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Gas prices edge lower as oil prices cool

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U.S. gasoline prices have moved lower in the last week with the national average falling 1.1 cents to $2.85 per gallon today, according to GasBuddy data compiled from over 10 million price reports at over 135,000 stations. The national average now stands 3.6 cents lower than a month ago but is up 50.3 cents versus a year ago.

“Yet again, average gas prices have remained fairly quiet. This summer has been remarkably mum at pumps with most states seeing prices move in an uncharacteristically small summer range of 10-20 cents per gallon or less,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Oil prices continue to be range-bound between $67 and around $73 per barrel as of late as competing factors weigh on oil prices at very similar times. Oil inventories have continued to decline, but gasoline inventories remain healthy, and with summer drawing to a close and gasoline demand set to step down, we may see additional relief coming barring any disruptions to the flow of oil or gasoline such as a major hurricane.”

The week begins with the same ambivalence seen over the past month with energy markets weighing the competing concerns over global trade and a tightening oil supply outlook, tugging prices in each direction and often settling on either side based on the latest headline. Until a clearer picture emerges, conflicting daily settlements on the energy markets will continue to characterize price discovery for the foreseeable future.

Though Friday’s trade ended with a slight gain over the previous day, West Texas Intermediate crude oil did close lower on the week, ending at $67.63 per barrel while Brent crude was down 40 cents to clock in at $72.81 per barrel. On the refined product side, wholesale gasoline values slipped 5 cents per gallon while diesel continued its bold resolve, gaining a penny on the week.

Depressing oil prices further are mounting trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as currency concerns over Turkish Lira. Oil inventories, with the exception of the NYMEX’s Cushing, in the Oklahoma storage hub have been generally adequate, lessening the likelihood of an increase in values with fall turnaround and the expiry of the September fuels contracts now on the horizon.

Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration pointed to a 1.4 million barrel decline in U.S. oil inventories, but gasoline inventories posted a strong 2.9 million barrel gain, rising to 1% higher than a year ago and nearly 4% over the five-year average range for this time of year.

Retail gasoline prices at the state level were mostly lower with 37 states seeing prices increase, 1 saw no change, while 12 states saw average prices move higher.

States with the largest change in average prices in the last week: Michigan (+11 cents), Ohio (-8 cents), Indiana (-6 cents), Florida (+5 cents), Kentucky (-5 cents), Idaho (+4 cents), Delaware (-3 cents), Georgia (-2 cents), Nebraska (-2 cents) and Maryland (-2 cents).

States with the lowest average prices: South Carolina ($2.54), Mississippi ($2.55), Alabama ($2.56), Arkansas ($2.57), Oklahoma ($2.58), Texas ($2.60), Louisiana ($2.61), Missouri ($2.62), Virginia ($2.62) and Tennessee ($2.62).

States with the highest average prices: Hawaii ($3.70), California ($3.59), Washington ($3.36), Alaska ($3.34), Oregon ($3.26), Idaho ($3.20), Nevada ($3.16), Utah ($3.10), Pennsylvania ($3.05) and Connecticut ($3.04).

GasBuddy is a company that connects drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop. As the leading source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews. GasBuddy’s first-of-its-kind fuel savings program, Pay with GasBuddy, has saved Americans more than $3.6 million at the pumps since its launch in 2017.