March 2, 2024

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest fuel update, which was released on May 30, has revealed which U.S. region pays the most for regular gasoline, as of May 29.

According to the update, which split the U.S. into five areas – the East Coast (PADD1), Midwest (PADD2), Gulf Coast (PADD3), West Coast (PADD4), and Rocky Mountain (PADD5) – the West Coast had the highest price, at $4.534 per gallon, followed by Rocky Mountain, at $3.622 per gallon, and the Midwest, at $3.484 per gallon. The East Coast was shown to have a regular gasoline price of $3.427 per gallon, while the Gulf Coast was shown to have a gasoline price of $3.121 per gallon.

The average U.S. regular gasoline price came in at $3.571 per gallon on May 29, according to the update, which showed a rising price trend for all five regions.

On May 22, the East Coast regular gasoline price was $0.046 per gallon cheaper at $3.381 per gallon, the Midwest gasoline price was $0.015 per gallon cheaper at $3.469 per gallon, and the Gulf Coast gasoline price was $0.081 per gallon cheaper at $3.040 per gallon, the fuel update outlined. Rocky Mountain regular gasoline was $0.043 per gallon cheaper on May 22, at $3.579 per gallon, and West Coast gasoline was $0.020 per gallon cheaper, at $4.514 per gallon, the update highlighted.

The average U.S. regular gasoline price was $0.037 per gallon cheaper on May 22, at $3.534 per gallon, according to the update.

In a statement posted on its site back in 2012, the EIA highlighted that, during World War II, the Petroleum Administration for War used the five districts to ration gasoline. The administration was abolished after the war and Congress passed the Defense Production Act of 1950, which created the Petroleum Administration for Defense and used the same five districts, only now called the Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts, the EIA statement outlined.

As of June 1, the average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. $3.574 per gallon, according to the AAA Gas Prices website. Yesterday’s average was $3.576 per gallon, the week ago average was $3.574 per gallon, the month ago average was $3.610 per gallon, and the year ago average was $4.671 per gallon, the site showed. The highest recorded average price for regular unleaded was seen on June 14, 2022, at $5.016 per gallon, the AAA Gas Prices site highlighted.

The EIA’s latest short term energy outlook (STEO), which was released in May, projected that the retail gasoline price would average $3.33 per gallon in 2023 and $3.09 per gallon in 2024. This commodity averaged $3.97 per gallon in 2022, the STEO revealed.

In its previous STEO, which was released in April, the EIA predicted that the retail gasoline price would come in at $3.42 per gallon this year and $3.18 per gallon next year.

“We forecast summer 2023 retail gasoline prices to average about $3.40 per gallon, which is 20 percent lower than the summer 2022 average of $4.29 per gallon,” the EIA noted in its latest STEO.

“Compared with summer 2022, when retail gasoline prices fell by more than $1 per gallon from the $4.93 per gallon peak in June to $3.70 per gallon in September, we expect less volatility in prices in summer 2023. We forecast retail gasoline prices will fall from about $3.60 per gallon in April to about $3.20 per gallon in September,” it added.

“We expect a decrease in retail gasoline prices over the course of the summer partially because our expectation of rising refinery runs from global and U.S. refiners,” the EIA continued.

In its latest STEO, the EIA warned that several factors present uncertainty in its retail gasoline price forecast for summer 2023.

“Our forecast assumes rising refinery runs and gasoline inventories that, if not realized, could leave gasoline prices higher than our forecast,” the EIA stated.

“In addition, changes in economic conditions and oil prices could affect retail gasoline prices,” it added.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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