WASHINGTON, D.C. — Despite tepid demand with fewer drivers visiting the pump, the national average for a gallon of gas only fell three cents since last week to reach $3.83. The slow descent is due to the high cost of oil, which is acting like a drogue chute on falling gas prices.
“Oil is stubbornly staying above $90 per barrel for now, and it’s the main ingredient in gasoline,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “Gas prices will likely keep falling, but it’s going to be slow and unsteady, so expect some days where it might edge higher a bit.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand rose slightly from 8.41 to 8.62 million b/d last week; however, it is below last year’s rate of 8.83 million b/d during the same week in September 2022. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 1 million bbl to 220.5 million bbl. Growing supply, amid tepid demand, has pushed prices lower. Still, fluctuating oil prices have limited seasonal price decreases typically seen as the country settles into the lower-demand fall driving season.
Today’s national average of $3.83 is two cents more than a month ago and seven cents more than a year ago.
- Since last Thursday, these 10 states have seen the largest changes in their averages: California (+24 cents), Delaware (−20 cents), Iowa (−15 cents), Nevada (+13 cents), Oklahoma (−12 cents), Maryland (−12 cents), Florida (−11 cents), Ohio (−10 cents), Wisconsin (−10 cents) and Missouri (−9 cents).
- The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($6.03), Nevada ($5.19), Washington ($5.08), Hawaii ($4.87), Oregon ($4.72), Arizona ($4.69), Alaska ($4.62), Utah ($4.18), Montana ($4.16) and Idaho ($4.13).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $3.29 to settle at $93.71. Oil prices increased sharply yesterday after the EIA reported that total commercial crude stocks decreased by 2.2 million bbl to 416.3 million bbl last week. The market is concerned that tight supply may not be robust enough to meet demand for the remainder of 2023. As a result, the price of oil could climb higher and keep pump prices elevated this fall.
Drivers can find current gas prices along their route using the AAA TripTik Travel planner.