Gas Price Update for October 19, 2015

Gas Prices Decline Week On Week

2015-10-19-trendU.S. gas prices dropped about five cents, on average, during the past week, with prices in many areas already below the $2.00 mark. However, the U.S. average remains well above that threshold, with the official price settling this week at $2.28 per gallon, according to the weekly release from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The highest gas prices are found on the west coast, particularly in California. The average price of gas in the far west was $2.70 per gallon, the highest of all the survey regions. The lowest was the gulf coast, where the official average price is at $2.00.

Prices by region are as follows, ranked highest to lowest.


Editor's note: This story has been edited with the following corrections: 1) The gas price graphic was changed to a) correct the trend color on the price and to b) reflect the correct price differential; 2) The story has been edited to a) correct the weekly gas price decline and b) to correct the weekly average price.

Gas Price Hikes Slow As Summer Driving Begins

Prices Up More Than 12 Percent Since Late April

Gas prices have surged an average 36% since the end of January, when prices hit their low point.

Gas prices have surged an average 36% since the end of January, when prices hit their low point.

A spate of mid-spring gas price hikes, closely tied to a rebound in crude oil prices, has begun to slow with the onset of the summer driving season. Nonetheless, weeks of unrelenting price hikes have pushed the retail price of gasoline up about 30¢ per gallon since late April, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The surge in retail prices has reclaimed price gains made in favor of consumers since the middle of summer 2014.

The biggest price increases happened in a three week period from April 20 through May 4, when prices shot up 8 and 9 cents per week. By the middle of May, price increases were smaller, but remained persistent. It is unclear whether the pace of increases will continue to slow, which normally happens this time of year.

Year Over Year, Prices Down By Almost A Dollar

While the recent price gains for retailers may seem to sting the consumer, the overall picture is actually quite good. Going into summer 2015, drivers around the U.S. are paying almost a dollar less for every gallon of gas they buy. From the Gulf Coast to the New England states, prices are down anywhere from 95¢ per gallon to over $1.00. However, drivers in California, hit hardest by recent price increases, are only realizing a year-on-year price break of about 50¢ per gallon.

In all, the recent weekly price increases, which started in earnest in late April, are shown in the graphics below, highlighting weekly U.S. averages and regional high and low points. A synopsis of the week’s activity is summarized. The E.I.A. weekly price tables are also included.

May 25, 2015

2015-05-25-trend With the onset of the summer driving season,  gas prices are 73¢ per gallon higher than when they hit their low spot on January 26. In the four months since, crude oil stabilized and global demand began to shrink. But refineries also switched to summer blended gasoline, which adds to seasonal price increases.

Even so, the price differential from late January represents a 36% jump in retail gas prices. Put a different way, if the weekly price increases are averaged, prices have gone up 4.3¢ every week since February began.

Download the weekly EIA Gas Price Survey for May 25

May 18, 2015

2015-05-18-trend As the retail gas price reversal continues, prices have during the May 18, 2015 E.I.A. survey hit a figure most consumers had not seen since just after Thanksgiving the previous year. Price increases since April 20 had pushed consumer costs up 35¢ per gallon, erasing a significant portion of the gains drivers had enjoyed in the retail price arena.

The bounce in prices in the May 18 report was offset by news the same day that crude oil supplies would remain high, a potential indicator of steady or even lower gas prices in the weeks ahead.

Download the weekly EIA Gas Price Survey for May 18

May 11, 2015

2015-05-11-trendWeeks of unsteady increases in crude oil prices had been adding to the retail price hikes, but the price at the pump did not increase as much the week of May 11, 2015. The weekly E.I.A. report showed the average price nationwide increased three cents per gallon, but that was less than half the rate of the previous three weeks.

Nonetheless, the damage had been done. By the time of the May 11 report, consumer gas prices had jumped an average of 20¢ in less than a month.

