August 6, 2013
For Immediate Release
Gas Prices Dip to Start August
But Oregon average is second-highest on record for this calendar day; national average is third-highest
“Drivers in all but ten states are paying less for gasoline than a week ago. The national average for regular unleaded slips two cents this week to $3.61, while Oregon’s statewide average also falls two cents to $3.86.” AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says, “Through the first six days in August, the national average is down about two cents and Oregon’s average is down about one-and-a-half cents. Despite the small decreases, the national average is still the third highest on record for this calendar day. The highest price was $3.87 in 2008 and the second highest was $3.70 in 2011. In Oregon, the current price is the second highest on record for this calendar day. The highest price was $4.05 in 2008 and the third highest was $3.75 in 2011.”
The national and Oregon averages remain lower than the peak price so far this year. The 2013 peak price for the national average is $3.79 on February 27. The peak price for the Oregon average this year $3.98 on May 22.
Gas prices can be volatile during the month of August. The national average declined by 5.9 cents in August of 2010 and 8.9 cents in August of 2011, but increased by 33 cents during the month last year.
AAA expects that gas prices in the coming weeks may increase due to the potential for late-summer hurricanes and accompanying refinery problems. These types of issues can disrupt production, distribution and gasoline supply at a time when many Americans are filling up their tanks for summer travel. However, if no major hurricanes threaten the Gulf Coast and refineries continue to run smoothly heading into the mid-September changeover to winter-blend gasoline, gas prices could remain flat or even decline further.
Slightly cheaper West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices have provided some downward pressure on gas prices. The price of WTI has retreated somewhat from the 16-month high of $108.05 per barrel on July 19, but it remains near the highest level for this time of year since 2008. The driving factors continue to be positive signs for the global economy and continued unrest in Egypt. Egypt is not a major oil producer; however it does have control over both the Suez Canal and Sumed Pipeline, which are key points of transit for the global crude oil supply in the Middle East.
At the close of Monday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled down 38 cents at $106.56 per barrel. Today WTI is trading around $106, compared to $103 a week ago. WTI prices are up about two percent in the last month.
This week two states have regular unleaded at or above $4 a gallon, down from three last week. For the 25th consecutive week, there are no states below $3 a gallon. Hawaii has the most expensive gas in the country for the 42nd consecutive week at $4.37, followed by Alaska at $4.06, Connecticut at $3.99, California at $3.95 (down four cents and fourth for the second week in a row), and Washington at $3.91 (down two cents and fifth for the third week in a row). Oregon is seventh for the second consecutive week at $3.86 (down two cents). Idaho is ninth up from 11th last week at $3.84 (up four cents). For the 16th week in a row, South Carolina has the cheapest gas in the nation at $3.28 a gallon (down three cents).
Diesel prices are fairly stable in many markets this week. The national average remains at $3.88. Oregon’s diesel average holds steady at $3.93. Diesel is at or above $4 a gallon in nine states (including the District of Columbia), same as last week. Hawaii is most expensive at $4.91, followed by Alaska at $4.29, Connecticut at $4.21, New York at $4.20, and California at $4.15 (up two cents). Washington is eighth down from seventh last week at $4.05 (same as last week). Idaho is seventh up from eighth last week at $4.06 (up a nickel). Oregon is 20th down from 18th last week. A year ago, the national average for diesel was $3.82 and Oregon's was $3.90.
Fuel prices are updated daily at AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge at www.aaafuelgaugereport.com/. To check fuel prices across Oregon and the nation, go to the AAA Fuel Price Finder at www.AAA.com. AAA Oregon/Idaho provides more than 749,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services, and is an affiliate of AAA National, serving more than 53 million motorists in North America.