It’s easy for U.S. drivers to forget the high gas prices in recent years after the ultra-lows seen only months ago, but prices going into the summer months of 2016 are still well below what they were this time last year, and the lowest price heading into the summer months since 2009.
Despite a recent uptick in the price per barrel of oil—up $20 since the last week of January 2016—U.S. drivers will still enjoy the low gas prices this summer.
The spot price for WTI crude oil is still significantly lower than this time last year, trading today at US$49.94/bbl compared to 1 June of 2015, when prices were $62.21. Related: Oil Speculators No Longer Confident In Price Crash
Image courtesy of WTRG Economics
The U.S. average retail price for gas was $2.30 per gallon on 23 May 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which is $.47 less than the average price for the same time last year. Related: Oil Pauses At $50 Ahead Of OPEC Meeting
Some states are seeing lower gas prices than others, with drivers in the Gulf Coast states, such as Texas, paying the lowest rates due to the high refining capacity in those states. This past weekend—a major travel weekend in the United States--drivers in the Gulf States paid an average of $2.06 per gallon.
Drivers on the West Coast are paying the highest rates, although rates there are also significantly below last year’s prices in the same region. In May 2016, West Coast states were paying $2.66 per gallon on average—$.083 less than the same period last year.
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Image courtesy of gasbuddy.com
EIA’s May Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) forecasts the U.S. monthly gasoline price to average $2.21 per gallon during the 2016 summer driving season, which is $.42 per gallon less than the average 2015 summer gasoline price. The EIA projects the U.S. regular gasoline retail price to average $2.08 per gallon in 2016 and $2.24 per gallon in 2017.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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