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Gas Prices, Fuel Inventories Continue Dropping

Refineries in recovery mode after Harvey, Irma.

by on Sep.20, 2017

Gas prices are now trending down with the end of the summer driving season.

Even with a chunk of the nation’s refining capacity closed and new hurricanes churning in the Atlantic Ocean, gasoline prices have headed down this week thanks to the end of the summer driving season and a heavy draw down by retailers on the record inventories.

As states recover in the South and Southeast from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, motorists in 45 U.S. states are paying less for a gallon of gas this week. At $2.62, national gas price average is the cheapest in 14 days and five cents less than last week, according to AAA.

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“Gas prices are dropping as the situation with refineries, pipelines and gasoline deliveries is positively progressing,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “It looks like pump prices will continue on this declining trend into the coming weeks as the regions affected by Irma and Harvey resume normal operations,” she said. (more…)

Hurricane Harvey Could Drench U.S. Motorists With Higher Gas Prices

Gulf region holds nearly half of U.S. refining capacity.

by on Aug.28, 2017

A flooded freeway in Houston.

While Hurricane Harvey remains fixed in place over the Gulf Coast of Texas, motorists across the U.S. are likely to begin feeling the storm’s impact this week. And higher prices could be around for a while, experts warn, as it is expected to take weeks, even months for the region’s refineries to repair from the damage caused by a storm of such historic proportions.

Almost of the total U.S. refinery capacity is based along the Gulf Coast, and while not all of that has been affected by the storm, Exxon Mobil’s Baytown refinery, 30 miles east of Houston, was taken off-line over the weekend, with no firm date for restarting operations. That one refinery produces as much as 13% of the U.S. fuel supply, or 2.3 million barrels a day.

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“There is going to be no gasoline being produced for a bit of time,” said W. D. Williams of AAA Auto Club, the service warning that depending on the part of the country – as well as the duration and ultimate severity of the hurricane – gas prices could jump as much as 30 cents a gallon.


Hurricane Threatens to Increase Gas Prices

Prices had been falling with end of summer driving season.

by on Aug.25, 2017

Gas prices are expected to rise if Hurricane Harvey makes landfall in Texas and Louisiana, as expected. (Photo credit: Brendan Strong)

With Labor Day, which marks the traditional end of summer driving season, fast approaching, gasoline prices dropped slightly this week, AAA reported. However, a hurricane expected to hit Texas and Louisiana in the next 24 hours now threatens to raise prices at the pump prior to holiday.

The petroleum industry is bracing for the impact of Hurricane Harvey, which is threatening both oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and refineries in an arc along the Gulf coast stretching from Houston to New Orleans.

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The Gulf accounts to about 17% of the country’s total crude production and coastal Texas and Louisiana account for 45% of U.S. refining capacity. (more…)

After Steady December Climb, Gasoline Prices Retreat in January

U.S. production levels continuing to increase.

by on Jan.31, 2017

Gas prices fell for the first part of January as U.S. production levels increased.

After climbing during the last month of 2016, the price of gasoline has retreated for the past three weeks, dropping to $2.27 per gallon, which is down four cents per gallon from a week earlier, according to the survey by AAA.

AAA said the growth in the number of U.S. oil rigs and the increased drilling it implies are raising expectations for a climb in domestic oil production.

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Meanwhile, increased U.S. crude oil production and reduced demand has exerted pressure on the national average price at the pump, which has fallen for 21 consecutive days, AAA said. (more…)

Gas Prices Starting to Fall in October

Some parts of country still over $2.50 a gallon.

by on Oct.20, 2016

Unexpected refinery maintenance has caused prices in some areas to rise slightly, but gas prices are down on average.

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has dropped for nearly two weeks after a brief spike during September, according to the information collected by AAA.

Unleaded gasoline was selling for $2.23.5 cents per gallon this week, AAA reported. The average price represents a decrease of two cents per gallon compared to one week ago, but remains five cents more than last month.

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Drivers across the country continue to see savings at the pump and are paying an average of three cents less per gallon year-over-year while the price of crude oil remains well below its historical highs, AAA said. (more…)

Pipeline Rupture Causing Gas Shortages

Areas of Georgia, Tennessee impacted immediately.

by on Sep.19, 2016

A ruptured section of pipeline in Alabama is causing gas shortages in some parts of Georgia.

