Gas Prices Could Level Off

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Just as the Memorial Day holiday weekend was beginning, reports indicated that OPEC may raise oil production levels to help ease global supply concerns. The news sent crude oil prices plunging, while gas prices held fairly steady over the weekend. For the week, the national average for regular adds four cents to $2.97 a gallon, its highest price since November 2014. The Oregon average also climbs four cents to $3.35, its highest price since October 2014. This week, three more states join the list of states with a gas price average at or above $3 a gallon, making for 17 states in total.

The price of crude oil has dropped nearly $3 per barrel since last Thursday. “If oil prices remain lower, drivers will get some welcome relief,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “The national average has risen 16 cents a gallon since May 1 and the Oregon average has increased 15 cents during that time. Pump prices have been at their highest levels for this time of year since 2014.”

Oregon is one of 48 states and the District of Columbia reporting week-over-week increases. The largest jumps are in Michigan (+10 cents) and Illinois (+7 cents). Oregon has the 24th-largest weekly increase in the country at four cents. Indiana (-2 cents) and Utah (-2/10ths of a cent) are the only states to see prices fall this week.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have higher prices than one month ago. The national average and Oregon average are both 16 cents more than a month ago. Oregon has the 34th-largest monthly increase in the country. Wisconsin (+27 cents) and Colorado (+26 cents) have the largest monthly gains.

The West Coast still has the most expensive gas prices in the nation. California tops the list again for the fifth week in a row, followed by Hawaii, Washington, Alaska, Oregon and Nevada. Oregon is fifth most expensive after spending six weeks at sixth.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report for the week ending on May 18, inventories of gasoline on the West Coast climbed by 500,000 bbl to 30.2 million bbl. When compared to a year ago, levels are up over 1 million bbl.

The nation’s cheapest markets are South Carolina ($2.65) and Mississippi ($2.66). For the 43rd week in a row, no states have an average below $2.

Drivers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are paying are paying more than a year ago to fill up. The national average is 60 cents more and the Oregon average is 62 cents more than a year ago. This is the 11tht-largest yearly increase in the country. Arizona has the greatest year-over-year increase of 75 cents; Indiana is second at 73 cents; and New Mexico is third at 67 cents.

For the week, the national average rises two cents to $3.21 a gallon. Oregon’s average adds three cents to $3.41. A year ago the national average for diesel was $2.51 and the Oregon average was $2.70.

Source: AAA Oregon/Idaho

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