Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has declined by eight cents to $2.17. The national average has not been this cheap since December 2016. Today, 19 states have averages under $2/gallon. Pump prices continue to decline around the country as oil prices have decreased significantly in response to the increasing public health and economic impact of COVID-19 and the crude price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Although new data from the Energy Information Administration shows that demand increased to 9.7 million b/d from 9.4 million b/d last week, while total domestic supply decreased by 6.2 million bbl to 240.8 million bbl, COVID-19 has forced gas prices down dramatically.
Largest Weekly Decreases
- Since last Friday, these 10 states have seen the largest declines in their averages: Wisconsin (-25 cents), North Dakota (-22 cents), Ohio (-21 cents), Kentucky (-20 cents), Oklahoma (-20 cents), Michigan (-19 cents), Illinois (-17 cents), Iowa (-17 cents), Maine (-17 cents) and Indiana (-17 cents).
Crude prices increased yesterday after reports emerged that the U.S. is attempting to intervene in the crude price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. According to reports, the Trump administration may threaten Russia with sanctions and is using diplomatic pressure on Saudi Arabia. Additionally, crude prices increased after the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it would request $3 billion from Congress to purchase crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Department suggested that the federal government should purchase $20 billion in oil to prop up prices. With limited storage capacity and uncertainty around how much time it may take to stop COVID-19, the ability of these efforts to sustain higher crude prices is highly uncertain. At the end of Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $4.85 to settle at $25.22 per barrel.