Gas prices fall and crude oil prices falter

The national average gas price fell three cents to $ 3.30.

Demand for gasoline jumped last week, supported by increased consumer confidence ahead of the holidays, but fears of the economic impact of the COVID-19 omicron variant could threaten future global oil consumption. As a result, prices at the pump fell again last week as crude oil prices faltered – neither rising steadily nor falling rapidly. According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of gasoline fell three cents to $ 3.30.

“A recovering economy coupled with strong jobs leads to increased demand for gasoline,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “This increase in demand is expected to push up prices at the pump, but it has been blunted by the fluctuating price of crude oil.”

According to recent data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total national gasoline stocks fell by 700,000 barrels to 218.6 million barrels last week. Meanwhile, demand for gasoline increased from 8.96 million b / d to 9.47 million b / d. In general, growing demand and tight supply would support higher prices at the pump; however, fluctuations in the price of crude oil have contributed to downward pressure on prices. Last week crude prices climbed above $ 70 a barrel and if oil prices continue to rise, prices at the pump are likely to follow suit.

The current national average of $ 3.30 is 11 cents less than a month ago and $ 1.09 more than a year ago.

Dynamics of the oil market

As the official Friday trading session closed, WTI fell $ 1.52 to $ 70.86. Crude prices fell last week amid growing market concerns that the omicron variant of COVID-19 will cause demand to decrease as governments around the world increase measures to reduce transmission rates.

Additionally, crude prices have fallen despite new data from the EIA showing that total national crude inventories have declined by 4.6 million barrels to 428.3 million barrels. The current inventory level is 14.4% lower than in mid-December 2020. For this week, crude prices could fall further if omicron concerns persist.

Quick statistics

  • The 10 largest weekly declines in the country: Indiana (−6 cents), Michigan (−6 cents), Ohio (−5 cents), Arizona (−5 cents), Illinois (−5 cents), Florida (−4 cents) , Colorado (−4 cents), Alabama (−3 cents), Kentucky (−3 cents) and Wisconsin (−3 cents).
  • The 10 most expensive markets in the country: California ($ 4.66), Hawaii ($ 4.33), Washington ($ 3.86), Nevada ($ 3.86), Oregon ($ 3.77), Arizona ($ 3.69), Alaska ($ 3.69), Idaho ($ 3.60), Utah ($ 3.55), and Pennsylvania ($ 3.55).

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Felix J. Dixon