The national gas price average has held steady for the past seven days at $3.18. New data from the Energy Information Administration shows that gas demand increased slightly from 9.58 million b/d to 9.61 million b/d last week — a healthy reading for the Labor Day weekend. Meanwhile, total domestic stocks took a major step back by 7.2 million bbl to 220 million bbl. Refinery utilization was down almost 10% to 81.9%, as refinieries impacted by Ida continue to progress in their recovery efforts. With demand increasing and supplies tightening, some states have seen prices fluctuate, with some up by four cents and others lower by 3 cents. This has helped stabilize the national average this week. However, as oil prices remain high (near $70 per barrel), the national average is expected to stay above $3 per gallon.
At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $1.16 to settle at $68.14. Although crude prices declined amid reports of China tapping its strategic oil reserves to reduce prices, crude prices remain elevated as approximately 77% of crude oil production in the Gulf Coast region is shuttered due to Hurricane Ida, according to the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Once the damage is assessed, production will gradually return to normal operations and stabilize prices as supply increases.
Largest Weekly Changes
- Since last Thursday, these 10 states have seen the largest changes in their averages: Louisiana (+4 cents), Arizona (+3 cents), Ohio (−3 cents), Illinois (−3 cents), Indiana (−3 cents), Kentucky (−3 cents), New York (+2 cents), Michigan (−2 cents), Nevada (−2 cents) and Utah (−2 cents).