On Feb. 8, gas prices reached a national average price of $1.74 per gallon, a whopping $1.07 less than the peak 2015 price reached in June.
AAA reported that domestic crude oil inventories reached their highest level for this time of year in nearly 80 years, and gas prices are expected to remain low in the near term, unless there are any major disruptions in supply.
Typically, gas demand begins its upswing in February hitting its peak in August. February also brings the start of spring refinery maintenance season. The increase in demand in combination with the reduced supply are known to push pump prices higher. But unlike previous years, AAA pointed out, both gasoline and crude oil supplies are at record levels and the Midwest and the West (usually volatile markets) are both reporting ample supply. These factors could prevent the typical upward price shift unless any major disruptions in supply or production appear.
Some 44 states now boast gas prices below $2 per gallon. Oklahoma ($1.42) and Missouri ($1.43) are the nation’s least expensive markets. Hawaii ($2.63) and California ($2.50) continue to lead the market on price.