CASPER, Wyo. — While the nation’s average price for a gallon of regular fuel remained steady from last week, Natrona County saw a 2-cent drop to an average of $3.19 per gallon, according to GasBuddy and AAA.
The nation’s average gas price is holding at $3.37 per gallon, according to GasBuddy data. The national average is down 2.7 cents from a month ago and 14.5 cents from a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 6.9 cents in the last week to stand at $4.45 per gallon.
“Motorists across many areas of the country have seen gas prices inching down for another week, while some states have moved higher. We’ve seen some refinery challenges in pockets of the country, while others are starting the transition to summer gasoline, weighing on prices. For diesel, the outlook remains bright with prices continuing to fall, ” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
AAA reported the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline at $3.41 per gallon, steady from a week ago, and placed Wyoming’s average higher at $3.43, up 3 cents from last week. Natrona County’s average gas price was $3.19 per gallon, falling behind Sheridan County’s $3.18 and tying Washakie County for the second cheapest average in the state, according to AAA.
The cheapest price offered by local stations on Monday was $3.09 at both Sam’s Club, 4600 E. 2nd St., and Ridley’s Family Market, 300 SE Wyoming Blvd., followed by $3.14 at Maverik, Highway 26 Poison Spider Road in Mills, according to GasBuddy reports.
“Oil prices have softened over the last week, helping to limit any upside at the pump, with strong economic data leading to concern that the Fed will continue to use interest rates to slow the economy. This could weaken demand as we head into the peak summer driving season,” De Haan said. “For diesel, the great news is that the most common price in the U.S. for diesel is now $3.99 per gallon, with average prices continuing to drop. In the next couple of weeks, diesel will finally flip to deflationary compared to a year ago, which is excellent news for the economy.”
Also included in GasBuddy’s report Monday:
The price of oil struggled after a significant build in inventories and continued economic data that suggests the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates, stifling growth in demand. In early Monday trade, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 63 cents to $76.97 per barrel, just over $2 per barrel lower than last week’s $79.08 per barrel start. Brent crude oil was also seeing some early morning strength, up 68 cents to $83.68 per barrel, but just over $2 per barrel lower than last Monday’s $85.71 per barrel fetch. Solid economic data in the U.S. has continued to contribute to worry that the Fed could even accelerate interest rate increases again as jobs and inflation data have both come in stronger than expected.
According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was down 1 rig to 760 but was 115 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count fell 2 to 248 and was 28 rigs higher than a year ago.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed an eye-popping 16.3 million barrel gain in oil inventories, which now stand 8% above the five year average for this time of year, while the SPR remained unchanged for a fourth straight week. Domestic crude oil production was unchanged at 12.3 million barrels per day. Gasoline inventories rose by 2.3 million barrels, but remain about 5% below the five year seasonal average, while distillates fell by 1.3 million barrels and are 15% below the five year seasonal average. Implied gasoline demand, a proxy for retail gasoline consumption fell 154,000bpd to 8.27 million, leading year-to-date gasoline demand to a 3.0% deficit to 2022. Refinery utilization slipped 1.4 percentage points to 86.5%, while gasoline and distillate fuel production both fell. Total U.S. supplies stand 97.2 million barrels higher than a year ago, excluding the SPR, while including the SPR, inventories stand down 116 million barrels from a year ago.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy fuel card, U.S. retail gasoline demand rose 0.1% last week (Sun-Sat). Broken down by PADD region, demand rose 0.3% in PADD 1, fell 0.6% in PADD 2, fell 0.2% in PADD 3, fell 2.8% in PADD 4, and fell 2.6% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.19 per gallon, down 10 cents from last week, followed by $3.29, $3.09, $2.99, and $3.39 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.24 per gallon, down 3 cents from last week and about 13 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $4.52 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $2.88 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Texas ($2.97), Mississippi ($2.98), and Oklahoma ($3.02).
The states with the highest average prices: Hawaii ($4.84), California ($4.66), and Nevada ($4.13).