The national average retail pump price for diesel dropped 6/10ths of a penny to $2.310 per gallon this week, according to the agency. (Photo by Sean Kilcarr/Fleet Owner)

Fuel prices down, but gasoline more mixed for the week

Aug. 16, 2016
EIA adds that U.S. now exporting oil to broader array of countries.

While the national average retail pump price for diesel and gasoline remained on a downward track this week, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed price declines for both fuels overall were very small, with a wide swath of modest regional increases and decreases for gasoline.

The national average retail pump price for diesel dropped 6/10ths of a penny to $2.310 per gallon this week, according to EIA, which is 30.5 cents per gallon cheaper compared to the same week in 2015.

Diesel prices declined in every region of the country, though those declines were small compared to previous weeks, the agency added.

The biggest regional dips in diesel prices occurred in:

  • The West Coast: down 1.3 cents to $2.441 per gallon with California’s diesel prices excluded. That morphs into a 1.2 cent dip to $2.583 with California’s prices included.
  • California: down 1.1 cent to $2.616.
  • New England: down a penny to $2.368.

EIA’s data indicated gasoline prices experienced modest volatility on a regional basis in the U.S. this week. As a result the national average retail pump price for gasoline decline a mere 1/10th of a penny to $2.149 per gallon, though that is 56.7 cents cheaper compared to the same week in 2015, the agency said.

Four U.S. regions experienced gasoline price increases:

  • The Lower Atlantic: up 2.5 cents to $2.016 per gallon.
  • The Gulf Coast: up a penny to $1.938 (the only region where gasoline prices stood below the $2 per gallon mark this week)
  • The East Coast: up 9/10ths of a penny to $2.075.
  • The Midwest: up 6/10ths of a penny to $2.121.

Gasoline price declines on the West Coast and in the Rocky Mountain region offset those price increases, EIA said. Prices on the West Coast dipped 3.9 cents to $2.534 per gallon (with California’s prices removed that changes to a 4 cent drop to $2.347) with the Rocky Mountains hosting a 1.2 cent decrease to $2.214.

On another front, EIA noted that since the removal of restrictions on exporting U.S. crude oil in December last year, the number of countries receiving oil exports is up sharply across a wide swatch of the globe.

In the first five months of 2016, U.S. crude oil exports averaged 501,000 barrels per day (b/d), the agency pointed out; some 43,000 b/d or 9% more than the full-year 2015 average.

After the lifting of restrictions, the number and variety of destinations for U.S. crude oil exports changed as well, with U.S. crude oil now being exported to 16 different nations; some six more than 2015 and double the number of destinations compared to 2014.

Aside from Canada, the largest and most consistent U.S. crude export destination for the first five months of 2016 is Curacao, located in the Caribbean Sea north of Venezuela, with crude oil exports averaging 54,000 b/d through May.

Exports to the Netherlands followed, averaging 39,000 b/d through the first five months of this year, with other Western European nations – notably Italy, France, and the United Kingdom – also ranking high on the list of U.S. crude oil export destinations, EIA added.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

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