GasBuddy 2012 Year in Review

Prepared by: Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst GasBuddy.com

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

Biggest Stories
• Refinery fire in Washington state starts the year off on a less than optimal foot, causing massive spikes in prices along West Coast • Spring time refinery problems in Great Lakes push Chicago prices to all time high of $4.56/gal • 8 of 12 West Coast refineries incur outages and California sees record highs in most markets; LA gasoline’s average price peaks at $4.72/gal in October • Hurricane Sandy packs punch, causes northeast refinery shutdowns, gasoline lines

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW > BIGGEST STORIES

Washington Refinery Fire at BP

• Large refinery fire at BP’s Cherry Point, WA refinery in mid-February leads to spike in gasoline prices along entire West Coast • Cherry Point refinery knocked offline for a significant amount of time, upwards of a year

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW > BIGGEST STORIES

Chicagoland Refinery Problems

• Maintenance issues at several Chicagoland area refineries drives retail prices up over a dollar per gallon in a month in Great Lakes • Prices rise to all time record high in Chicagoland metro area

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW > BIGGEST STORIES

West Coast Refinery Problems
• Fire at BP in Washington earlier in the compounds early autumn problems in California • Power outage at Exxon’s Torrance, CA refinery triggers massive chaotic buying • Costco runs out of gasoline at several locations • Fastest and largest spike in California gas prices ever

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW > BIGGEST STORIES

Hurricane Sandy Causes Shortages, Spikes
• Hurricane Sandy shuts refineries in the New England area • Power outages cause panic buying at open gasoline stations, shortage ensues • New Jersey rations gasoline purchases within days, NYC follows a week later • GasBuddy releases nationally recognized fuel finder tool for motorists

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW > SUMMARY

January to June
Gasoline prices in 2012 followed a very similar trend compared to 2011, with slightly higher prices. The national average began the year at $3.26/gallon and rose slightly in January and February, before climbing expeditiously starting in late February. MidFebruary prices averaged $3.50, and by March 1, had risen to $3.69. Gasoline prices began their seasonal rise earlier in 2012 than 2011, and also peaked earlier. Prices continued moving sharply higher in late-winter, and peaked at $3.92 on April 5, some five cents lower than 2011’s peak price of $3.97 on May 11, 2011. Prices began falling slightly after the April 5 peak, falling to $3.81 by the start of May. June saw price decreases continuing, with the national average moving substantially lower towards the start of July.
Jan-June 2012 $4.00/gal $3.90/gal $3.80/gal $3.70/gal $3.60/gal $3.50/gal $3.40/gal Jan-June 2011 Data © GasBuddy

$3.30/gal
$3.20/gal $3.10/gal

$3.00/gal

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW > SUMMARY

July to December
For the July 4 holiday, prices had slid to an average $3.38, some 20c/gal lower than 2011. Prices then began to rise in early July as hurricane season approached and numerous refining issues came to light. By early August, the national average had jumped higher again than it was the same day in 2011. The general trend in 2012 was upward prices as summer came to a close. In 2011, the trend was for generally lower prices during the same time. By October, the national average began to decline, and that continued into Thanksgiving, and early December. Average prices will likely remain above their 2011 into Christmas and look to start 2013 at all time record highs, a bad omen for what the rest 0f 2013 could look like.
July-Dec 2012 $4.00/gal $3.90/gal $3.80/gal $3.70/gal $3.60/gal $3.50/gal $3.40/gal $3.30/gal $3.20/gal $3.10/gal $3.00/gal 7/1 7/16 7/31 8/15 8/30 9/14 9/29 10/14 10/29 11/13 11/28 12/13 12/28 July-Dec 2011

Data © GasBuddy

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

Oil Inventories
2012 400,000 390,000 380,000 370,000 360,000 350,000 340,000 330,000 320,000 310,000 300,000 1/6 2/6 3/6 4/6 5/6 6/6 7/6 8/6 9/6 10/6 11/6 2011 EIA data thousands of barrels

According to EIA data, crude inventories climbed in 2012, and maintained gains throughout the summer. Crude inventories remain much higher today than a year ago, keeping downward pressure on landlocked crudes, such as West Texas Intermediate and Canadian Sour varieties. Unless the Keystone XL pipeline is approved, we expect landlocked crude to remain at significant discounts to international benchmarks such as Brent crude.

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

Gasoline Inventories
2012 250,000 2011 EIA data thousands of barrels

240,000

230,000

220,000

210,000

200,000

190,000
1/7 2/7 3/7 4/7 5/7 6/7 7/7 8/7 9/7 10/7 11/7 12/7

As EIA data shows above, gasoline inventories have remained tighter than they did in 2011, a contributing factor towards higher gasoline. Several refining problems throughout the year may have contributed to tighter supply, or refinery maintenance, or simple economics. Northeastern refineries, in particular, were operating at a distinctively low level in February (55% ) due to a change in ownership at two of the larger facilities in Philadelphia. And in November refinery output plummeted nearly as low, (to 58.5%) due to the damage in NJ from Hurricane Sandy. As 2013 begins, gasoline inventories are higher than their 2012 lows, but still well below previous January levels.

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

Forecast vs. Actual
Forecast $4.50 $4.00 $3.50 $3.00 $2.50 $2.00 $1.50 $1.00 $0.50 $0.00 Actual

The image above shows GasBuddy’s 2012 forecast, released January 7, 2012, to the actual prices of 2012. With good accuracy, you can see actual prices followed the forecast very closely before peaking earlier than expected with a large drop in retail gasoline prices. After three months of lower than expected prices, the national average climbed similar to what was forecast and ended the year very close to what was expected.

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

Price Peaks
City
New York City Los Angeles

Forecast
$4.30-$4.55 $4.45-$4.70

Actual
$4.21 $4.71

Chicago
Houston Philadelphia Phoenix Dallas

$4.60-$4.95
$3.95-$4.25 $4.15-$4.40 $3.90-$4.20 $3.80-$4.15

$4.57
$3.88 $3.98 $3.94 $3.91

Jacksonville
Indianapolis San Francisco Columbus Charlotte

$3.95-$4.20
$3.90-$4.25 $4.50-$4.85 $4.20-$4.55 $4.00-$4.35

$3.90
$4.12 $4.73 $3.99 $3.90

Detroit
Memphis Boston Seattle Denver Atlanta Miami Minneapolis

$4.15-$4.50
$3.95-$4.30 $4.10-$4.35 $4.40-$4.65 $3.85-$4.05 $4.25-$4.60 $4.05-$4.40 $4.15-$4.45

$4.08
$3.79 $3.94 $4.33 $3.87 $3.95 $4.03 $3.97

About GasBuddy
GasBuddy was founded in 2000 and leading source of gasoline price data. derived from both its large number of spotters and stations that participate by data directly to GasBuddy. has become a Pricing data is volunteer price sending pricing

Average gasoline prices are continuously updated using new data inputs, and GasBuddy is the only source of near real-time pricing data, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. GasBuddy operates over 250 live gasoline price-tracking websites, including GasBuddy.com. GasBuddy.com was named one of Time magazine's 50 best websites and to PC World's 100 most useful websites of 2008.

Contact:
Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst Chicago, IL (o) 773-644-1427 (e) pdehaan@gasbuddy.com (skype) gasbuddypd

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