A major pipeline that carries gasoline to the Eastern United States ruptured in Alabama, forcing part of it to shut down. The closure is threatening to drive up prices and create spot shortages of fuel along the Atlantic Coast and in the Southeastern United States.

A section of the Colonial Pipeline, which runs from Houston to New York, has been closed since Sept. 9, after a spill of roughly 250,000 gallons was discovered in rural Shelby County, Alabama.

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The pipeline, one pipe of which has been severed, provides gasoline for an estimated 50 million people on the East Coast each day, according to company estimates. The cause of the leak has yet to be determined, according to the company’s most recent statement. (more…)

Gas Prices to Remain Low Through Labor Day

Some OPEC members pushing to raise oil prices.

by on Aug.18, 2016

Despite Americans racking up the miles at record levels this summer, gas prices are expected to remain at record lows.

With the end of the summer travel season drawing near, the price of gasoline continues moving downwards, according to a new survey by AAA, even as the long slide in the price of crude oil shows signs of coming to an end.

AAA said the average price for regular unleaded gasoline nationally was $2.12 per gallon, which is the lowest price for this date since 2004 although it is a fraction of a penny more than one week ago. The price is nine cents less than one month ago and 54 cents less than the same date last year, AAA reported.

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Meanwhile, reports from the Middle East indicate that for the first time in more than two years some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting States, or OPEC, are now considering reducing the daily output of crude oil in a bid to drive up prices. (more…)

Shortages Cause Latest Jump in Gas Prices

Canadian forest fires cutting crude oil exports to U.S.

by on May.25, 2016

Canadian forest fires have cut exports of crude oil to the U.S., causing gas prices to rise to their highest average this year.

Gas prices are at their highest point for the year with the biggest jump in prices coming in the upper Midwest where the forest fires in the Canadian Tar Sand Region have crippled exports of crude oil to Midwestern refineries.

AAA noted in its weekly report on fuel prices that with the approach the Memorial Day holiday, the national average has increased for 12 days in a row an average of $2.28 per gallon is up six cents per gallon on the week and 15 cents per gallon on the month.

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The nation’s top five most expensive markets are: California at $2.80 per gallon, Hawaii at $2.66 per gallon, Washington at $2.59 per gallon, Alaska at $2.58 and Nevada at $2.49. In addition, for the first time since August 2015, drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are paying averages above $2 per gallon, according to AAA. (more…)

Breakdown of Oil Talks May Stem Tide of Rising Gas Prices

Crude oil expected to fall by as much as $7 a barrel.

by on Apr.18, 2016

The breakdown of talks aimed at stabilizing oil production may cut crude oil prices and stem the tide of rising gas prices in the U.S.

Oil exporting nations, including non-OPEC Russia, gathered in Doha to ratify a deal to stabilize output at January levels until October. However, despite the fact that the outline of the deal had been approved by negotiators in advance, it still fell apart.

The collapse of the talks, which were aimed at slowing down oil production around the globe, renewed the downward pressure on the price of crude oil, which eased the upward pressure on the price of gasoline across the U.S. despite rising demand.

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The deal crumbled when OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia demanded that Iran join in despite its repeated assertions it would not do so until it had reached pre-sanctions levels of output, according to Reuters. (more…)

Driving Costs Plunge to Six-Year Low

Low fuel costs offset rises in every other category.

by on Apr.07, 2016

Lower fuel prices are providing a bonanza for American motorists, according to the AAA study.

You may be paying more for food and housing, but that trip to work is likely costing you less these days. In fact, driving costs have fallen to their lowest level in six years, according to an annual study by AAA.

The travel and road service firm estimates the average driver will spend $8,858 to own and operate the typical vehicle this year, a figure that works out to around 57 cents per mile. Credit goes to one particular factor, said AAA managing director John Nielsen.

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“Thanks to lower gas prices, American drivers can expect to save hundreds of dollars in fuel costs in 2016,” said Nielsen. “Fortunately, this annual savings more than offsets the moderate increases in maintenance, insurance, finance charges and other costs associated with owning and operating a vehicle.”