Download the weekly EIA Gas Price Survey for May 11

May 4, 2015

2015-05-04-trendCrude oil prices have been rising on an unsteady course since the middle of March, pushing  consumer gas prices higher. The weekly price report for May 4 showed the strongest weekly price hike since the February 9, 2015 report, when prices soared 12¢ week on week.

The region hit hardest by the price gains was the West Coast, where a significant surge in California’s gas prices dragged the entire regional price index higher by 24¢ per gallon. That nearly matched the previous three weeks’ worth of increases in the national averages.

Download the weekly EIA Gas Price Survey for May 4

April 27, 2015

2015-04-27-trendWith crude oil prices continuing to climb,  consumers continued to pay the price at the pump the week of April 27. Prices jumped 8 cents for the second consecutive week, pushing the national average over the $2.50 threshold, and rapidly pushing the national average price closer to $2.60, a level not seen since December.

Meanwhile, drivers on the West coast were hit hard with a 21¢ weekly price hike.

Crude oil, which had been threatening to close over 60 dollars per barrel for the first time in months, would finally do so only three days later.

Download the weekly EIA Gas Price Survey for April 27

April 20, 2015

2015-04-20-trendIt has been five weeks since the late-winter price surges that pushed gas prices from a national average low of $2.04 per gallon to $2.49 per gallon by March 9. However, prices had remained little changed since that time, going down only a few cents in the intervening weeks.

The April 20 gas price survey showed prices were about to soar from week to week, but the gains would not be as severe as the double-digit weekly price hikes of early February.

Download the weekly EIA Gas Price Survey for April 20

Gas Prices Rise And Fall Based On Regional Influences

2015-04-13-trendOhio Gas Prices Spike, Holding U.S. Average In Check

The national average price of gas barely moved during the past week, according to the latest weekly report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The E.I.A. report shows U.S. gas prices remained unchanged at $2.41 per gallon, but region by region, the numbers tell a different story. For instance, drivers in California are paying about 5¢ less for gas this week, but drivers in Ohio are paying 11¢ more. Midwestern gas prices are typically the most volatile and can often influence the national average, as was the case during the past week.

Meanwhile, prices were mixed across the country, with prices across New England dropping by about a penny. However, prices across the Central Atlantic and Lower Atlantic states rose slightly, putting the broader East Coast prices slightly higher. For drivers in the Rocky Mountains, prices went up about three cents per gallon.

Truckers Get A Break With Diesel Prices Down

Meanwhile, the price of diesel dropped in every region last week, a good sign for truckers. The average price for a gallon of diesel fuel dropped an even 3¢ during the past week to $2.75 per gallon. Prices were down between two and four cents per gallon in every region except the West Coast, where a one-penny per gallon increase in California prevented the regional average from moving significantly. The West Coast averages, sans the Golden State, were down two cents per gallon.

Crude Oil Prices Are Up, But So Is Crude Supply

Pipeline Crossroads Monument

Crude oil supplies in Cushing, Oklahoma are high, the result of crude production in the U.S. Photo: Ben Cochran via

Meanwhile, crude oil prices have been climbing slowly but steadily for the past month, for both domestic and overseas crude. The price of West Texas Intermediate was set to open early Tuesday at just over $52 per barrel after climbing about a half-dollar in overnight trading. Brent Crude was poised to open at just over $58 per barrel. That could signal a potential rise in fuel prices in the short term, but the longer-term forecast is that prices will continue to drop through the year.

The E.I.A. reported last week the price of Brent crude is likely to fall as much as 40 percent this year, and U.S. crude oil stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, are enough to supply the country for the next 30 days, keeping downward pressure on retail prices.


Retail Gas Gets Cheaper As Spring Break Ends

EDITOR’S NOTE: This week’s gas price story is abbreviated because we are completing the redevelopment of The gas price stories will resume in their expanded news format on April 13, 2015. The weekly trend chart and U.S. government survey will continue to be update.

2015-04-06-trendThe cost of gas dropped nearly 4¢ per gallon, on average, across the United States last week, according to the latest weekly survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The E.I.A. report shows the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded dropped from $2.45 to $2.41 per gallon on the week, an about face that could signal a return to steadily-declining fuel prices.

