PITTSBURGH — The average price of gasoline across Western Pennsylvania is two cents higher this week at $2.471 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in Bradford is $2.479; Brookville is $2.499; DuBois is $2.469; Erie, $2.490; and Warren, $2.499.
At $2.18, the national gas price average increased by one cent on the week. The minimal change reflects the slow movement at pumps across the country on the week. Most states saw pump prices fluctuate by a penny, if at all. A few states in the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West saw more significant jumps, including North Carolina (+7 cents), Kentucky (+6 cents), Virginia (+5 cents) and West Virginia (+5 cents), while Indiana (-5 cents) holds the spot for the largest weekly decrease. The increase in these states could be a result of increased demand, but nationally demand saw a one-week decline.
The Energy Information Administration recorded gasoline stocks at their largest one-week decline since May. Total stocks fell by 4 million barrels down to 243.7 million. Year-over-year, stocks are at a 10 million surplus while demand sits 1.3 million b/d less. U.S refinery utilization rates continue to hover at 80%.
This week the market is watching Tropical Storms Marco and Laura. Marco, whose force is decreasing and is expected to be a tropical depression late on Tuesday, is less of a concern. However, Laura is forecasted to move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and become a hurricane by early Tuesday.
According to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, approximately 58 percent, or 1.065 million b/d, of crude production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shuttered ahead of the storms and 114 (18%) platforms evacuated. While gasoline stocks remain at a healthy level, if platforms and rigs are offline for an extended amount of time, supply could tighten and gas prices could be impacted. AAA will continue to monitor activity and provide related gas price updates.