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National gas price average falls for 13th week; Natrona County average up 2 cents

(AAA Graphic)

CASPER, Wyo. — Although the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell for the 13th consecutive week, the average price in Natrona County rose slightly from last week. Despite the 2-cent increase, the county’s average remains far below the national average, according to price trackers GasBuddy and AAA.

The nation’s average gas price fell 7.6 cents from a week ago to $3.67 on Monday, according to GasBuddy’s data, which is compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports. The national average is down 26.9 cents from a month ago, but remains 52.3 cents higher than a year ago, GasBuddy said.

The national average price of diesel fell 5.5 cents in the last week to $5.01 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.

“We continue to see the national average price of gasoline decline, now for the thirteenth straight week. But, we’re seeing drastically different price behaviors from coast to coast, with some areas seeing noticeable increases while others are seeing decreases,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Refinery issues in California are leading to increases in areas supplied by the state’s refineries, including areas of Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and, of course, California. Gasoline supply remains tight for the East Coast with some modest moves up, while prices continue to edge lower in the Plains, South and areas of the Great Lakes. For now, I believe the drop in prices will overpower the increases, leading to potentially another decline this week, but we’re in a very fragile time and certainly could see a broader move higher in the weeks ahead.”

AAA reported the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline at $3.71 per gallon, 7 cents lower than last week, and placed Wyoming’s average higher at $3.81, down 5 cents this week. Natrona County’s average gas price is the cheapest in the state at $3.26 per gallon, up from $3.24 per gallon last week, according to AAA.

Four local stations offered the state’s cheapest price for a gallon of gas at $3.15: the Conoco at 519 S. Poplar St., the Loaf ‘N Jug at 938 S. Poplar St. and USA Gasoline at 1500 S. Poplar St. in Casper and the Loaf ‘N Jug at 59 S. Curtis St. in Evansville, GasBuddy reports show.

Also included in GasBuddy’s report on Monday:

In early Monday trade, oil prices were solidly in the black, with West Texas Intermediate crude oil up $1.48 per barrel to $88.27, slightly higher than last week Tuesday’s $87.74 per barrel start. Brent crude oil was up $1.64 in early trade to $94.48 per barrel, also a slight rise to last week’s $94.01 start. Markets have continued to reverberate as economic data continues to trickle in, and China remains stuck in Covid limbo, stifling oil demand. With the EU’s sanctions on Russian oil coming into view, oil prices may have some rally left ahead of the onset of colder weather, should the EU stick to its pledge to discontinue the use of Russian oil.

According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was down by 1 rig to 759, and was 256 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was down 3 rigs to 205, and was 62 rigs higher than a year ago.

According to the Energy Information Administration, last week saw an 8.8 million barrel rise in U.S. commercial oil inventories, which now stand 3.3 million barrels higher than a year ago, while the SPR fell 7.5 million barrels and is nearly 29% below its year ago level. Domestic crude oil production was unchanged at 12.1 million barrels per day as lower oil prices likely tempered the continued rise in output. Gasoline inventories edged higher, rising 400,000 barrels, but stand 2.4% lower than a year ago and are 6% below the five year average for this time of year. Distillate inventories also eked out a 100,000 barrel rise, but remain 16.3% below a year ago and 23% below the five year average for this time of year. Implied gasoline demand, a proxy for retail gasoline demand, rose 136,000 barrels to 8.73 million barrels per day, but year-to-date gasoline demand is 1.4% lower than 2021, reflected in higher prices. Refinery utilization fell 1.8 percentage points to 90.9%.

According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand fell notably last week (Sun-Sat), declining 5.3%. Broken down by PADD region, demand fell 7.3% in PADD 1, fell 4.3% in PADD 2, fell 4.3% in PADD 3, fell 3.9% in PADD 4 and fell 5.1% in PADD 5.

The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.39 per gallon, 10 cents lower than last week, followed by $3.49, $3.29, $3.59 and $3.69 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.49 per gallon, down 10 cents from last week and about 16 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $5.18 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $2.97 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Texas ($3.10), Arkansas ($3.12) and Mississippi ($3.13).
The states with the highest average prices: California ($5.31), Hawaii ($5.23) and Nevada ($4.84).