While damage assessments are still being made in the wake of Hurricane Idalia, the national average for a gallon of gas fell by two 2.4 cents since last week to $3.803. At the same time the average price for a gallon of gas in Pennsylvania is 2.5 cents lower this week at $3.856 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
Gas prices in the Lehigh Valley were already lower than the national or state average and the drop in price was slightly larger. The average price for a gallon of gas in the Lehigh Valley on Sept. 6 was $3.731 compared to $3.779 on Aug. 29, a drop of 4.8 cents,
AAA said in its report that oil and gas experts have noted overall gasoline demand during the summer vacation season failed to match previous years despite retail gasoline prices below last year’s prices.
Today’s national average is 2.6 cents less than a month ago and 2.4 cents more than a year ago.
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand increased slightly from 8.91 to 9.07 million barrels per day last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks took a slight step back to 217.4 million barrels. Although demand has increased, fluctuating oil prices have limited pump price increases.
At the close of last Wednesday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate increased by 47 cents to settle at $81.63. Oil prices rose amid ongoing concern Hurricane Idalia would interrupt fuel supply in the Southeast.
However, some fuel terminals have resumed operations, and more are expected in the coming days as storms subside and damage assessments can be undertaken. Additionally, the EIA reported that total domestic commercial crude inventories decreased significantly from 433.5 to 422.9 million barrels.