March 3 2010|11.44 AM UTC

anastasia

Gas Meter, a Weekly Report

Category: Gas, NewsTags: ,

The average price of gasoline is up this week across all regions, leading to a national average of $2.702. This trend is likely to continue as seasonal influences continue to drive gas prices upward in the months ahead.


The two main factors for this trend are: maintenance season for American oil refineries and summer blended fuels. The oil refineries typically begin maintenance season in March. These summer blends are more expensive because they are designed to meet stricter pollution standards between April and September.

The American Automobile Association’s most recent Fuel Gauge Report details that shut-downs to conduct this work on refineries, should they occur, may cause an up-tick in oil demand. Seasonal demand tends to drive retail oil prices during this time of year. Also, April’s wholesale gasoline contracts have been trading 10 to 12 cents higher than that of March. If this trading trend continues, consumers can expect the price of gas at the pump to soar.

For the week of March 1, the Gulf Coast has managed to hold on to the nation’s lowest average, at $2.596 up from $2.533 a week ago. Following just cents above this average is the Rocky Mountain region at $2.631. That is up by $0.014 compared to a week ago.

Seeing an increase of $0.035 from the week-ago period, the Midwest is at an average of $2.640 per retail gallon. The East Coast states’ average has increased by $0.042 to $2.697 this week. The West Coast continues to top the average of all regions at $2.937. This is up by $0.071 compared to last week. One of the more expensive states in this region, California, comes in at $2.999 this week, up from $0.081 the week prior.

What do you think, should American oil refineries have control over demand by shutting down for maintenance during this high traffic season? Share your thoughts below…

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All figures are obtained from the U.S. Energy Information Administration

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Beagle March 3, 2010 at 11:50 am

I wonder why they don’t do the maintained during the lowest demand time of the year, which I would assume is the winter since that’s when gas prices are the lowest. Or spread the maintenance windows around so the effect is spread out and not as noticeable to the consumer.

Reply

Juggernaut March 8, 2010 at 2:29 am

All the blame doesn’t fall on the big bad oil refineries for higher gas prices in the summer. Thank the EPA and the tree huggers. It is required in the southern states to change the residual vapor pressure in gasoline in the warmer months to control VOCs (volite organic compounds). This means the cheap butane (upto 12% of the volume) has to be replace by heavily refined components. It takes more energy, equipment, and manhours to produce those components. So that cost gets passed on to the consumer.

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Teri March 8, 2010 at 6:18 am

WHATEVER!!!!! The oil companies do this every spring and every major holiday even thanksgiving and christmas. It is every time there will be an increase in travel for pleasure!! I do not believe it has anything to do with a so called “maintenance season”!! It is called “legal price gouging” and sticking it to us!! When the american people have had enough of this type of abuse and stand up to them then maybe we will start to turn this country around!! Not until then!!

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