On the week, gas prices in New England and around the country continue to decrease. The national gas price average is five cents cheaper at $2.87. Today’s national average is only four cents more expensive than a month ago, but 63 cents more expensive than a year ago.
- Vermont’s average current price is $2.94 per gallon, which is 1 cent lower than one week ago, 2 cents higher than one month ago and 59 cents higher than one year ago.
- New Hampshire’s average current price is $2.84 per gallon, which is 3 cents lower than one week ago. 2 cents lower than one month ago and 61 cents higher than one year ago.
- Maine’s current price is $2.87 per gallon, which is 4 cents lower than one week ago, 5 cents lower than month ago, and 60 cents higher than one year ago.
“The next factor that may influence gas prices is this Friday’s OPEC meeting in Vienna,” said Dan Goodman, manager of public affairs for AAA Northern New England. “The OPEC nations, plus Russia will discuss increasing oil production, which would likely decrease crude oil prices even more and encourage cheaper gas prices.”
Nationwide, 44 states have less expensive or steady gas price averages compared to last Thursday. However, the cheaper trend may be reversing. Gasoline demand spiked in the latest Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report, in fact setting a new all-time record at 9.88 million b/d for the week. As demand skyrockets, U.S. gasoline inventories plummeted 2.27 million bbl, to land total inventories at 237 million bbl, which is 5.7 million below stocks last year at this time.
Oil market dynamics
At the close of the formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased $2.24 cents to settle at $65.46. Oil prices trended marginally higher last week because of a stronger dollar. Looking ahead, this week’s prices will likely see fluctuation ahead of Friday’s OPEC meeting.
According to EIA’s latest weekly petroleum status report, total U.S. production jumped to around 10.9 million b/d, up about 100,000 b/d on the week. However, total crude inventories fell by 4.1 million bbl. Increasing crude exports supported the drop. Last week, exports of crude oil stood at 2.03 million b/d, a week-on-week gain of 316,000 b/d.
Domestic investment in crude production continues to grow. Last week, the U.S. added another oil rig, bringing the current total to 863. When compared to last year’s rig count at this time, there are 116 more active rigs today.
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.