Gulf Coast crude imports are also near multi year lows. Gulf Coast refineries are located close to the two fastest growing tight oil formations, the Eagle Ford and Permian. Crude oil from these basins is also generally of light sweet quality. However, because it is less economic to ship Eagle Ford and Permian basin production to the U.S. demand centers for light sweet crude oil on the East Coast, more Eagle Ford and Permian crude oil is being processed in Gulf Coast refineries, replacing imported crude.
Gasoline and diesel fuel prices fall
The U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline decreased three cents to $3.30 per gallon as of January 20, 2014, two cents lower than last year at this time. Prices decreased in all regions of the nation with the largest decrease coming in the Midwest, where the price was five cents lower than last week at $3.20 per gallon. The West Coast price fell three cents to $3.49 per gallon and the East Coast price was $3.39 per gallon, a drop of two cents from last week. The Gulf Coast price lost a penny to total $3.10 per gallon while the Rocky Mountain price decreased less than a cent to remain at $3.15 per gallon.
The national average diesel fuel price fell one cent to $3.87 per gallon, three cents lower than last year at this time. The East Coast price increased a penny to $3.95 per gallon while prices in all other regions of the nation fell. The West Coast and Rocky Mountain prices both dropped three cents to $3.97 per gallon and $3.86 per gallon, respectively. The Midwest price was $3.83 per gallon, a decrease of two cents, and on the Gulf Coast, the price lost a penny to $3.77 per gallon.
U.S. propane stocks fell by 3.4 million barrels to end at 35.3 million barrels last week, 25.6 million barrels (42.1%) lower than a year ago. Midwest regional inventories dropped by 1.3 million barrels and Gulf Coast inventories decreased by 1.2 million barrels. East Coast inventories dropped by 0.5 million barrels and Rocky Mountain/West Coast inventories decreased by 0.3 million barrels. Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 10.3% of total propane inventories.