The current price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Utah is $3.47. This is six cents lower than last month’s AAA report and seven cents lower than a year ago. The current price is 30 cents lower than Utah’s highest price for 2012, $3.77, recorded on May 25.
The national average price of $3.70 is up by 32 cents, which is 10 cents more than the national price on this date last year, when it was $3.60.The current national average is twenty-four cents lower than the highest national average in 2012, $3.94, reported on April 5.
”Utah, Alaska, Colorado and Hawaii are currently paying less than a month ago. This is very different from motorists in thirty-eight states that are paying at least twenty cents more than they were at this time last month,” said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokesperson.
Domestic supply and distribution issues have impacted state and regional prices during the last month. At the end of July and beginning of August disruptions were in the Midwest as refinery issues and a leak in the Enbridge pipeline in Wisconsin curtailed supply and sent regional prices sharply higher. The national average from July 30 to August 6 rose thirteen cents. This rise was led by seven states in the Midwest that saw prices rise more than 20 cents to as much as 45 cents per gallon during the same period.
As the Enbridge pipeline was successfully restarted, news broke of a fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California. The Richmond refinery supplies an estimated fifteen percent of California’s gasoline demand and the possibility of the facility being off-line for an extended period of time sent West Coast prices dramatically higher. As the prices in the Midwest states moved lower, California, Washington and Oregon’s prices moved higher and ultimately resulted in a national average that has risen for sixteen consecutive days.
As domestic supply and distribution issues have moved regional prices higher, oil price increases have pressured the national price higher. The increases are due to mixed news for the global economic news, supply concerns from new geopolitical tensions with Iran and the seasonal increase in demand that comes with the summer driving season. For the first time since mid-May the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed above $90 every day last week. The price of WTI was $92.73 at the close of formal trading yesterday.