While damage assessments are still being made in the wake of Hurricane Idalia, pump prices remained in neutral, with the national average for a gallon of gas falling by a penny since last week to $3.82, according to AAA.
Oil and gas experts have noted that overall gasoline demand this summer failed to match previous years, with consumption getting little “lift” from vacation travel this summer despite retail gasoline prices below last year’s. There is a lot of speculation as to why, but no one seems to know for sure.
“With visits to the pump rather flat and the price of oil hovering around the $80 per barrel mark, the national average for a gallon of gas will likely stay where it is through this holiday weekend,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “Hurricane Idalia may cause regional price jumps due to station damage, flooded roads, and power outages, but as in past years, these things are usually fixed in a few weeks.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand increased slightly from 8.91 to 9.07 million b/d last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks took a slight step back to 217.4 million bbl. Although demand has increased, fluctuating oil prices have limited pump price increases.
Today’s national average of $3.82 is seven cents more than a month ago but two cents less than a year ago.