Oklahomans are finding gas prices that are 19-cents less than a month ago, averaging $2.37 a gallon, according to AAA.
The state ranks 10th in the nation in greatest decline in prices at the pump since May. The national average price of gas dropped six cents on the week to $2.69, following an unusual, but consistent downward trend since Memorial Day. “Pump prices usually increase during the summer months due to increased demand,” AAA spokesperson Leslie Gamble said. “However, the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report reveals that total domestic gasoline inventories jumped a million barrels last week, helping to push pump prices lower. Strong production output and increased imports have helped gasoline storage levels grow consistently over the past four weeks.”
Even an attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman didn’t affect pricing at the pump. Crude prices increased late last week as a result with West Texas Intermediate rising 23 cents to settle at $52.51. This attack heightened market fears that rising tensions could continue in the Middle East and negatively impact crude oil availability. Approximately 20% of global crude supplies flow through the waterway. The Trump Administration attributed the attack to Iran, however, the country denies the accusation. If tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalate, the market will likely continue pushing global crude prices higher.
Before market fears increased, the price of crude hit its lowest point in six months last week. The drop in crude oil prices was supported by EIA revealing that total domestic crude inventories continue to grow. An oversupply of crude has increased concerns that the market has a glut of oil – even as U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have worked to reduce global supply. Moreover, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduced their global oil demand outlook for the remainder of 2019 to 1.14 million b/d – down 70,000 barrels b/d from OPEC’s previous demand forecast due to reduced global trade as a result of tensions between the U.S., China, and Mexico. At its upcoming meeting on June 25-26, the cartel and its partners are expected to extend the current agreement to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day through the end of 2019. Reduced global supply, amid robust demand, could increase crude prices in the latter half of the year.
According to the latest EIA report, gasoline demand reached 9.877 million b/d last week – the 6th highest weekly count on record. Current demand levels are on par with volumes seen this same time last year (9.879 million b/d). Today’s national average is $2.68, which is six cents cheaper than last week, 17 cents less than last month and 20 cents less than the same time last year.
The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Ohio (-29 cents), Michigan (-28 cents), Indiana (-26 cents), California (-23 cents), Mississippi (-21 cents), Kentucky (-21 cents), Illinois (-21 cents), Tennessee (-19 cents), North Carolina (-19 cents) and Oklahoma (-19 cents).
The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: California ($3.81), Hawaii ($3.64), Washington ($3.41), Nevada ($3.41), Alaska ($3.38), Oregon ($3.28), Idaho ($3.10), Utah ($3.09), Arizona ($2.97) and New York ($2.86).