AAA Shows Gas UP 1-Cent...Unchanged In 'Boro!

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Here in Murfreesboro gas prices showed a one-cent increase from the previous week with regular gas at $1.88. But AAA forecasts that prices could rise another 3-5 cents this week, due to recent strength in the oil market and rising wholesale gasoline prices. The average price for gasoline in Tennessee is $2.01 per gallon.

Tennessee motorists are paying 1-cent more than a week ago. However, the average price is still 7 cents less than last month, and 35 cents less than this time last year. Despite the anticipated uptick, the state average remains 72 cents per gallon less than last year's high, and 68 cents per gallon less than what Tennessee motorists paid in October.

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LOWEST - HIGHEST

It's interesting that Murfreesboro has again captured the place to buy the lowest price gas again, whereas the most expensive petro is just 30-miles down the road in neighboring Nashville.

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  • Most expensive gas price averages: Nashville ($2.07), Jackson ($2.03), Johnson City ($2.01)
  • Least expensive gas price averages: Murfreesboro ($1.88), Chattanooga ($1.94), Cleveland ($1.95), Morristown ($1.95)

"Rising gas prices are not uncommon during the month of January," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Last January, pump prices jumped 10-20 cents in various markets. The reason was the same then as it is now - rising oil prices. Oil has climbed $8 so far this year, largely due to reduced OPEC output and renewed optimism for a US-China trade deal. If oil prices make additional gains this week, motorists could see another round of rising prices at the pump. Regardless of the upswing, AAA still expects gas prices overall to average less than last year, with the national average peaking at around $2.75 by Memorial Day."

REFINERY MAINTENANCE SEASON

Additional increases are likely, in the coming weeks, as refiners enter maintenance season and prepare to switch to a more expensive-to-produce summer-blend gasoline. According to OPIS, two large turnarounds have commenced:

  • In the Northeast, some extensive work is being performed at Philadelphia Energy Solutions' complex on the Delaware River
  • At the Gulf Coast, ExxonMobil has started a major turnaround that may keep a 280,000-b/d crude unit out of action for 40-60 days

OPIS reports that Gulf Coast turnaround activity is expected to peak in March with about 1 million b/d of equipment scheduled to be sidelined. While the maintenance should cut demand for U.S. crude, stronger product prices could drag crude higher. Gasoline is a perceived beneficiary of the refining downtime.

EIA FORECAST

In the latest short-term energy outlook, EIA expects U.S. regular retail gasoline prices to follow changes to the cost of crude oil, dipping from an average of $2.73/gal in 2018 to $2.47/gal in 2019, before rising to $2.62/gal in 2020.

Gas Price Tools

CURRENT AND PAST PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

Sunday Saturday Week Ago Month Ago One Year Ago 2018 High Record High
National $2.245 $2.244 $2.245 $2.349 $2.537 $2.97 (5/26/2018) $4.11 (7/17/2008)
Tennessee $2.005 $2.007 $1.997 $2.079 $2.359 $2.73 (5/27/2018) $4.12 (9/15/2008)

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