The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has held steady at $3.18 for the last eight days. According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks increased slightly by 200,000 bbl to 221.8 million bbl last week. Gasoline demand also increased from 8.90 million b/d to 9.4 million b/d, signaling that supply and demand are largely in sync and resulting in drivers finding mostly stable pump prices this week. This trend will likely minimize fluctuations in pump prices; however, high crude prices (above $70 per barrel) will help keep pump prices elevated through the weekend.
For those on the West Coast, a 4.3-magnitude earthquake in Southern California on Sept. 17 dropped refinery utilization rates to 84.4% for the week ending Sept. 24, down from 90.8% the week prior, according to EIA. Two refineries in Los Angeles, representing a fifth of refining capacity for the West Coast, were damaged by the tremor. As a consequence, regional gasoline inventories tumbled by 1.8 million bbl to 30.3 million bbl for the week.
At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 20 cents to settle at $75.03. Although crude prices increased today due to a weakening dollar, they decreased earlier this week following the release of EIA’s recent weekly report that showed total domestic crude inventories increased by 4.5 million bbl to 418.5 million bbl.
Largest Weekly Changes
- Since last Thursday, these 10 states have seen the largest changes in their averages: Michigan (+8 cents), Ohio (−7 cents), Arizona (+5 cents), Illinois (+4 cents), Kentucky (−4 cents), Indiana (−3 cents), Nevada (−3 cents), Florida (−3 cents), Wyoming (−3 cents) and Utah (−2 cents).