The highest average price for gas, on a regional basis, fell below $3.00 per gallon once more during the week, as West Coast drivers enjoyed watching nearly a nickel come off the price of their gas. The price of gas was lowest along the Gulf Coast, where the average is now $2.18.

Note: Regular gas price and oil industry news coverage resumes April 13, 2015.


Florida Sunpass Clients Due Refunds

State Of Florida Looking For Sunpass Users With Inactive Accounts

FDOT-100THSunpass account holders who have not used their transponders to pay tolls during the past three years are due a refund of money in their account, according to a news release from the Florida Department of Transportation.

In a news release issued this morning, FDOTspokesman Chad Huff wrote, “About 19,000 Floridians have open accounts with positive balances that haven’t been accessed or updated in the past 36 months.

“Under Florida statutes, FDOT is required is required to remit funds from accounts that haven’t been accessed within three years to the Florida Bureau of Unclaimed Propert,” Mr. Huff further wrote.

Holders of these dormant accounts will be receiving letters from FDOT, but state officials acknowledge some users may not be easily reached. Some people “may have simply moved to a different area and never … closed their account,” Mr. Huff stated.

Those who can be reached and wish to close their old Sunpass account will get a refund of any balance that remains on the books. Anyone who wishes to update their account may also do so. Anyone who believes they may be due a refund may contact the FDOT on email to request assistance updating or closing their old Sunpass accounts. That email is

Gas Prices Level Off

EDITOR’S NOTE: This week’s gas price story is abbreviated because we are completing the redevelopment of The gas price stories will resume in their expanded news format on April 13, 2015. The weekly trend chart and U.S. government survey will continue to be updated as usual.

Gas Prices Dip Slightly According To Weekly Survey

Gas price trend for week of March 30, 2015The price of gas across the United States dropped by an average of one penny per gallon last week, according to the weekly gas price survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The weekly E.I.A. report shows the bulk of Americans are paying anywhere from 2¢ to 5¢ less per gallon, but pricing increases across the Lower Atlantic states and the Rocky Mountain survey region kept the broader U.S. price average from dropping further. California drivers enjoyed a significant price drop, which helped bring the West Coast price average down about a nickel per gallon to an even $3.00. The lowest gas prices in the country are currently found in Texas and along the Gulf Coast, where the average regional price is just under $2.19 per gallon.

Note: Regular gas price and oil industry news coverage resumes April 13, 2015.


Gas Prices Fall For Most, But Jump Across Midwest

Gas price trend for week of March 23, 2015Regional Price Volatility Drags U.S. Average Higher

The price of a gallon of gasoline went down for most drivers during the past week, but regional increases across the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states dragged the national average gas price higher during the past week. Even so, that increase was less than a penny per gallon, as the national average price performed a technical rise from $2.45 to $2.46. The week on week price changes are detailed in the regular weekly update from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Volatility spikes in prices across the Midwest resulted in prices jumping nearly 11¢ in that region, as gas stations from Chicago to Cleveland reflected overland shipping costs, which had been higher in recent weeks due to winter weather events. For drivers in Ohio, prices surged over 14¢ per gallon as the Buckeye State, again, bore the brunt of Midwest price changes.

Regional upward pricing volatility did not extend to the Rocky Mountain states, although prices did push higher during the past week by about 2¢. Curiously, however, prices in Denver, Colorado, declined by about that same amount during the past week, perhaps suppressing a broader regional price hike.

For Most, Gas Prices Are Cheaper This Week

For most Americans, regional gas prices went down between 3¢ and 7¢ per gallon, with steeper price declines in some states cities. Along the U.S. West Coast, which endured shocking price hikes during February, prices went down in some cities by as much as 12¢, notably Los Angeles. Those declines, often tied to California, extended as far north as Seattle, although prices in the Emerald City only declined about 8¢ per gallon.

