Gas Prices Slip for First Time in 2018 as Crude Prices Plunge

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Retail pump prices are lower this week in Oregon and most other states, due in part to falling crude oil prices. For the week, the national average for regular unleaded loses four cents to $2.57 a gallon while the Oregon average dips a penny to $2.88. It’s the first week-over-week decline for gas prices in 2018.

Crude oil prices began 2018 above $60 per barrel and stayed there until last week when crude prices plunged by about five percent to close around $59 on Friday, the worst weekly decline for crude oil in two years.

“It’s too early to know if this one-week decline in pump prices is the start of a cheaper gas price trend, but at least consumers get a week with decreasing or steady pump prices,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “Until this week, gas prices had climbed steadily since Christmas.”

Demand for gasoline continues to be strong. The latest report from the  (EIA) shows gasoline at its highest level this year at 9.1 million b/d, a 169,000 b/d increase year-over year. Gasoline inventories also increased by 3.4 million bbl to total 245.5 million bbl, which sits about 1.4 million bbl above the five-year average.U.S. Energy Information Administration

Oregon is one of 45 states and the District of Columbia where gas prices are lower week-over-week. The largest decreases are in Indiana (-14 cents) and Ohio (-11 cents). The largest weekly increase is in Hawaii (+5 cents).

Oregon is one of 45 states and the District of Columbia where prices are higher now than a month ago. The national average is four cents more and the Oregon average is six cents more than a month ago. The largest monthly increases are in Florida (+18 cents) and California (+17 cents). The largest monthly decrease is in Indiana (-19 cents).

The West Coast still has the most expensive gas prices in the nation with six of the top ten markets in this region. Hawaii tops the list, followed by California, Alaska and Washington. These states are the only four with averages at or above $3 a gallon. Oregon is fifth most expensive for the second week in a row.