AAA: Gas Prices Creep Higher as Global Oil Supplies Remain Tight

Published 9:29 pm Monday, January 24, 2022

Gas prices up by a penny over last week

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Tennessee gas price average is slowly increasing as the price of crude rises to multi-year highs.

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Since last Monday, gas prices across Tennessee have risen a penny on average. The Tennessee Gas Price average is now $3.04 which is 5 cents more expensive than one month ago and 84 cents more than one year ago.

“Since dipping under $3.00 in the first week of January, the state average for a gallon of gas has slowly started to rise again,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee Public Affairs Director, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “And as long as the price for oil remains elevated, consumers will be feeling it at the pump.”
Quick Facts
– 55% of Tennessee gas stations have prices below $3.00
– The lowest 10% of pump prices are $3.37 for regular unleaded
– The highest 10% of pump prices are $2.82 for regular unleaded

National Gas Prices
Despite typical low seasonal demand for gasoline, pump prices are clawing their way higher. The national average for a gallon of gas is $3.33, two cents more than a week ago. The culprit is the rising price for oil, which is now bobbing around $85 per barrel, nearly $20 more than in November. Last week, both OPEC and U.S. energy officials said the COVID-19 omicron variant is no longer expected to slow the continued recovery of petroleum demand in 2022. Despite this, OPEC and its allies are maintaining their planned modest production increases and will not dramatically ramp up output. The result will be a continued tight supply of oil.
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks rose by 5.9 million bbl to 246.6 million bbl last week. Meanwhile, gasoline demand rose slightly from 7.91 million b/d to 8.22 million b/d. The slight increase still puts gas demand in the average range for the winter driving season. Typically, pump prices drop due to low gas demand and a rise in supply, but a steady increase in the price of crude oil has prevented this from happening. As oil prices continue to climb, pump prices will likely follow suit.

National Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 41 cents to settle at $85.14. Although crude prices ended the day down due to weather-related demand concerns, prices generally rose last week despite EIA reporting that total domestic crude stocks increased by 500,000 bbl to 413.8 million bbl. The current crude stock level is approximately 15 percent lower than in mid-January 2021, contributing to pressure on domestic crude prices. For this week, crude prices could continue to climb if EIA’s next weekly report shows a decrease in total inventory.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Tennessee Regional Prices
– Most expensive metro markets – Memphis ($3.14), Morristown ($3.12), Jackson ($3.08)
– Least expensive metro markets – Cleveland ($2.96), Chattanooga ($2.97), Kingsport-Bristol ($2.98)

Locally, Carter County’s average gas price sits in the middle of the price spectrum at $3.01, while Washington County sits one cent below that at $3.00. The average gas price for Sullivan County is $2.99, while Johnson County sits at $3.01.