According to AAA, the national average for gas is at $2.64 while Californian’s are paying $4.14 per gallon.
They report that U.S. refinery utilization dropped to its lowest rate – 83% – since Sept. 2017, tightening gasoline supplies and causing nearly half of all state gas price averages to increase on the week. AAA reports these weekly trends in pump price fluctuation:
- Nearly half (22) of all states saw gas prices increase with nine state averages jumping a nickel or more
- 19 states saw gas prices decrease with the majority seeing one to two cent declines
- 10 state averages held steady
“Peak refinery maintenance season has caused volatility across the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Motorists can expect fluctuations at the pump likely through the end of the month due to ongoing maintenance and tighter gasoline supply.”
Today’s national average of $2.64 is one penny more than last week, two cents more than last month and 21-cents cheaper than last year.
Pump prices in the West Coast region are fluctuating after a number of refineries in the region underwent planned and unplanned maintenance. Adding to the challenge, operations at Marathon Petroleum’s San Francisco Bay Area 170,000 b/d refinery halted last week as a result of the earthquake that occurred last Monday. Production has resumed at the refinery, but continuing refinery challenges have put pressure on supply, which has contributed to the increases some motorists are seeing at the pump.
California ($4.14) and Hawaii ($3.64) are the most expensive markets in the country. Nevada ($3.44), Washington ($3.40), Oregon ($3.33), Alaska ($3.07) and Arizona ($2.90) follow. Oregon (+7 cents), Alaska (+6 cents) and Washington (+5 cents) saw the largest increases, while California (-3 cent) saw the largest decrease on the week.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) report for the week ending Oct. 11, showed that total West Coast gasoline stocks took a slight draw from 26.25 million bbl to 26.23 million bbl. The current level is approximately 1.42 million bbl lower than this same time last year. Tighter supplies will continue to keep prices high this week, but as refineries resume normal gasoline production levels and imports enter the region, pump prices are expected to continue stabilizing.