Natrona County gas prices have fallen 46 cents in a week, according to AAA. (AAA Graphic)

CASPER, Wyo. — The U.S. national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has fallen for the seventh consecutive week, coming in 15.9 cents cheaper from a week ago to $4.17, price tracker GasBuddy reported Monday. The national average for a gallon of diesel also fell down by 14.8 cents in the last week to $5.27.

The national per-gallon average for regular gasoline is down 65.5 cents from a month ago, although it remains $1.02 higher than a year ago, according to GasBuddy.

AAA reports the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline at $4.21 per gallon, and Wyoming’s average higher at $4.41. Natrona County continues to have Wyoming’s cheapest average price at $3.67, down 46 cents from last week, according to AAA.

The second cheapest fuel in the state was found in Casper on Monday, according to GasBuddy reports. That would be at Sam’s Club, 4600 E. 2nd St., with a price of $3.57 per gallon. The Sinclair stations at 1232 E. 12th St. and 3476 E. 2nd St. are both offering gas for $3.58 per gallon as well. In Mills, the Maverik at Highway 26 Poison Spider Road and the Loaf ‘N Jug at 4603 W. Yellowstone Highway had the fourth cheapest gas in the state at $3.59 per gallon, according to GasBuddy reports.

“We continue to see average gas prices falling in every state, with the national average down for the seventh straight week. Even better, nearly 20 states have also seen their average decline to $3.99 or less, with over 70,000 stations now at that level or below,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “The outlook is for a continued drop in most areas; however, some supply tightness in areas of the Northeastern U.S. could push prices up slightly until inventories rise, or imports do.

“For now, Americans are seeing prices nearly 90 cents lower than their mid-June peak and are spending close to $330 million less on gasoline every day as a result. As long as oil prices hold at these levels or lower, we’ll see another decline in most areas this week.”

Also included in GasBuddy’s Monday report:

Energy markets have seen additional volatility in the last week with various headlines shoving prices around, including renewed economic worries from Europe and China on a decline in manufacturing activity. In early Monday trade, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down $4.66 to $93.96 per barrel, slightly lower than last Monday’s $96.03 per barrel level. Brent crude was also in the red, down $2.66 to $101.31 per barrel, some $3 lower than last Monday’s $104.38 print. With the U.S. now seeing back-to-back quarters of negative economic growth, prospects may be dimming for a quick rebound. In addition, OPEC will be meeting later this week between member nations where OPEC is largely expected to keep production unchanged, or potentially approve a small rise in production.

According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was up 9 to 767, and was 279 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was up 9 to 204, 51 more than a year ago.

According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. oil inventories last week fell by 4.5 million barrels and stand about 14 million barrels lower than a year ago, while the SPR fell 5.6 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production rose 200,000bpd to reach 12.1 million barrels, 900,000bpd higher than a year ago. Gasoline inventories fell by 3.3 million barrels and stand 9 million barrels, or 4%, lower than a year ago. Distillate inventories fell 800,000 barrels and stand 19% below the year ago level and 23% below the five year average for this time of year. Implied gasoline demand jumped by 724,000bpd to 9.25 million barrels per day. Refinery utilization fell by 1.5 percentage points to 92.2%, while gasoline production rose to 9.7 million barrels per day and distillate production fell to 5.0 million barrels per day. Total stocks are down 210.2 million barrels (including the SPR) from a year ago.

According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a rise last week (Sun-Sat) of 2.03%. Broken down by region, demand rose 1.6% in PADD 1, rose 1.9% in PADD 2, rose 2.1% in PADD 3, rose 0.9% in PADD 4, and rose 2.4% in PADD 5.

The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.99 per gallon, unchanged from last week, followed by $3.79, $3.89, $3.69, and $4.09 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. price is $3.99 per gallon, down 20 cents from last week and about 18 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $5.46/gal, while the bottom 10% average $3.48/gal.
The states with the lowest average prices: Texas ($3.67), South Carolina ($3.69), and Oklahoma ($3.72).
The states with the highest prices: California ($5.56), Hawaii ($5.33), and Oregon ($5.05).