Total Eclipse at the Pumps: Oregon Average Skyrockets to Two-Year High

Oregon pump prices have largest weekly jump in the nation

PORTLAND, Ore., – “The Oregon average for regular unleaded jumps to its highest price in nearly two years and has the biggest weekly jump in the nation at ten cents. For the week, the national average for regular unleaded slips a penny to $2.34 a gallon. Oregon’s average jumps a dime to $2.81, which is the highest price since early September 2015,” says AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds. “High demand for fuel surrounding the August 21 eclipse sent prices into orbit. Now add the upcoming Labor Day holiday into the mix and it’s likely pump prices will stay elevated into early September, remaining near two-year highs.”

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Find current fuel prices at GasPrices.AAA.com.

Oregon is one of 11 states and the District of Columbia where gas prices increased in the last week. Oregon (+10 cents) and Idaho (+6 cents) have the largest weekly increases in the country. Ohio has the largest weekly drop (-8 cents).

Oregon is one of 48 states and the District of Columbia to see pump prices rise in the last month. The largest monthly increases are in Idaho (+20 cents) and Oregon (+15 cents). Ohio and Delaware are the only states where prices fell in the last month and both decreases are less than two cents. The national average is five cents more and the Oregon average is 15 cents more than a month ago.

Rank Region Price on 8/22/2017
1 Hawaii $3.08
2 California $2.98
3 Washington $2.90
4 Alaska $2.83
5 Oregon $2.81
6 Idaho $2.72
7 Nevada $2.66
8 Utah $2.59
9 District of Columbia $2.57
10 Pennsylvania $2.54

With the exception of Hawaii where the average dropped one cent, every West Coast state saw gas prices rise in the last week. This region continues to have the most expensive pump prices in the nation. Hawaii remains the only state with an average at or above $3. California, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and Nevada round out the top seven most expensive states. Oregon is fifth most expensive for the eighth week in a row.

Despite a small 100,000 bbl build on the week, West Coast gasoline inventories are 3.6 million bbl lower than this time last year. For the third consecutive week, the region’s total inventory registers under 27 million bbl, the lowest levels seen on the West Coast in 2017.

The nation’s cheapest markets are South Carolina ($2.06) and Alabama ($2.09). For the fourth week in a row, no states have an average below $2.

Drivers are paying more to fill up compared to one year ago. The national average is currently 17 cents per gallon more and the Oregon average is 38 cents more than a year ago.

Oil Market Dynamics

Crude oil prices started another week below $50 per barrel. Investors continue to be concerned about the glut of crude oil in the world marketplace.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration report for the week ending on August 11, gasoline production moved higher to 10.2 million b/d. With greater demand for refined products like gasoline, crude inventories decreased by 8.9 million bbl – a much larger than expected drawdown. Additionally, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that active oil rigs in the U.S. fell by five last week, landing at 763. The movement of these key figures show that August is setting a strong scene for crude oil supplies to become tighter as demand continues full steam ahead with the summer driving season coming closer to its end.

On the flip side, U.S. crude output climbed 79,000 b/d to 9.502 million b/d – which is the highest level seen in two years. The greatest portion of the increase came from Alaska, but production in the continental U.S. (driven by shale activity) moved higher to 25,000 b/d. This continued growth in U.S. production continues to add to the global glut of crude, putting downward pressure on crude prices. As a result, market observers will look toward this week’s EIA report to see if the trend continues, noting that gasoline demand along the path of Monday’s solar eclipse may help boost numbers. Drivers in the viewing pathway may continue to see prices spike this week due to high demand.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.42 to settle at $48.51. At the close of Monday’s session, WTI fell $1.14 cents to close at $47.37. Today crude is trading around $48, compared to $47 a week ago. Crude prices are up about two percent in the last month and are about $1 per barrel lower than a year ago.

Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Diesel

Diesel prices are steady or moving up, depending on the market. For the week, the national average remains at $2.53 a gallon. Oregon’s average jumps eight cents to $2.78. A year ago the national average for diesel was $2.33 and the Oregon average was $2.52.

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