Oklahomans are paying the third lowest prices for gasoline in the nation at $2.29 a gallon today, according to AAA Oklahoma. Within the state, consumers are paying as low as $2.02 in Cement and Bray. The lowest recorded price in a metro area is in Yukon where gas is $2.11.
One month after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, motorists are finally seeing consistent declines in gas prices. At $2.57, today’s national average is five cents less than a week ago, 22 cents more expensive than a month ago and 36 cents more than a year ago.
The South and Southeast states are still feeling the lingering pain of Hurricane Harvey. Gas prices are at least 30 cents more expensive than a month ago in Georgia (+44 cents), South Carolina (+39 cents), Alabama (+37 cents), Florida (+36 cents), Mississippi (+32 cents) and Texas (+31 cents).
According to the Department of Energy, Gulf Coast refinery operations were up nearly 10 percent for the week ending September 15. Overall, 10 refineries are operating at reduced rates, while three remain shut down. In addition, the Colonial Pipeline remains on about a seven-day gasoline delivery delay, but they estimate that by the end of the month the pipeline will be returning to normal deliveries.
The nation’s largest monthly increases are: Georgia (+44 cents), South Carolina (+39 cents), Tennessee (+37 cents), Alabama (+37 cents), North Carolina (+36 cents), Florida (+36 cents), Rhode Island (+35 cents), Massachusetts (+35 cents), Connecticut (+34 cents) and New Hampshire (+33 cents).
The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Ohio ($2.27), Missouri ($2.27), Oklahoma ($2.29), Indiana ($2.29), Arkansas ($2.35), Kansas ($2.36), Louisiana ($2.36), Kentucky ($2.40), Michigan ($2.41) and Mississippi ($2.42.).
Gas prices are cheaper on the week in all South and Southeast states with a five-cent drop in Florida ($2.67). With more than 4 million bbl of gasoline delivered in response to Hurricane Irma, the majority of Florida gas stations are operating with sufficient supply, according to OPIS.
Georgia ($2.67), Tennessee ($2.51), South Carolina ($2.47) and Alabama ($2.45) are seeing the largest drops. While Oklahoma ($2.29), Arkansas ($2.35) and Louisiana ($2.36) land on this week’s top 10 states with the cheapest gas prices. Traditionally South Carolina leads the country with the cheapest gas, but lost this claim four weeks ago when Harvey hit.
In the region, gas prices are 30 cents more expensive compared to one month ago. However, continued positive refinery news is expected to drive down gas prices in the coming weeks, easing the higher-than-normal gas prices South and Southeast motorists have been paying since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma made landfall.
Six states land on this week’s top 10 states with the largest drops: Indiana (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cent), Kentucky (-11 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Illinois (-9 cents) and Missouri (-7 cents).
Six states land on this week’s top 10 states with the least expensive gas: Ohio ($2.27), Missouri ($2.27), Indiana ($2.29), Kansas ($2.36), Kentucky ($2.40) and Michigan ($2.41).
Compared to one month ago, Indiana (-12 cents), Michigan (-7 cents) and Ohio (-3 cents) are the only three states in the country paying less at the pump. This year, the Great Lakes and Central states have been very volatile – experiencing large jumps one week followed by large decrease the following week. This trend in mind, it is not surprising to see three states are paying less than pre-Harvey gas prices.
Current Price Averages per Gallon of Regular Gasoline
Tulsa – $2.34, up 23 cents from one month ago … up 36 cents from one year ago.
OKC – $2.20, up 13 cents from one month ago … up 19 cents from one year ago.
Oklahoma – $2.29, up 17 cents from one month ago … up 26 cents from one year ago.
U.S. – $2.57, up 22 cents from one month ago … up 36 cents from one year ago.
At the close of Friday’s trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 11 cents to settle at $50.66. Moving into Monday, the price per barrel is poised to stay above $50 as the market looks for signs that the global crude glut is continuing to shrink, which is not the first time this year it has made that move. One important indicator of the crude supply decline is that the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. is reducing. According to Baker Hughes, Inc., the number of active rigs dropped by five to total 744 last week, signaling that drilling operations are reducing in the U.S. and could mean that the U.S. market may tighten in the months ahead. The trend has been continuing for the last few weeks. As the impact of Harvey and Irma continues to subside, this week's EIA report may provide more accurate information on the current state of draws from oil inventories and give the market more signs of less supply available for the production of refined products like gasoline.
Last week, the price per barrel moved above the $50 per barrel mark after the market watched OPEC’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting in Vienna. The JMMC is charged with monitoring the agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cut global production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd). The JMMC’s analysis showed that compliance in August was 116 percent of their pledged oil output cuts, which is up from 94 percent in July. According to OPEC, the cartel’s strategy is working and is helping global crude inventories to move closer to their five-year average. This move has led the price per barrel of oil to continue moving upward, as it has since issuance of this report last Monday. OPEC’s next formal meeting will be held on November 30 in Vienna, where parties that are a part of the production reduction agreement may decide to deepen and extend the current agreement beyond March 2018.