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AAA: Gas prices reach 2017 high

gas pricesToday’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $2.41. This price is two cents more expensive than one week ago, 12 cents more than one month ago and 30 cents more than one year ago.

The national average is at its highest price this year and has now increased for 20 consecutive days. Pump prices in 43 states and Washington D.C. have moved higher over the last week. This increase was most prevalent in the East Coast region where refiners wrapped up seasonal turnaround resulting in significant prices increases last week.

Pennsylvania ($2.64), Washington, DC ($2.55), New York ($2.52) and Connecticut ($2.48) all land on the list of top 15 most expensive markets. The region made the final switch to summer-blend gasoline last week, causing states in the region to top the list of largest weekly increases: Delaware (+9 cents), Vermont (+6 cents), Maryland (+6 cents), North Carolina (+5 cents), Rhode Island (+5 cents), Maine (+5 cents) and Pennsylvania (+5 cents). Compared to this same time last year, New Jersey (+43 cents), Delaware (+36 cents), and Pennsylvania (+35 cents) are seeing significant increases at the pump. This trend is likely the result of the region’s move toward less substantial gasoline imports.

Last week, crude oil futures held onto the week’s gains closing out above $53 per barrel. Competitive prices were led by reports that OPEC and non-OPEC compliance is above 90 percent and the countries are considering extending production cuts beyond June, the original end date for the agreement reached last November. Participating OPEC countries plan to meet on May 25 to discuss how an extension of their agreement could further rebalance global oil supply and inventory levels.

Markets opened Monday morning with less confidence, countered somewhat by growing U.S. production. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a larger-than-expected decline in oil stockpiles last week showing growth in U.S. oil output. National crude oil output reached a one-year high of an estimated 9.1 million b/d in March this year. Last week’s Baker Hughes oil rig count report — which showed the U.S. adding 11 rigs last week, bringing the total rig count to 683 — is further evidence of increased U.S. production. Traders will continue to watch the impact that increased U.S. production has on OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market. At the close of last week’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up seven cents to settle at $53.18 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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