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HomeNewsAAA reports Gas Prices Stabilize during Holiday Weekend

AAA reports Gas Prices Stabilize during Holiday Weekend

AAATampa, FL – The holiday season is in full swing, attracting an estimated 103.1 million American travelers. An estimated 93.6 million Americans are expected to take a road trip during the 11-day period (December 23rd – January 2nd).

Yet, despite the elevated demand for gasoline, prices at the pump remained unchanged throughout the Christmas weekend.  

Oil prices have stablized which is why prices at the pump haven't risen in 10 days. (AAA)
Oil prices have stablized which is why prices at the pump haven’t risen in 10 days.(AAA)

“Gas prices haven’t moved in about 10 days, because oil prices have stabilized and the southeastern states are well supplied with gasoline,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Motorists should expect more of the same through the new year, unless oil prices rise this week.” 

Gas prices on Christmas day were the highest in two years. The average price on December 25th, 2016 was $2.32 in Florida, $2.19 in Georgia, and $2.09 in Tennessee. These prices were more than last year’s holiday averages by 31 cents in Florida, 27 cents in Georgia and 32 cents in Tennessee.

Heading into 2017, gasoline demand is expected to drop drastically during the month of January following the busy holiday travel season. Over the past five years, the average drop during that period has been 358,000 b/d or about 15-million gallons, according to OPIS.

The oil information service estimates a larger dip this year. However, oil prices are about $20 higher than this time last year, which if unchanged, would prevent pump prices from falling 10-20 cents like they did during January 2016. 

AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved about $27 billion at the pump so far this year compared to the same period last year. Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.29, 29 cents more than the average price on New Year’s Day in 2016 ($2.00).

Also on January 1st, 2016, gas prices averaged $2.00 in Florida, $1.90 in Georgia, and $1.75 in Tennessee. Most U.S. drivers are expected to pay the second-cheapest New Year’s Day gas prices since 2009, when the national average was $1.62, and prices averaged $1.64 (FL), $1.51 (GA), and $1.47 (TN).

Oil Market

To start off the new year, all eyes will be on OPEC to see if they, along with partnering countries, will stick to their 6-month promise to cut 1.8-million b/d of crude per day. OPIS projects that member compliance will likely be around about 70 percent, with expectations that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and other Arab Gulf countries will stick to the deal while Libya and Nigeria could potentially increase their production output if conflict in both countries continues.

Last month, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC) along with non-cartel countries worked out an agreement to limit crude oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day beginning in January 2017. Efforts to curb oil production are aimed at re-balancing global supply and as a result, markets have reacted, causing retail prices to increase. 

Last week, Libya announced the re-opening of pipelines from two major oil fields which has led many to speculate that increased production in Libya may counter OPEC’s anticipated cuts. Traders will pay close attention to Libya’s efforts and monitor OPEC’s ability to implement production cuts starting in January. If oil prices decline, gas prices will follow.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up seven cents to settle at $53.02 per barrel – $1.12 more than the week before. 

 Current and Past Price Averages

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

Sunday Saturday Week Ago Month Ago One Year Ago
National $2.287 $2.285 $2.242 $2.125 $2.002
Florida $2.318 $2.320 $2.319 $2.092 $2.009
Georgia $2.185 $2.186 $2.183 $2.088 $1.915
Tennessee $2.089 $2.089 $2.051 $1.941 $1.764
Click here to view current gasoline price averages

 

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.GasPrices.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 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.

About The Auto Club Group

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. 

ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 56 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.

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