Oklahoma joins the march toward higher prices at the pump

Gas Prices Head Back Up to Start 2020 – WKVI Information Center


No doubt about it—gasoline prices are going up and up with the national average rising 8 cents in the past week to reach an average $3.27 and Oklahoma’s average increasing 7 cents to an average $2.91 per gallon. But nearly half of the 77 counties in the state are close to or well higher than the $3 mark.

AAA Oklahoma reported the national average of $3.27 is also the same average for gasoline in Coal County in the Southeast….the highest average in the state. At least 16 counties in the state have averages of more than $3 a gallon with Coal County the highest followed by $3.15 averages in Harmon and Ellis Counties.

Sixteen other counties have averages ranging from $2.97 to $3.02 per gallon. The cheapest average in Oklahoma is $2.74 in Cotton County in the south next to the Texas State line. At least 13 counties have averages from $2.74 to $2.87 per gallon.

Oklahoma City’s average rose 7 cents in the past week to reach $2.88 while in Tulsa, the average jumped 9 cents to $2.89. The prices in Lawton rose an average one cent to $2.77.

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Oklahoma’s $2.91 average is still among some of the lowest in the nation while surrounding state averages include $2.90 in Texas, $2.98 in Kansas, $3.53 in Colorado, $3.19 in New Mexico, $2.92 in Arkansas and $2.95 in Missouri.

The national average price for a gallon of gas rose 8 cents on the week to reach $3.27.  This is the highest price since October 2014 and is primarily due to the surging price of crude oil, which crept above $80 bbl before edging slightly lower.

“The key driver for this recent rise in the price of gas is crude oil, which typically accounts for between 50% and 60% of the price at the pump,” said AAA Spokesperson Andrew Gross. “And last week’s decision by OPEC and its oil-producing allies to not increase production further only exacerbated the upward momentum for crude oil prices.”

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Crude prices rose quickly following OPEC+, which comprises the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia, and their allies, choosing not to move forward with an agreement to produce 800,000 b/d in November. Instead, OPEC+ decided to maintain a previously agreed upon 400,000 b/d production increase.

According to new EIA data, total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 3.3 million bbl to 225.1 million bbl last week. Gasoline demand also increased slightly from 9.40 million b/d to 9.44 million b/d—the slight increase in gas demand aided in the national average’s rise. However, the main culprit for rising pump prices remains high crude prices above $74 per barrel.

Meanwhile, a breach and spill in a key pipeline supplying fuel to parts of the southeastern U.S. led to tightened regional supplies. Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) said it expected repairs to its southeastern products pipeline to be completed October 9, with a restart afterward.  The repairs were slowed by the recent heavy rain and flooding around Birmingham, Alabama. The spill took place on October 1. The pipeline serves various metropolitan areas, including Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Washington, D.C.

Today’s national average of $3.27 is 10 cents more than a month ago, $1.09 more than a year ago, and 63 cents more than pre-pandemic in 2019.

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