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Apr-26-2022 11:18printcomments

Oregon Gas Prices Steady as Price of Oil Stays High

"Pump prices will struggle to fall as long as the price of oil remains elevated."

gas prices
Graph: AAA/Oregon

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - The recent dip in gas prices has reversed as crude oil prices remain stubbornly elevated. Upward pricing pressure on concerns that less Russian oil will enter the global market is countered by fears of a COVID-induced economic slowdown in China, the world’s leading oil consumer.

These opposing forces are causing the oil price to remain near $100 per barrel. For the week, the national average for regular adds three cents to $4.13 a gallon. The Oregon average holds steady at $4.67.

“Pump prices will struggle to fall as long as the price of oil remains elevated. While pump prices have slipped from record highs set in March, consumers shouldn’t expect any dramatic drops this spring,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.

The national and Oregon averages are both a bit lower than their record highs set last month. The national average peaked at $4.331 on March 11 while the Oregon average peaked at $4.739 on March 11.

These prices eclipse the old record highs set in 2008 when the national average peaked at $4.11 on July 17, and the Oregon average peaked at $4.29 on July 3.

On average, about 53% of what we pay for in a gallon of gasoline is for the price of crude oil,12% is refining, 21% distribution and marketing, and 15% are taxes, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

About 3% of oil, and a total of 8% of oil and refined products used in the U.S. last year came from Russia, while about 25% of Europe’s oil is imported from Russia. The U.S. is the largest oil producer in the world. Other top producers are Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Demand for gasoline in the U.S. is up slightly, despite the high pump prices, from 8.73 million b/d to 8.86 million b/d. Total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by nearly 1 million bbl to 232.3 million bbl last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

A Sweet Surprise: Consumers can enjoy a tasty gas price–related treat courtesy of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

For the next two Wednesdays, Krispy Kreme will lower the price of a dozen Original Glazed donuts to the national average that AAA reports each Monday.

The offer runs through Wednesday, May 4th. A dozen glazed doughnuts typically cost around $12.

This Wednesday’s dozen should cost $4.12, not including sales tax, only in shop, drive-through, and online pickup.

Quick stats

Oregon is one of 11 states where prices have changed by a penny or less in the last week, while 41 states and the District of Columbia have week-over-week increases. Delaware (+15 cents) has the largest weekly jump. North Carolina (-2 cents) has the largest weekly drop.

California ($5.68) is the most expensive state in the nation and is one of three states with an average above $5 a gallon. There are 26 states and the District of Columbia with an average at or above $4 a gallon.

The cheapest gas in the nation is in Georgia ($3.71) and Arkansas ($3.74). This week no states have averages below $3 a gallon, same as a week ago. For the 68th week in a row, no state has an average below $2 a gallon.

Oregon is one of 39 states and the District of Columbia with lower prices now than a month ago. The national average is 11 cents less and the Oregon average is six cents less than a month ago. Connecticut (-30 cents) has the largest month-over-month drop. Maryland (+27 cents) has the largest monthly increase.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have higher prices now than a year ago. Every state and D.C. have a current average that’s a dollar or more higher than a year ago.

The national average is $1.24 more and the Oregon average is $1.42 more than a year ago. This is the sixth-largest yearly increase in the nation. California (+$1.69) has the biggest yearly increase. Georgia (+$1.02) has the smallest year-over-year increase.

West Coast

The West Coast region continues to have the most expensive pump prices in the nation with all seven states in the top 10. This is typical for the West Coast as this region tends to consistently have fairly tight supplies, consuming about as much gasoline as is produced.

California is the most expensive state for the 66th week in a row with Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Arizona rounding out the top seven. Oregon is fifth for the second week in a row.

Like the rest of the country, all seven states in the region have week-over-week decreases. Nevada (-8 cents) has the largest decline in the region. Alaska (-2 cents) has the smallest weekly decrease in the region.

Like most other states in the nation, all seven states in the region are seeing minimal movement in pump prices again this week. California (-2 cents) has the largest weekly decline in the region. Hawaii (+1 cent) has the region’s largest weekly increase.

The refinery utilization rate on the West Coast fell from 84.4% to 84.0% for the week ending April 15. The rate has ranged between about 76% and 90% in the last year.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region fell from 30.09 million bbl to 29.60 million bbl.

Oil market dynamics

Crude prices weakened at the end of the day Friday due to demand concerns in Shanghai as fears of a demand-reducing slowdown in global economic activity loom.

Crude prices declined despite EIA reporting that total domestic oil inventories decreased by 8.1 million barrels to 413.7 million barrels. This week, crude prices could see further reductions if demand concerns continue to drag the market down.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $1.72 to settle at $102.07. At Monday’s formal trading session, WTI fell $3.53 to close at $98.54.

Today, crude is trading around $101, compared to $103 a week ago. Crude prices are about $36 more than a year ago.

Source: AAA/Oregon

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