Business, Sci-Tech

Gas prices drift lower ahead of Ida, likely to head higher this week



NOTTINGHAM, MD—For the third straight week the nation’s average gas price has fallen, posting a decline of 2.2 cents per gallon from a week ago to $3.12 per gallon on Monday, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average now stands unchanged from a month ago and $1.01 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen a penny in the last week and stands at $3.26 per gallon.

However, the string of weekly declines is likely to end this week with gas prices likely starting to drift higher as a result of refinery shutdowns ahead of Hurricane Ida. Motorists can expect that over the next few weeks, the national average may rise 5-15 cents per gallon or so, subject to damage assessments happening this morning. In addition, prices are likely to jump in the Great Lakes states early in the week due to a local pricing behavior called price cycling.

“While the national average price of gasoline declined yet again over the last week, Hurricane Ida has been causing countless disruptions to critical infrastructure, including oil production, refineries and pipelines. We’re likely to see a reversal this week, but motorists need not be too concerned at this point,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “I expect the national average to rise in the neighborhood of 5-15 cents per gallon in the next couple of weeks- far smaller than the impact from Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey, but with damage assessments still to come, it’s possible we see slight deviation from that. While Colonial Pipeline shut Lines 1 and 2 as a precaution, it’s highly unlikely that this will cause any long-term disruption to fuel supply like we saw months ago after the company was hacked. The biggest question for refineries will be the flooding- which could alter the rise in gas prices, but the odds of a massive surge in gas prices nationwide are extremely low.”



GAS PRICE TRENDS

  • The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists was $2.99 per gallon, unchanged from last week, followed by $2.89, $2.79 and $3.09.
  • The average cost at the priciest 10% of stations stands at $4.20 per gallon, down 2 cents from a week ago, while the lowest 10% average $2.64 per gallon, down 2 cents from last week.
  • The median U.S. price is $2.99 per gallon, unchanged from last week and about 13 cents lower than the national average.
  • The states with the lowest average prices: Texas ($2.75), Mississippi ($2.76) and Alabama ($2.79).
  • The states with the highest priced states: California ($4.36), Nevada ($4.01) and Hawaii ($4.01).

In the NottinghamMD.com coverage area, the cheapest gas as of Monday was located at Costco (9919 Pulaski Highway) and at Sam’s Club (6410 Petrie Way). The price per gallon for regular gas was $2.75 at each location, unchanged from last week. BJ’s (4201 Wholesale Club Drive) also checks in at $2.77 per gallon.

Photo by Ingo Joseph from Pexels

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