Gas Prices Dip ahead of Thanksgiving

Oregon, National Averages at three-year High for the Holiday

PORTLAND, Ore., – Pump prices are slowly declining heading into the long Thanksgiving weekend. For the week, the national average for regular unleaded loses three cents to $2.53 a gallon while the Oregon average slips a penny to $2.85. Since 2014, the national gas price average has dropped one to five cents heading into the Thanksgiving week. Despite the decrease, gas prices are at their highest levels for Thanksgiving since 2014.

OR local-national 11-21-17

AAA says nearly 51 million Americans including 647,000 Oregonians are traveling for Thanksgiving, the most travelers for the holiday since 2005.

“Most are driving to their destinations and many will be thankful to see gas prices moving a bit lower,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “Pump prices are still about 40 cents a gallon higher than a year ago, but that’s not stopping travelers from taking a road trip this Thanksgiving.”

Find the complete AAA Thanksgiving travel projections here.

Thanksgiving Gas Prices 2008-2016

Oregon is one of 44 states where gas prices are lower week-over-week. The largest decreases are in Michigan (-12 cents) and Oklahoma (-5 cents). Alaska has the largest weekly increase of five cents.

Oregon is one of 47 states and Washington D.C. where gas prices have risen in the last month. The largest monthly increases are in Alaska (+25 cents) and Ohio (+19 cents). The national average is eight cents more and the Oregon average is 10 cents more than a month ago. The largest monthly decrease is in Utah (-9 cents).

The West Coast still has the most expensive gas prices in the nation with six of the top ten markets in this region. Alaska bumps California as the state with the most expensive gas, followed by Hawaii, California and Washington. These four states all have averages at or above $3 a gallon. Oregon is fifth most expensive for the 21st week in a row.

Rank Region Price on 11/21/17
1 Alaska $3.27
2 Hawaii $3.24
3 California $3.20
4 Washington $3.00
5 Oregon $2.85
6 Pennsylvania $2.78
7 District of Columbia $2.74
8 Nevada $2.73
9 Connecticut $2.71
10 New York $2.69

According to the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report, total gasoline stocks grew to 28.2 million bbl – which is in line with the five-year average for the region. Refinery utilization rates in the region continue to sit above 86 percent, which has given the region a comfortable supply and demand balance sheet and will help prices stabilize ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The nation’s cheapest markets are Alabama ($2.25) and Mississippi ($2.26). For the 17th week in a row, no states have an average below $2.

Drivers are paying more than a year ago to fill up. The national average is 40 cents more and the Oregon average is 41 cents more than a year ago.

2014-2017_Avg-Gas-Prices_11-20-17

Oil Market Dynamics

Crude oil prices remain above $50 per barrel but fell slightly to start the week after gaining ground on Friday. The price per barrel of crude oil is likely to climb again in the coming days after the EIA’s latest report showed that crude inputs into refineries, for production of products such as gasoline, grew by 250,000 b/d on the week to land at 16.9 million b/d. On the flip side, crude oil inventories ballooned to 1.9 million bbl, but are still lower than where they were at this time last year. Increased oil inventories and domestic crude production, which reached an all-time high at 9.65 million b/d last week, have contributed to growth in crude exports as they rose to 1.12 million b/d.

After recent growth in the U.S. active oil rig count, last week’s count remained unchanged at 738. This news may give market observers hope that oil prices may push even higher ahead of OPEC’s meeting on November 30, in Vienna. However, recent growth in U.S. oil production may only underscore that other countries, such as the U.S., will continue to fill the void left by other oil producers. At the upcoming meeting, OPEC and non-OPEC member countries that are a part of the production reduction agreement to curtail supply may decide to extend the agreement beyond its current expiration date at the end of March 2018. All eyes will remain on key countries in the agreement, such as Russia and Saudi Arabia, to see if they signal a willingness to extend the agreement through the end of the year or deepen the production cuts.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.41 to settle at $56.55. At the close of Monday’s formal trading session, WTI lost 46 cents to settle at $56.09 per barrel. Today crude is trading around $57 compared to $55 a week ago. Crude prices are up about nine percent in the last month and are about $10 more per barrel 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

For the week, the national average adds half a cent to $2.85 a gallon. Oregon’s average gains a penny to $3.02. A year ago the national average for diesel was $2.39 and the Oregon average was $2.55.

 

Find current fuel prices at GasPrices.AAA.com.

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