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Gas and diesel prices down as Indiana refinery set to reopen

Feb. 27, 2024
The diesel national price average has dropped to $4.058 per gallon and gasoline to $3.249.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) saw diesel prices largely decrease the week of Feb. 26 from both the week and the year before. As the country moves toward spring, the current U.S. on-highway diesel fuel average is $4.058 per gallon, which is 5 cents lower than last week and 23 cents less than last year.

Most areas across the region followed suit, even if at incremental levels. The only region where prices increased was the Rocky Mountain area, which saw a diesel fuel price increase of 4 cents to $3.999 per gallon. But otherwise, the Gulf Coast’s fuel costs decreased the most at 7 cents, taking the region’s diesel prices down to $3.768 per gallon. The Lower Atlantic sub-region also saw a larger price decrease of 6 cents to $4.120 per gallon, and the East Coast saw a drop of 5 cents to $4.185.

With these price alterations, the Gulf Coast remains the cheapest place for diesel fuel, while the state of California is the most expensive at $3.768 per gallon.

According to the EIA, the bulk of diesel fuel’s costs is still going toward crude oil production, with 45% of January 2024’s $3.85 per gallon, or $1.73, funneled to the task. Distribution and marketing took up the second-largest contribution of fuel prices at 21%, or about 80 cents, with refining costs taking third place at 19% (73 cents) of the diesel price average. Finally, Uncle Sam’s taxes comprised the least of diesel’s fuel costs at 15%, or 57 cents.

In comparison, the AAA motor club logged its current diesel average at $4.071 per gallon, cheaper than the EIA by two cents. A week ago, the AAA’s price reckoning was $4.099, and $4.427 from a year ago.

Gasoline prices decline, save for West Coast

Similar to diesel fuel, gasoline prices largely decreased. Currently, the EIA’s national gasoline average is $3.249, two cents cheaper than a week ago and 9 cents lower than this time last year. This effect was mirrored across the country, save for the Rocky Mountain region and the West Coast, both with and without California.

Read more: Diesel prices stay flat, gasoline up again

Gas prices in the Rocky Mountain region rose 6 cents to $2.982 per gallon while the West Coast with California increased 2 cents to $4.082 and without the state increased 8 cents to $3.690. Surprisingly, California itself saw a 2-cent decrease in its gas prices to $4.440 per gallon.

As for the rest of the country, most regions saw small price decreases, with the largest of 5 cents bring the Gulf Coast’s gas prices down to $2.845 per gallon. This made the region the cheapest place for gas as well as diesel, while California remains the most expensive.

For this week, the AAA gas average is currently at $ 3.264, once cent less than last week. Last year’s average at this time at $3.368, making this year’s price 10 cents better.

As to why prices faltered when they seemed on the way up, the AAA estimated in a press release that the eventual reopening of the BP-Whiting refinery in Indiana could have relaxed prices. The facility first closed in early February due to power issues. However, this doesn’t erase the impact warmer spring temperatures are likely to have on fuel prices.

“Old man winter is shuffling toward the exit, and with milder weather and longer days looming, the seasonal rise in gas prices is primed to begin,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “But it will probably be a slow, wobbly start to rising prices.”


This article was originally published on FleetOwner.com.

About the Author

Alex Keenan

Alex Keenan is an Associate Editor for Fleet Maintenance magazine. She has written on a variety of topics for the past several years and recently joined the transportation industry, reviewing content covering technician challenges and breaking industry news. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

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