Gas prices continue to change

UNDATED – Indiana gas prices have fallen 0.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.71 a gallon today, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 3,271 stations in Indiana.

For the ninth consecutive week, the national average price of gasoline has moved higher, rising 5 cents per gallon over the last week to $2.79 today according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country.

The national average now stands up 31 cents from a month ago, largely due to refinery shutdowns in Texas in mid-February and rising global demand as the COVID-19 pandemic slows.

Patrick De Haan

“OPEC surprised oil markets last week by extending oil production cuts for another month, ignoring the resurgence in global demand as economies recover from COVID-19. Markets responded by pushing oil prices up some 12%. As a result, motorists should prepare for further gas price increases in the weeks and potentially months ahead, with a $3 per gallon national average potentially less than a month away,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “At the start of this year, it was somewhat outlandish to predict a $3 per gallon national average for the summer driving season, but thanks to the speed of recovery from the pandemic pushing demand higher and OPEC’s reluctance to raise oil production, we’re on the cusp of making that a reality. As a consumer, it’s extremely frustrating to feel helpless as prices soar and as millions remain unemployed. The only advice I can offer is prepare for further increases, and to mitigate rising prices, shop around for the low prices every time you need to refuel. I’m hopeful OPEC will see the error in their ways at next month’s meeting, but with demand exceeding supply, the longer the imbalance continues, the longer it will take for any rise in oil production to offset it.”

The national average price of diesel has risen 6.5 cents in the last week and stands at $3.00 per gallon.

Gas prices in Indiana are 34.2 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand 54.8 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

Gas prices in Lawrence County range from a low of $2.55 a gallon to $2.65 a gallon.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Indiana is priced at $2.47/g today while the most expensive is $3.08/g, a difference of 61.0 cents per gallon.

In overnight trade Sunday evening, oil prices surged to fresh yearly highs on news of attacks on key Saudi oil facilities, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil jumping to $68 late Sunday night. In early trade Monday, markets had largely given up the gains, with WTI down 4 cents per barrel to $66.05, still a sizable gain from last week Monday’s $61.07 level.

Data from the Energy Information Administration last week showed some significant shifts in inventories and production, with data marred by previous cold weather shutdowns in Texas. The EIA reported that while oil inventories surged 21.6 million barrels, gasoline inventories fell half a billion gallons or 13.6 million barrels to a level 3.4 percent lower than a year ago and 3% below the five-year average for this time of year. Implied demand for gasoline rose 942,000 barrels to 8.15 million barrels per day, as Americans returned to roads as COVID-19 improvements aided travel. Refinery utilization rates plummeted 12.6 to 56 percent – the lowest number ever recorded by the EIA, going back to 1990. Gasoline and distillate production fell significantly as a result.

Historical gasoline prices in Indiana and the national average going back ten years:

  • March 8, 2020: $2.17/g (U.S. Average: $2.36/g)
  • March 8, 2019: $2.46/g (U.S. Average: $2.47/g)
  • March 8, 2018: $2.54/g (U.S. Average: $2.53/g)
  • March 8, 2017: $2.21/g (U.S. Average: $2.30/g)
  • March 8, 2016: $1.78/g (U.S. Average: $1.81/g)
  • March 8, 2015: $2.31/g (U.S. Average: $2.46/g)
  • March 8, 2014: $3.67/g (U.S. Average: $3.49/g)
  • March 8, 2013: $3.64/g (U.S. Average: $3.71/g)
  • March 8, 2012: $3.81/g (U.S. Average: $3.76/g)
  • March 8, 2011: $3.50/g (U.S. Average: $3.52/g)