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Gas price average holds steady amid tensions with Iran

Gas price average holds steady amid tensions with Iran Gas price average holds steady amid tensions with Iran

The national gas price average held steady on the week at $2.58, but that could change depending on the movement of crude oil prices due to geopolitical concerns. Following airstrikes in Baghdad last Friday, which killed Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani, crude oil prices increased, causing market speculation about what could happen to gas prices in the near-term.

It’s typical to see crude oil prices push more expensive amid current events. What this increase means in terms of retail prices is yet be seen. It depends on how expensive crude oil prices go and the duration at which it sells at a higher price point.

Today’s national average is $2.58, which is the same price as last Monday and last month, but 34 cents more expensive than the beginning of 2019.

Five Great Lakes and Central States saw gas prices decrease on the week, and all other states saw pump prices increase by a penny or hold steady. In the region, gas prices range from $2.20 to $2.66.

Gas prices in the region saw minimal movement thanks in part due to a substantial 1.4 million barrels build in gasoline stocks, jumping the regional total to 53.5 million barrels. Stocks have only been this high one other time since the end of March 2019, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. With regional refinery utilization at 97 percent, stocks are expected to continue to build and pave the way for cheaper gas prices, but more expensive crude prices could change this forecast.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil increased by $1.87 to settle at $63.05. As market concerns over geopolitical risk increase, crude prices have increased amid uncertainty over how long tensions may continue to rise in the region. Crude prices may rise further this week if tensions continues to mount.