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Gas prices continue to fall across region

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Mon, Jun 24th 2019 11:35 am

Middle East tension & Philadelphia refinery fire could impact prices in US

By AAA of Western and Central New York

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.66, down 3 cents from last week.

One year ago, the price was $2.85. The New York state average is $2.85 – down 2 cents from last week. A year ago, the state average was $3.02.

AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia – $2.77 (down 3 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo – $2.84 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Ithaca – $2.74 (down 4 cents since last week)
  • Rochester – $2.80 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rome – $2.83 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse – $2.74 (down 3 cents since last week)
  • Watertown – $2.78 (down 4 cents since last week)

The summer driving season is off to an unusual start. Pump prices continue to fall as the domestic price of crude oil, which comprises approximately 60 percent of the cost motorists pay at the pump, remains low – and over $12 per barrel cheaper than at the beginning of summer 2018. Meanwhile, American motorists are headed toward new milestones this summer, according to the Energy Information Administration. For the week ending on June 14, EIA’s data revealed demand for gasoline hit its highest-recorded point since the federal agency began publishing the data in 1991.

An explosion and massive fire broke out at the Philadelphia Energy Solution’s (PES) refinery in Philadelphia last week. It is the largest refinery on the East Coast, processing 335,000 barrels of crude per day. According to the PES website, in addition to unbranded gasoline, this facility also produces jet fuel and diesel, among other products. From reports, the fire involved butane and propane, which are chemical components used to make gasoline.

The incident will likely lead to reduced gasoline production at the refinery, as well as reduced regional gasoline stocks and an increase to pump prices in the immediate region. Gasoline from Canada, neighboring refineries, and the Colonial Pipeline are likely solutions to help backfill supply, meet demand, and relieve any tightness in gasoline supplies as a result of reduced gasoline production at PES’ refinery. So far, the incident has not impacted prices in upstate New York, but motorists traveling to beaches near the Philadelphia region – which is popular for summer road trips – might notice higher pump prices.

Another factor that could impact prices is ongoing tension in the Middle East. If issues between the U.S. and Iran escalate, the market will likely continue pushing global crude prices higher due to increased market fears that a military standoff between Iran and the U.S. could limit global supply and access to crude.

AAA members receive discounts at NOCO gas stations, as well as Fastrac locations and at Shell locations across the country. Learn more here. One can find the lowest prices in the area at http://aaa.opisnet.com/index.aspx. Motorists can always find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Locate gas prices across the country at http://gasprices.aaa.com.

As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 880,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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