CASPER, Wyo. — Drivers looking to fuel up in Natrona County will pay an average of 15 cents more for gas this week than last week.
Gas prices climbed for the third consecutive week last week, pushing the national average up 7.6 cents while Natrona County’s average jumped 15 cents to $3.23 per gallon, according to GasBuddy and AAA.
The national average is up 22.1 cents from a month ago but is down 41.2 cents from a year ago, GasBuddy reports. The national average price of diesel fell 0.3 cents in the last week to stand at $4.15 per gallon, 87.4 cents lower than one year ago.
“With oil prices touching their highest level of 2023 at nearly $83 per barrel, the national average price of gasoline has continued to inch higher, with 45 of the nation’s 50 states seeing prices rise over the last week. While the rising price of oil is likely the largest factor in rising gas prices, seasonal impacts continue to also exert pressure on prices,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
“With the Northeast making the final step in the transition to summer gasoline this week, states in that region should expect a sharp rise in gasoline prices over the next week or two. Every other region has already seen the final step in the transition occur, so while other areas will see prices continue to slowly rise, the Northeast is likely to see a pretty hefty jump of 15–40 cents per gallon soon,” De Haan said. “Oil prices remain a wildcard, but we’re likely a few weeks away from seeing the national average peak. Whether it hits $4 per gallon or not is still perhaps a 50/50 chance.”
AAA reported the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline at $3.67 per gallon, up 7 cents from two weeks ago, and placed Wyoming’s average lower at $3.41, up 10 cents. Natrona County’s average gas price of $3.23 per gallon remains the cheapest average in the state, according to AAA.
The cheapest price offered by a local station is $3.11 at Shell, 3930 Denis Drive; Maverik, Highway 26 Poison Spider Road in Mills; and Sam’s Club, 4600 E. 2nd St., followed by $3.14 at Flying J, 41 SE Wyoming Blvd., according to GasBuddy reports.
Also included in GasBuddy’s report Monday:
With oil prices last week hitting their highest levels of 2023 as OPEC+’s surprise production cut continues to push oil higher, the pause button has been hit. In early Monday trade, West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down 53 cents per barrel to $81.99, but still a $2 gain from last Monday’s $79.86 per barrel level. Brent crude oil was also in the red, down 49 cents to $85.82 per barrel, but still over $1.50 per barrel higher than last Monday’s $84.27 per barrel start. While China’s oil consumption has been sluggish, even as its economy reopens from Covid-19, the production cut from OPEC+ countries could push the market into an oil deficit this summer, should the global economy avoid recession. U.S. supplies continue to tighten, while SPR releases as part of 2015’s budget have now begun.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed a slight 600,000 barrel increase in oil inventories, which are now 3% above the five year average, given the SPR withdrawals, which amounted to 1.6 million barrels last week. Domestic oil production rebounded 100,000 barrels to 12.3 million per day. Gasoline inventories saw a slight 300,000 barrel drop, but should turnaround in the weeks ahead as the switch to summer gasoline is nearly complete. Distillate inventories fell 600,000 barrels, but are up 1 million barrels from last year. Implied gasoline demand fell 360,000 barrels to 8.94 million, while refinery utilization fell 0.3 percentage points to 89.3%. Total oil supplies are up by 83.5 million barrels from a year ago, excluding the SPR releases.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy fuel card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a rise of 1.4% last week (Sun-Sat). Broken down by PADD region, demand fell 0.5% in PADD 1, rose 1.9% in PADD 2, rose 2.1% in PADD 3, fell 3.0% in PADD 4, and fell 0.4% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.59 per gallon, up 10 cents from last week, followed by $3.39, $3.49, $3.29, and $3.69 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.53 per gallon, up 5 cents from last week and about 12 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $4.78 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.15 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($3.14), Arkansas ($3.22), and Louisiana ($3.27).
The states with the highest average prices: California ($4.87), Hawaii ($4.76), and Arizona ($4.52).
DIESEL PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. diesel price stood at $3.99 per gallon, unchanged from last week, followed by $3.89, $4.09, $4.19, and $4.29 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. diesel price is $3.99 per gallon, unchanged from last week and about 15 cents lower than the national average for diesel.
Diesel prices at the top 10% of stations in the country average $5.16 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.51 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average diesel prices: Texas ($3.65), Oklahoma ($3.80), and Louisiana ($3.83).
The states with the highest average diesel prices: Hawaii ($5.86), California ($5.26), and Washington ($4.90).