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AURORA, Ill., (October 21, 2019) – Today's national average of $2.64 is one penny more than last week, two cents more than last month and 21-cents cheaper than last year. Gas prices are fluctuating amid high refinery maintenance and low U.S. refinery utilization dropping to its lowest rate – 83% - since Sept. 2017. The tightening gasoline supplies is causing nearly half of all state gas price averages to increase on the week.

For the last four weeks in the Great Lakes and Central States, both gasoline stocks and regional refinery utilization have steadily decreased, contributing to the fluctuation in pump prices. EIA's latest data for the week ending Oct. 11, measures total regional stocks at 50.5 million bbls and measures utilization at 86%, as compared to 53 million bbls and 100% utilization as of Sept. 6, 2019.



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Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday's formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 15 cents to settle at $53.78. Crude prices mostly fell last week after EIA's report revealed that total domestic crude inventories grew significantly - by 9.3 million bbl – to total 434 million bbl. Increased domestic production, which hit 12.6 million b/d last week, has helped to push crude stocks up. When compared to last year's rate at this time, crude production is up by 1.7 million b/d this year. Additionally, trade tensions between China and the U.S. continue to worry the market, putting downward pressure on prices. If trade tensions continue, prices could take another step back this week.

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.

Gas Price Survey Methodology
AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.GasPrices.AAA.com. Every day up to 130,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.

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