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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Oil Prices Increase; Natural Gas Costs Ease
by Tom Moeller  February 15, 2022

• Gasoline prices continue their upward trek.

• Crude oil prices rise further.

• Natural gas prices slip.

Energy product prices remain firm. Retail gasoline prices rose to $3.49 per gallon (39.4% y/y) in the week ended February 14 from $3.44 in the previous week. Prices stood at the highest level since the first week of July, 2014. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price increased to $3.60 per gallon last week from $3.57 in the prior week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to $90.64 per barrel (54.8% y/y) in the week of February 11 from $89.64 in the prior week. It remained the highest price since the first week of October 2014. Yesterday, the price rose to $95.46 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil increased to $92.10 (50.2% y/y) from $90.35 in the prior week. The price strengthened to $96.13 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas fell to $4.19/mmbtu (-9.5% y/y) in the week of February 11 after strengthening to $5.78 in the previous week. It was the lowest price since early-January. Yesterday, the price fell to $4.44/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended February 4, gasoline demand rose 7.9% y/y, down from 17.1% y/y late in December. Growth in demand for all petroleum products has been steady around 12.3% y/y since early December. Growth in crude oil input to refineries fell to 4.9% y/y, after 13.1% y/y growth early in November. Gasoline inventories declined 3.1% y/y and crude oil inventories declined a steady 9.8% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending February 4 fell slightly 29.2 days from 30.4 days which was the highest level since February 2021. The supply of crude oil edged was little changed w/w at 26.6 days but that was down from 41.8 days early in March of last year.

These data are reported by the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy. The price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY and DAILY databases. Greater detail on prices, as well as the demand, production and inventory data are in USENERGY.

Weekly Energy Prices 02/14/22 02/07/22 01/31/22 Y/Y % 2021 2020 2019
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.49 3.44 3.37 39.4 3.28 2.24 2.57
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 90.64 89.64 86.54 54.8 67.74 39.43 56.91
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 4.19 5.78 4.60 -9.5 3.89 2.03 2.57
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