Retail gasoline prices in the United States continued to fall on Friday, landing at $3.088 per gallon, according to the latest AAA data.
This is down from yesterday’s average of $3.090 per gallon, and down from a week ago’s $3.120. Meanwhile, WTI crude is trading up week over week, exchanging hands at $73.64 per barrel on Friday, compared to $71.65 a week ago today.
According to the EIA data, crude oil inventories fell by 5.5 million barrels, and are 2% below the five-year average for this time of year. Gasoline inventories saw a huge increase by 10.9 million barrels, according to EIA data, and are now 1% above the five-year average. Distillates also saw a major increase of 10.1 million barrels, but are still 6% below the five-year average.
Gasoline prices in the United States have been steadily sliding for the last three months, falling from $3.73 per gallon in October to under $3.10 today. The slide has mostly been in lockstep with WTI crude oil prices, which were trading at $82.31 three months ago, compared to $73.58 today.
Gasoline prices typically fall during the winter months due to winter gas formulations and decreased demand. U.S. drivers were holding onto hope that petroleum analysts were correct in their forecasts that suggested gasoline prices could slip below the $2.99 mark for the first time since 2021. But tensions in the Middle East and speculators have managed to put a floor under crude oil prices, which have in turn lent support to gasoline prices.
The EIA has estimated that gasoline prices will average $3.36 per gallon this year.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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