Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by two cents to $3.19. In its latest weekly report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that gas demand increased from 9.33 million b/d to 9.78 million b/d last week. Not only is the demand reading very robust for peak driving season, but 2% higher than the same time period in 2019. Additionally, total domestic gas stocks declined by 5.3 million bbl to 228.9 million bbl. These trends, combined with high crude prices, have helped to increase pump prices. As crude prices remain high, though back below $70/bbl, AAA expects the national average to remain above $3 per gallon throughout the summer.
At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 94 cents to settle at $69.09. Prices increased today due to tension in the Middle East, which heightened after Israeli military jets struck alleged rocket launch sites in Lebanon. The incident was likely in retaliation for two crew members who were killed after a tanker off the coast of Oman was attacked. Israel blames Iran for the tanker attack, but Tehran has denied any involvement. According to recent reporting, the UN Security Council will meet in a closed-door session, likely soon, to discuss rising tension in the region. Today’s price increase comes after crude prices declined for three days due to market concerns about the impact of rising global COVID-19 infection rates on crude demand. Crude prices also declined after EIA’s latest report showed that total domestic crude stocks increased by 3.6 million bbl to 439.2 million bbl last week.
Largest Weekly Increases
- Since last Thursday, these 10 states have seen the largest increases in their averages: Michigan (+9 cents), Colorado (+8 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Nevada (+6 cents), Kentucky (+6 cents), Florida (+5 cents), Montana (+5 cents), South Dakota (+4 cents), California (+4 cents) and Indiana (+4 cents).