FuelPumps Photo: Sean Kilcarr/American Trucker

U.S. fuel prices keep right on climbing

Diesel is now below the $3 mark in only three regions of the country.

National average prices for both diesel and gasoline increased this week versus last week, according to data tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), with diesel fuel now over the $3 per gallon mark in all but three U.S. regions.

The national average price for diesel is up 4.5 cents this week to $3.070 per gallon, which is 50.8 cents per gallon higher compared to the same week in 2017.

EIA said diesel prices increased in every region of the country and now exceed the $3 per gallon mark in all but three of them:

  • The Lower Atlantic: up 3.9 cents to $2.968 per gallon
  • The Gulf Coast: up 5.3 cents to $2.868 per gallon
  • The Rock Mountains: up 1.2 cents to $2.967 per gallon

The Midwest witnessed the largest week-over-week spike in diesel prices, up 5.9 cents to $3.030 per gallon.

The national average piece for gasoline went up 4 cents this week to $2.607 per gallon, which is 31.1 cents per gallon higher compared to the same week in 2017.

The West Coast witnessed the biggest week-over-week jump in prices, some 6.4 cents to $3.088 per gallon, but that shifts to a 2.5 cent hike to $2.723 per gallon with California removed from the mix.

The West Coast is the only region of the country where gasoline exceeds the $3 per gallon mark, EIA noted.

The central Atlantic is home to the third highest price point for gasoline in the nation, behind both configurations of West Coast pricing (with and without California included), with prices rising 4.4 cents this week to $2.723 per gallon.

In other petroleum related news, analysis conducted by EIA determined that U.S. oil exports experienced a surge late last year after refineries damaged by Hurricane Harvey came back online.

From late August through September 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused disruptions to the U.S. Gulf Coast refining sector, the agency said, resulting in record-high U.S. crude oil exports when export facilities reopened after the storm – and even before many refineries returned to pre-storm levels of utilization.

By October 2017, U.S. crude oil exports reached a monthly record of more than 1.7 million barrels per day (b/d), with EIA’s Petroleum Supply Monthly data for October last year indicating that the largest increases in U.S. crude oil exports were to Asia – accounting for 40% of total U.S. exports of crude oil, averaging 636,000 b/d, or more than double their pre-Harvey levels – followed by Europe, which accounted for 31% of all U.S. crude oil exports or some averaged 510,000 b/d, for September and October.

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