US: gasoline prices level as OPEC production remains constant image

After the price of gasoline surged since the start of the year through May, the average for regular unleaded gasoline across the US has remained relatively stable this month, with the summer driving season kicking off under auspicious conditions.

According to the AAA Gas Gauge Survey, the average price for gasoline continues to hover around $2.75 per gallon, fractions of a penny higher than during the past week and nine cents above the level seen last month. Additionally, many industry observers believe this would be the highest average for the entire year. As pump prices have soared since April, buyers still pay around 90 cents lower per gallon than during the same period last year, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, said last week it has no intention to lower production levels. Oil on the international markets is trading at around $63 per barrel and experts and analysts believe American producers are also delivering massive amounts of petroleum for internal usage. AAA also estimates the gasoline prices are heading towards a reduction as the US refineries are out of seasonal maintenance and will increase production to cope with the summer driving season.

Also, crude oil is not expected to undergo any major change as the OPEC has pledged to keep up with production to meet demand. AAA says California, with an average price of $3.61 per gallon is once more the country’s most expensive state, with seven states, all across Western US average more than $3 per gallon – Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, Utah and Oregon. The best states for drivers are South Carolina at $2.45 per gallon, Mississippi and Arkansas.