On the National Front
Today’s national average price at the pump is $3.53 per gallon. This is 12 cents more expensive than one month ago, but just a penny above one week ago and 14 cents per gallon less than the same date last year.
The current pricing trends are dictated by the impact of seasonal refinery maintenance and any disruptions to production or distribution. As is the case each spring, refiners are required to switchover to producing summer-blend gasoline by May 1. The maintenance that refineries undertake in advance of the switchover and the actual switch itself increases the chance of disruptions to production, which can send prices higher in the affected area. While refinery issues have thus far been minimal this spring, the next several weeks will bear close attention.
Pump prices in most states have moved higher over the last week; however prices did fall in 20 states, including a seven-cent tumble in Ohio. Midwest, and in particular Great Lakes, states have consistently topped the list of most dramatic price changes.
Only prices in Hawaii are above the $4 per gallon threshold. Drivers in California pay the most in the continental U.S. ($3.98), followed by a handful of states the Northeast (New York and Connecticut: $3.77; and Maine: $3.64) and the Great Lakes region (Illinois: $3.74; Michigan: $3.71; and Indiana: $3.68).
Lofty domestic crude oil supplies have largely offset geopolitical tensions with Russia and positive U.S. economic data, as crude oil prices continue to trade in a narrow range. West Texas Intermediate crude settled 14 cents higher at $99.60 per barrel on Monday.
This week’s Western PA average price:
Average price during the week of March 18, 2014:
Average price during the week of March 26, 2013:
The following is a list of the average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
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