Gas prices up from a week ago

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Today’s pump price average in Oklahoma – $2.07 per gallon – is two cents higher than it was a week ago and five cents above the mark recorded two weeks ago, according to GasPrices.AAA.com.

“Gas prices had been rising across the nation and here in Oklahoma,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “The good news for motorists is that over the weekend, the state average reversed course — at least for the moment — and fell a penny.”

Gas prices in Bartlesville were $2.01 a gallon for regular unleaded, while they were $2.08 in Ponca City. According to gasbuddy.com, gas prices in Pawhuska were reported at 2.08 per gallon.

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has increased for 12 of the past 14 days, reaching today’s price of $2.26 per gallon. Today’s average price is 3 cents more than one week ago, 8 cents more than one month ago and 6 cents less than one year ago.

Over the weekend, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina saw the arrival of Hurricane Matthew and residents in those areas expressed significant concerns about the availability of gasoline leading up to and following the storm. Ports and fuel terminals in all three states were closed ahead of the storm. Fortunately, there were no refineries threatened by the path of the storm and by Friday afternoon many ports in southern Florida were already cleared by the Coast Guard and open to receive vessels.

Many coastal ports are expected to reopen on Monday, allowing waterborne deliveries of gasoline to continue. Barring any delays due to flooding and power outages, tanker trucks should be able to access terminals and quickly resupply stations across the impacted areas.

Quick Stats

• The West Coast continues to be the most expensive market for gasoline, including the only six states where drivers are paying $2.50 or more on average: Hawaii ($2.84), California ($2.79) Washington ($2.72), Alaska ($2.64), Oregon ($2.52) and Nevada ($2.50).

• The states with the largest increases this week are Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+10 cents), Missouri (+8 cents), West Virginia (+8 cents), Ohio (+8 cents), Illinois (+6 cents) and Florida (+6 cents).

Central States

Pump prices in the Great Lakes region saw significant increases over the past week. Regional prices remain impacted by two factors - seasonal refinery work at key plants like BP’s 430,000-b/d Whiting refinery and replenishment of inventory lost last month, when product had to be moved from Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to assist states in the Southeast impacted by problems on the Colonial Pipeline. While prices in recent weeks have been a mixed bag of increases and decreases, regional prices over the past week have moved universally higher, with five Midwestern states making the list of top increases: Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+10 cents), Missouri (+8 cents), Ohio (+8 cents), Illinois (+6 cents).

The Central United States has some of the cheapest prices in the country, although prices have followed the national average higher over the past week. Four states in the region feature in the top-15 lowest: Arkansas ($2.05), Missouri ($2.07), Oklahoma ($2.07) and Tennessee ($2.14).

Oil Market Dynamics

Attention is now focused on whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will alter production in order to influence prices higher. OPEC members are scheduled to have a number of meetings before the end of November in order to identify the details of an output agreement, which has supported the bearish sentiment for crude oil over the past week. Traders will keep a close eye on OPEC negotiations moving forward and will be on the lookout for an oil production framework. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 63 cents to settle at $49.81 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.