Prices were also down significantly across the East Coast survey districts, particularly New England, which brought the broader East Coast index down by an average of 4¢, although prices in the Lower Atlantic states, which includes populous Florida, only declined about 3¢.

Year On Year, Gasoline Is Less Costly

Overall, however, year on year prices are still significantly lower than the early Spring driving period in 2014.  Average prices are down well over $1.00 per gallon, and by as much as $1.35 in some states. And while crude oil has been highly volatile in recent weeks, the broad consensus among energy sector financial analysts, is that periodic price disruptions due to regional conflicts are not likely to pressure crude oil prices to move higher. Instead, global supply remains very high, due in large part to U.S. crude oil production, which continues to put downward pressure on domestic and overseas contracts.


Gas Prices Slip Downward After Weeks Of Increases

Domestic And Overseas Crude Oil Destabilized

2015-03-16-trendThe price of gas did an about-face in most regions of the country during the past week, according to the latest weekly gas price survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The E.I.A. report shows the average U.S. cost for a gallon of regular unleaded fell to $3.45 per gallon. While the national average price fell 3.4¢, the declines in some regions were barely felt, while other survey districts enjoyed larger price drops.

Regional Gas Price Shifts Vary Widely

Midwestern gas prices, usually quite volatile, had among the larger price declines during the past week, with prices slipped won just over a nickel per gallon. Those price drops were outpaced only by the West Coast region, which was hit hard just two weeks ago by substantial double-digit price increases. West Coast gasoline declined nearly 7¢ per gallon last week, but the bigger declines were confined to California and its large metropolitan areas. Remove the Golden State from the averages, and West Coast gas only went down about 4¢ per gallon.

Meanwhile, the drivers across the Rockies are paying much more for gas this week than last, according to the E.I.A., which reports the price of unleaded went up by about 6¢ per gallon in the Rocky Mountain survey region, the only region to experience a price increase. Prices across that area settled at about $2.29 per gallon, but that is well below the national average.

Black diesel pump nozzleGas Price Trends Extend To Trucking Industry

The Rocky Mountain region price increases affected truckers and haulers, too. The cost of diesel increased by about a penny per gallon across the survey district last week, while the broader national average price of diesel was down nearly 3¢ last week. For truckers driving across New England, the price of diesel fell just over 6¢, giving that region the biggest price decline of the week. For those regions experiencing an actual drop in diesel prices, the Lower Atlantic states had the lowest overall price decline, at just over a penny per gallon.

Crude Oil Prices Once Again In Focus

The about-face in gas prices came as crude oil began destabilizing once more at the end of last week. Prices had been lurking in a range from the high $40 per barrel to low $50 per barrel range for domestic crude, West Texas Intermediate. Brent crude, the overseas benchmark, had been trading in the high $50 per barrel to low $60 per barrel range. As of Tuesday morning, however, both futures indices had fallen substantially, with WTI now trading in the low $40 per barrel range and Brent in the low $50 per barrel range.

Broader Issues Than Supply And Demand At Play

The decline in prices can be traced to a pair of primary factors. The first is the glut of domestic crude being produced by the United States, which has been a significant factor in the pricing equation for months. The other issue is the strength of the U.S. dollar, which has been gaining ground in recent weeks due to the anticipated end of bond buying by the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. Meanwhile, the Eurozone economies are about to experience their own brand of quantitative easing, which has resulted in a weaker Euro. Combined, the actions of the Fed and the European Central Bank have many investors fleeing to U.S. dollars, which makes U.S. oil more expensive overseas.


Gas Prices Skirt Upward, Decline In Midwest

National Average Moves Higher By Two Cents

Gas price trend for week of March 9, 2015The national average price of a gallon of gas went up another two cents during the past week, as detailed in the latest pricing survey released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The E.I.A. report shows the average gas price in the U.S. is now $2.49 per gallon, which is 45¢ higher than just five weeks ago. However, the price is still down well over $1.00 from this period a year ago.

The price of gas surged across the West Coast last week, and while price increases were not as substantial this week, they dragged the national averages higher. The Rocky Mountain states also experienced a surge in pricing, as the region gave up its tenuous slot as the cheapest region for gas.

