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National Gas Price Average Sees No Change Since January 1

AURORA, Ill., (January 13, 2020) – Despite crude oil price fluctuation and growing geopolitical concerns with Iran in the last week, the national gas price average has held steady at $2.58 since the beginning of the year. Today's national average is two cents more than last month and 34-cents more expensive than the beginning of 2019.

A healthy and growing level of domestic gasoline stocks alongside decreasing demand are two factors helping to minimize gas price fluctuations. In the last week, about 32 states saw pump prices push less expensive by just a penny or two or saw no change at all.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) measures U.S. demand at 8.1 million b/d, which is the lowest reading for the first week of the year since January 2016. At 251.6 million bbl – the highest start of the year on record – gasoline stocks have only measured this high two other times in EIA history.

The Great Lakes and Central States are seeing typical regional gas price volatility. Motorists in the region are paying 31 to 55 cents more to fill-up compared to this time last year. Illinois (+56 cents) carries the largest year-over-year difference in the country and region.

EIA's data shows regional gasoline stocks have steadily increased for six straight weeks. Total stocks sit at 55 million bbl, the highest level for the region since March 2019. With a healthy stock level amid a typical low-demand season, gas prices are poised to mostly decrease. However, the region often sees fluctuation and motorists can expect that to continue in weeks ahead, though likely minimal.



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Click here to view current gasoline price averages

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday's formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped by 52 cents to settle at $59.04. Crude prices decreased last week after rising sharply following increased tension between the U.S. and Iran. With the U.S. announcing economic sanctions instead of additional military strikes against Iran, prices fell as tension began to ease. If tension continues to cool in the region this week, crude prices could decrease further.

Additionally, crude prices decreased last week after EIA released new data that revealed total domestic crude inventories grew by 1.2 million bbl. They now sit at 431.1 million bbl, which is 8.7 million bbl lower than their level at this time in 2019.

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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