National average gas price drops for the first time in 9 weeks

Fueling vehcile
(File Photo)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — The U.S. average gas price dropped 4.2 cents last week for the first time in more than two months, according to GasBuddy data reported June 20.

The national average price June 20 was $4.97, GasBuddy data indicated. The national average is up 37.3 cents since last month and $1.92 since a year ago, the blog post said.

“Finally some relief! For the first time in nine weeks, gasoline prices have fallen, following a broad sell-off in oil markets last week, pushing the national average back under the $5 level with most states seeing relief at the pump,” GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick De Haan said in the post. “I’m hopeful the trend may continue this week, especially as concerns appear to be mounting that we may be on the cusp of an economic slowdown, putting downward pressure on oil. But the coast isn’t yet entirely clear. We could see the national average fall another 15 to 30 cents, if we’re lucky, by the time fireworks are flying, barring any unexpected shutdowns at a time when the market is extremely sensitive to such.”

Diesel’s national average price rose 2.6 cents last week, reaching $5.80 per gallon, GasBuddy reported.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil decreased 2 cents, to $109.54 per barrel, which is nearly $10 less than a week ago ($118.81). Brent decreased 14 cents, to $112.98 per barrel, which is nearly $8 less than last week’s $120.42.

“Oil has seen some volatility over the last week after the Federal Reserve increased interest rates, with oil then selling off later in the week with worries over an economic slowdown intensifying,” the post said.

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The U.S. rig count last week was up 7, to 740, according to Baker Hughes, the post said. That’s 270 rigs more than a year ago. In Canada, the rig count was up 15, to 156, 39 more than last year.

Energy Information Administration data indicates last week’s U.S. crude oil inventories increased 2 million barrels while the SPR fell nearly 8 million, the report said. Oil inventories are 10% below last year’s and 14% below the five-year average, seasonally adjusted.

Gasoline inventories dropped by 700,000 barrels, which is nearly 11% below a year ago and the five-year average, seasonally adjusted.

Distillate inventories increased 700,000 barrels. A year ago, those inventories were 20% higher. The current distillate inventories are 23% below the five-year average for this time of year.

Refinery utilization decreased half a percentage point, to 93.7%. Gasoline production fell to 10 million barrels per day. Distillate production fell to 4.9 million barrels per day.

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Total U.S. supplies are down 9.2% from last year (down 118 million barrels).

Pay with GasBuddy card data indicated U.S. retail gasoline demand increased last week. Nationally, weekly gasoline demand rose 6.3% over last week.

In the Rocky Mountain Region (Petroleum Administration for Defense District 4), which consists of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah and Colorado, demand rose 7.2% over last week, which exceeds the national average increase (6.3%). The Gulf Coast states (PADD 3) had the smallest percentage growth (4.6%), and the Midwest (PADD 2) had the largest percentage growth (8.6%).

The most common U.S. gas price was $4.99 per gallon, unchanged from last week. The median U.S. price, $4.85 per gallon, was a decrease of 4 cents since last week.

The top 10% of stations in the country average $6.15 per gallon. The bottom 10% average $4.38 per gallon. California ($6.38), Nevada ($5.62) and Alaska ($5.59) have the highest gas prices while Georgia ($4.46), Mississippi ($4.47) and Arkansas ($4.50) have the lowest prices.

As of 5:28 p.m. Monday, Conoco, at 302 W. Lakeway Rd., according to a report about an hour prior, had the lowest price in Campbell County for a gallon of regular gasoline: $4.49. The lowest price in the state at that time was $4.24, which was seen at Tumbleweed Express, at 4700 Bluebird Ln. in Laramie.

Mary Stroka is the Community Reporter for County 17. She's new to Wyoming and has loved getting to know the area. She covers crime, education, faith, government, and policy for County 17. Feel free to contact her at mary@county17.com with your news tips and ideas.