Gas prices increased across most of the country during the past week, and here in Murfreesboro prices have remain at $2.29 per gallon. States in the southeastern United States still have some of the cheapest prices in the nation.
Tennessee gas prices increased 6 cents during the past week. The state average of $2.34 is 10 cents more than a month ago, and 20 cents more than this time last year.
- The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee are in Jackson ($2.37), Kingsport-Bristol ($2.36), and Johnson City ($2.36)
- The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee are in Chattanooga ($2.25), Clarksville-Hopkinsville ($2.29), and Cleveland ($2.30)
"Gas prices have yet to travel south for the winter, thanks in large part to a strong oil market," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "The rising price of oil has increased the cost of producing gasoline."
OIL PRICES REACH NEW HEIGHTS
The price of crude reached new multi-year highs last week. Factors like lower levels of both domestic production and supply, cold weather in North America, unrest in Iran, and strong economic growth helped spur the increase.
WTI closed at $64.30 per barrel on Friday - the highest daily settlement since December 2014. This is the fourth consecutive week of gains, amounting to a total increase of $7 since mid-December 2017.
The Energy Information Administration reported last week that domestic crude oil production dropped by 290,000 b/d. The decline is the largest U.S. production drop since the highly active hurricane season ended in mid-October last year. Moreover, crude inventories around the country dropped by 4.9 million barrels. The decline has given some market observers encouragement that oil prices will continue to climb as production slows and global supplies tighten.
Futures spot prices are above $63/b through July 2018. Although that does not guarantee crude prices will be remain at that level through the next seven months, this outlook could inspire explosive growth in the U.S. shale industry, which could push crude prices lower as a result of the increased global supply. In what could be a sign that this process has begun, U.S. energy companies added 10 oil rigs this week, the biggest increase since June, bringing the total rig count to 752, the most since September.
EIA's Energy Price Outlook
- U.S. regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.42/gal in 2017 and are forecast to average $2.57/gal in 2018 and $2.58/gal in 2019
- U.S. crude oil (WTI) spot prices averaged $50.88/b in 2017 and are forecast to average $56/b in 2018 and $57/b in 2019
- U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 9.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2017. U.S. crude oil production is forecast to average 10.3 million b/d in 2018, which would mark the highest annual average production in U.S. history, surpassing the previous record of 9.6 million b/d set in 1970. EIA forecasts production to increase to an average of 10.8 million b/d in 2019 and to surpass 11 million b/d in November 2019.
Gas Price Tools for Reporters/Consumers
- GasPrices.AAA.com - Daily national, state, and metro gas price averages.
- AAA Mobile app - Free app that shows current prices at a gas station near you.
Highs and Lows of 2017*
- National: the highest average price for gasoline was $2.67 on September 8. The lowest was $2.23 on July 5.
- Florida: the highest average price in was $2.73 on September 9. The lowest was $2.13 on July 17.
- Georgia: the highest average price was $2.76 on September 12. The lowest was $2.08 on July 5.
- Tennessee: the highest average price was $2.60 on September 10. The lowest was $1.99 on July 5.
CURRENT AND PAST PRICE AVERAGES
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