Express in Laramie and Phin Deli in Buford, followed by $4.44 per gallon at Sinclair, 2901 E. Grand Ave., Laramie.
COVID-19-related shutdowns in China caused concerns over demand, prompting lowered oil prices in early Monday trade, the report said. The U.S. dollar strengthened, raising the cost of oil for any country not transacting in that currency.
In early Monday trade, West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent crud were down about $3 per barrel. Oil trade fell nearly 10% in a trading session last week before rising more than 5%. Baker Hughes reported that last week’s U.S. and Canada’s rig counts increased by single digits, according to GasBuddy’s post.
Oil inventories rose above 8 million barrels last week, and SPR fell 5.8 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration reported, GasBuddy’s post said. U.S. oil inventories are about 5% less than a year ago and 10% less than the 5-year average, seasonally adjusted.
Gas inventories fell 2.5 million barrels and are down more than 16 million barrels, or 7%, since a year ago. They’re 8% below the 5-year average, seasonally adjusted. Distillate inventories are 20% below a year ago.
Implied gas demand rose to 9.41 million barrels per day, likely because of the July 4 weekend. Year-to-date gas demand is up 1% from 2021.
Refinery use decreased slightly, to 94.5%. Gas production surged to 10.3 million barrels. Distillate production rose to 5.4 million barrels.
Supply is down 6.5% from last year.
GasBuddy reported retail gas demand decreased 4.2% nationally from the prior week. Petroleum Administration for Defense District 4, which consists of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah and Colorado, had the smallest decrease compared with other regions: 1.3%. The largest decrease was in the Midwest, also known as PADD 2.
The most common U.S. gas price was $4.29 per gallon. The median U.S. gas price is $4.55 per gallon, down 11 cents from last week.
The top 10% of U.S. gas stations average $5.89 per gallon. The bottom 10% average is $3.98 per gallon.
The state with the highest average gas price, California, is selling it for $6.08 per gallon. South Carolina’s average price is $4.14 per gallon.