Gas Prices Steady As Summer Driving Season Gets Underway

June 15, 2015

(WASHINGTON, June 8, 2015) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has remained steady over the past week and continues to hover near at what many expect to be the highest average of the year, according to AAA. Today’s price of $2.75 per gallon is fractions of a penny higher than a week ago and is nine cents per gallon higher than one month ago. While pump prices across the country have increased since April, consumers are saving 90 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.

Gas prices likely are poised for a seasonal decline given that refineries generally complete maintenance by this time of year and gear up production for the busy summer driving season. In addition, the cost of crude oil is unlikely to rise significantly in the near term given that OPEC decided not to cut production at its most recent meeting. Nevertheless, a number of factors could cause prices to inch higher during the summer driving season, such as geopolitical issues in the Middle East, unexpected problems at major refineries or a major hurricane that disrupts production, refining and distribution.

Pump prices in the Midwest recently surged due to a series of a refinery issues in the region that have limited production. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, gasoline production in the Midwest during the most recent week fell to its lowest levels since late March. Meanwhile, prices on the West Coast are stabilizing due to a surge in imports that have helped to offset supply issues stemming from refinery problems.

California ($3.61) remains the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline. A total of seven states, all located in the Western United States, have averages above $3 per gallon, including Alaska ($3.37), Hawaii ($3.31), Nevada ($3.26), Washington ($3.06), Utah ($3.02) and Oregon ($3.02). The nation’s least expensive markets for retail gasoline are South Carolina ($2.45), Mississippi ($2.47) and Arkansas ($2.50). Read the full AAA report here.