Gas prices in Round Rock, Texas, near Austin. prices have jumped nearly 30¢ in the past month.

Gas prices in Round Rock, Texas, near Austin, adjacent to the TX-45 toll road. Prices there have jumped nearly 30¢ in the past month. Photo: Eric Scallion.

The Gulf Coast states, typically the place to find the least-expensive gas, reclaimed their slot as the cheapest place in the nation to buy fuel. Prices across the West Coast went up 5¢ per gallon, but when California is removed from the equation, the price increases were closer to 11¢ per gallon. That trend also held in the Rocky Mountains, where prices jumped 11¢ week on week.

In the Midwestern states, where prices are typically volatile, the price of gas actually went down, the only region to show a pricing retreat in the past week. The cost of fuel dipped by 4¢ to settle at $2.34 per gallon, which is also well below the national average.

Diesel Fuel Costs Rise, But Slowly Compared To Unleaded

The price of diesel fuel continues to creep upward, and it is only creeping, indeed. The price of a gallon of diesel, nationwide, is now averaging about $2.94, up about one penny on the week. Diesel prices have been rising slowly, compared with their unleaded fuel counterparts, but that also follows a much slower decline in prices, too. Retail diesel costs did not decline as quickly as unleaded gasoline during the last six months of 2014.

Crude Oil, Summer Gas And Strong Dollar Influencing Prices

The price of crude oil continues to influence retail gas prices, but the wholesale gasoline prices are also playing a substantial role. Despite a glut of oil domestically and around the world, U.S. prices are rising, in part, because of a switch to summer fuel blends, which are more expensive to produce. Gas prices typically increase in the first few months of the year, ahead of the summer driving season.

The stronger U.S. dollar is also creating problems, because it makes U.S. oil more expensive on the open markets, driving global prices higher, and that can reverberate on the U.S. retail gasoline market. The timing of that influence, however, remains to be seen.


Gas Prices Surge Amid Shifting Output And Refinery Changes

Gas price trend for week of March 2, 2015Crude Oil Prices Stabilizing As Summer Blends Go Into Production

Consumer gas prices shot higher during the past week, up nearly 50¢ per gallon in some states, as the overall U.S. gas price settled at $2.47. That nationwide average is up by about 14¢ per gallon, lead by a major shift in prices along the West Coast, where prices went up an average of 37¢ per gallon. The stunning price increases are a major shift for U.S. drivers who, for six months from July 2014 through January 2015, experienced a precipitous decline in prices. The weekly averages are detailed in the regular fuel price survey by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Regional Gas Prices Stun Area Drivers

Region by region, prices were up anywhere from 8¢ per gallon, as in the Rocky Mountain states, to upwards of 37¢ per gallon, a price increase shock experienced by drivers on the U.S. West Coast. State by state, the numbers were equally hard-hitting. In California, drivers are paying 45¢ more for per gallon this week than last, and drivers in Washington state are paying 27¢ per gallon more. In Florida, where spring breakers are about to inundate the Sunshine State, prices went up 11¢ per gallon.

Crude Oil Stabilizes But Not Quite Into Recovery Mode

Meanwhile, the price of crude oil, which had been the arbiter of consumer gas prices during the past several months, is reclaiming some strength and has been trading in a tighter range during the past few weeks. The overall spate of declines, experience since last summer, appears to have come to an end. West Texas Intermediate, the domestic crude benchmark, has stabilized at around $50 per barrel, while the overseas index, Brent, has been trading above $60 per barrel.

Summer Driving Affecting Winter Drivers

Meanwhile, production of refined fuels in the United States has been shifting to summer blends of gasoline, and that means the overall retail price of gas will continue to climb, even if no other pricing pressures get in the way. The problem is there are many pressures contributing to  the higher gas price, including the shuttering of under-producing or older refineries and a strong U.S. dollar, which makes U.S. oil exports more expensive on open markets.