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US retail gasoline prices lowest since 2009

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

It has been reported that on May 18, the US average retail price for gasoline was US$2.74 /gal., or 92 cents/gal. lower than at the same time last year. This is the lowest average price heading into the Memorial Day weekend since 2009. Lower gasoline prices reflect lower crude oil prices, with the spot price of North Sea Brent crude oil at over US$45/bbl lower than the same time last year, despite having increased more than US$10/bbl since the start of February.

Average retail prices for all regions of the US are below the level at the same time last year, even in the West Coast region, where supply disruptions pushed gasoline prices to US$3.51/gal. on May 18, 77 cent/gal. higher than the US average. Average retail gasoline prices are lowest on the Gulf Coast (PADD 3), at US$2.24/gal. on May 18. Gulf Coast gasoline prices are often lower than the US average, as the region is home to half of the US refining capacity but a smaller share of gasoline demand.

In the EIA May Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO), it was projected that the US monthly gasoline price was to average US$2.68/gal. during May, and then drop as refineries in California resolve outages and refineries in the rest of the country increase production of gasoline. EIA projects regular gasoline retail prices to average US$2.51/gal. during the third quarter of this year.

Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd

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