Despite continued unrest in the Middle East and other parts of the world, gasoline prices have plummeted over the past month, with at least five metro-area retailers selling fuel for less than $3 a gallon Thursday.
The citywide average price dipped to $3.25 Thursday, down 9.4 cents over the past week and 27 cents over the past month, according to gasbuddy.com.
Nationwide, the price has been going in the same direction, but more slowly. The county’s average price for a gallons of regular unleaded gasoline settled at $3.54 Thursday, down four pennies over the past week and almost 12 cents over the past month.
Gasoline prices typically are most heavily influenced by gasoline supplies and crude oil prices, both of which have been trending in favor of consumers over the past few weeks.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil, which is priced in Cushing, settled at $101.98 Thursday. While most people wouldn’t consider the price low, it is down $1.14 on the day and down almost $6 since fighting stepped up again in Iraq.
At the same time, the country’s refiners are running at record levels, at or near capacity with little or no disruption. Refinery inputs hit a record-high 16.8 million barrels per day in each of the past two weeks. The previous record was set in 2005.
“This is a very good sign for consumers,” GasBuddy analyst Gregg Laskowski said. “Any time you have strong numbers at refineries, it is an indication that gasoline prices are likely to be moving down.”
Continue reading this story on the...