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OIL AND GAS
AAA: Gas prices at a 12-year low
by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington (UPI) Jul 19, 2016


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Gasoline production in the United States is at an all-time high, pushing retail prices to their lowest point in more than a decade, motor club AAA reports.

AAA reports only three U.S. states -- Michigan, Ohio and Indiana -- saw the price at the pump increase over past week, though prices there are generally less than during the weekend. AAA reports a national average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $2.20, about 1 percent less than the one week ago.

AAA said the abundance of oil and gasoline on the market in the United States has pushed retail gasoline prices to their lowest point for this date since 2004.

"Gas prices likely will remain relatively low compared to recent years for the remainder of the summer," the motor club said in its weekly retail market report. "U.S. crude oil supplies are about 13 percent higher than a year ago, while gasoline stocks have increased to 240 million barrels as refineries produce significant quantities of fuel."

Consumer prices likely peaked in June, according to the U.S. Energy Department. Currently, one in every four retail service stations nationwide is selling gas below the $2 mark. The national average for this date in 2015 was $2.76 per gallon.

Regionally, states along the West Coast are seeing the highest prices in the nation, though year-on-year discounts are among the greatest as refineries run at rates considered efficient. Refinery problems last year created shortages at peak driving season in the region.

The Great Lakes states are close behind western states as retailers look for profits after selling gasoline at a loss for several weeks. On a monthly basis, five of the Great Lakes states posted the largest drops in prices nationwide.

A short-term market report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts an average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $2.25 for the summer driving season, which runs from April through September.

The forecast is about 15 percent lower than the summer forecast for 2015.


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