Supply Continues to Outpace Demand at Benefit to Motorists

12 October 2020

MADISON, Wis., (October 12, 2020) – Over the weekend Hurricane Delta made landfall in southwestern Louisiana as a category 2 hurricane. While the storm caused some disruptions, refineries are reporting operations have resumed. The Colonial Pipeline Line 1, the main gas line, was down temporarily over the weekend due to loss of power, which has since been restored as well as service. Line 2, the distillates line, is currently shutdown without power. While the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reports that approximately 91% of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is currently shut-in, as of this morning, inspections are underway and production is expected to resume this week.

“In a typical year, a hurricane season like we’ve experienced this year would have caused gas prices to spike, but 2020 is not a typical year,” said Nick Jarmusz, Director of Public Affairs for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Low U.S. gasoline demand has helped contain any impact to gas prices locally and regionally throughout this hurricane season.”

On the week, the national gas price average held steady at $2.18 despite a slight jump in demand. At 8.8 million b/d, gasoline demand is just 6% below levels last year at this time. However, the increase isn’t substantial enough to impact supply levels or pump prices. The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly report measures gasoline supply at 226.7 million bbl. That is a decrease of 1.7 million bbl from the week prior, though the drop is likely attributed to high export numbers. 

“The vast majority of motorists are seeing stability at the pump, even despite Hurricane Delta. On the week 45 state gas price averages only fluctuated by one or two pennies, if at all. Demand just is not strong enough to outpace supply, which means drivers are continuing to benefit from cheaper prices at the pump,” added Jarmusz.

 

Today, motorists can find gas for $2.25 or cheaper at 72% of gas stations, compared to 12% last October. The national average is a penny less than last month and 45 cents cheaper than last year.

 

 

Monday

Sunday

Week Ago

Month Ago

One Year Ago

National

$2.187

$2.187

$2.186

$2.197

$2.638

Wisconsin

$1.997

$2.003

$2.023

$2.012

$2.498

Appleton

$1.871

$1.875

$1.884

$1.881

$2.449

Eau Claire

$2.019

$2.023

$2.012

$1.973

$2.597

Green Bay

$1.976

$1.979

$1.992

$1.952

$2.471

Janesville-Beloit

$1.959

$1.967

$1.979

$1.921

$2.423

La Crosse

$2.073

$2.074

$2.085

$2.039

$2.489

Madison

$2.004

$2.009

$2.043

$2.006

$2.434

Milwaukee

$1.943

$1.950

$1.973

$2.025

$2.430

Wausau

$2.003

$2.009

$2.039

$1.955

$2.587

Click here to view current gasoline price averages

 

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Fridays formal trading session, WTI decreased by 59 cents to settle at $40.60. Crude prices dropped due to market concern about increasing coronavirus infections worldwide, which could lower crude demand. The drop in prices occurred alongside the EIA weekly report revealing that total domestic crude inventories increased by 500,000 bbl to 492.9 million bbl. For this week, crude prices could decline further if demand concerns continue to worry the market. 

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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