New England gas prices dropped this week along with much of the rest of the U.S. News of growing gasoline and crude oil inventories has pushed down gas prices nationwide. At $2.54, the national gas price average decreased for the first time week-over-week this year. Motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 53 percent of gas stations across the country.
“Gas price averages are less expensive for 78 percent of states compared to last Friday," said Dan Goodman manager of public affairs for AAA Northern New England. “News of increasing gasoline and crude oil inventories has pushed down prices across the country and in New England.”
- Vermont’s average current price is $2.64 per gallon, which is 2 cents lower than one week ago, and 31 cents higher than one year ago.
- New Hampshire’s average current price is $2.52 per gallon, which is 3 cents lower than one week ago and 29 cents higher than one year ago.
- Maine’s current price is $2.58 per gallon, which is 7 cents lower than one week ago and 24 cents higher than one year ago.
Oil market dynamics
At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI settled at $61.22. Price gains made throughout January, which saw a closing high of $66.27, were wiped away after trading last week. Last week’s losses, which were buoyed by a strengthening dollar, may continue into this week after EIA’s latest weekly petroleum report revealed that U.S. crude production hit 10.25 million b/d – a new record weekly production rate.
The continuing growth in U.S. crude oil production may give the market some pause as it continues to assess the long-term impact of OPEC’s production reduction agreement, which remains in effect through the end of 2018. On the other hand, OPEC’s latest forecast for oil demand projects that global oil demand will increase by 1.59 million b/d. The estimate is an increase of 60,000 b/d from last year, which may help to drain growing oil exports from the U.S.
A sign of potentially explosive growth in U.S. crude production, the latest Baker Hughes, Inc. report found the active oil rig count in the U.S. grew by 26 new rigs last week to total at 791. This is the highest number of active rigs since April 2015, and it will likely push production to even higher levels later this year.
Motorists 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.