Thanks to anticipated issues with tropical storm activity in the Gulf of Mexico, gasoline prices in Georgia increased at the pump compared to a week ago. According to Monday's fuel price report from AAA, Georgia motorists are now paying an average price of $2.04 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. Monday's state average is 5-cents more than a week ago, 5-cents more than last month, and 36-cents less than this time last year.
It now costs motorists $30.60 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline; that is $10.50 less than what motorists paid in April of 2019, when pump prices hit their peak of $2.74 per gallon.
“Pump prices increased due to anticipation of the disruption to operations at refineries and gasoline distribution along Hurricane Laura’s path,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “However, lower than usual demand and ample stock levels will contain any significant gas price increases to impacted areas. As damage is assessed, we will have a better idea of how long motorists in impacted areas will see more expensive prices.”
The national gas price average spiked by a nickel on the week to $2.23, but is expected to push cheaper in the week ahead. The second factor pushing prices more expensive in the last week was the Energy Information Administration (EIA) report that gas demand increased from 8.63 million barrels a day to 9.16 million barrels a day. While higher than we’ve seen throughout the summer, this estimated rate is 739,000 barrels a day lower than the rate last year at this time. Moreover, total domestic gasoline supplies decreased by 4.6 million barrels last week to 239.2 million barrels, but the current level is 7.2 million barrels higher than the level at this time last year.
Oil Market Dynamics
At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by seven cents to settle at $42.97 per barrel. Although crude prices ended the day lower, crude prices increased on the week as Tropical Depression Laura reduced crude production in the Gulf of Mexico. For this week, crude prices may rise again due to a weak U.S. dollar and if prolonged closure of rigs and production platforms tighten domestic crude inventories amid rising demand. However, EIA’s latest weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories, currently sitting at 507.8 million barrels, are 80 million barrels higher than where they were during this time in August 2019. The higher level could play a role in stabilizing crude prices.
- Most expensive Georgia metro markets – Augusta-Aiken ($2.13), Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($2.12) and Savannah ($2.11).
- Least expensive Georgia metro markets – Catoosa-Dade-Walker ($1.97), Rome ($1.99) and Dalton ($2.01).
- Hall County's average price was $1.98.