The national gas average stayed steady over the past week, growing by only “fractions of a penny,” AAA reported, to reach $2.28 per gallon for regular unleaded gas on Feb. 21. The price is five cents less than last month and 56 cents more than the same date a year ago.
Low driving demand and an oversupplied market thanks to increased U.S. production are the reason behind flat pump prices. AAA predicted that as refinery maintenance season begins and driving demand increases supply should dip.
Gas prices on the West Coast remain the highest in the country, with every state in the region landing on the top ten list of most expensive markets, with Hawaii ($3.12) and California ($2.90) topping the list.
In the Rockies drivers have seen “a mixed bag” of modest increases and decreases over the past week, AAA noted. “Issues with the Wahsatch Pipeline, which receives crude oil from locations near Evanston, Wyo. and delivers to refineries in Salt Lake City has caused supply problems for some refiners in the area,” AAA reported.
Meanwhile, retail averages have remained stable in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern region, moving by a penny or less in most areas.
The Great Lakes and Central States continue to be the most volatile regions in the country for gas prices. Adding to the issue, several refineries in the region cut production rates this week due to planned and unplanned maintenance.
South and Southeastern states continue to dominate the rankings of the nation’s least expensive markets for gas. South Carolina ($2.04), Alabama ($2.06) and Tennessee ($2.06) are the nation’s cheapest markets for retail gasoline.
In an agreement last November OPEC and non-OPEC countries agreed to cut crude production by 1.8 barrels per day for six months starting in 2017. OPEC’s most recent Monthly Oil Market Report stated that participating countries successfully implemented 90% of the agreed production cuts.