Oklahoma gasoline prices have dropped more than 40 cents over the past four weeks as they return closer to normal.
Whatever normal is.
The statewide average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline settled at $3.50 Wednesday, down 42 cents from the 2013 high of $3.92 set May 21.
With the price drop, the statewide average is back below the national average, which settled at $3.60 Wednesday, down a nickel from $3.65 one month ago.
“We are seeing a return to production from those two huge oil refineries in the upper Midwest — one in Illinois and one in Indiana,” AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai said. “They're not fully online yet, but the worst is over.”
The two refinery outages have been blamed for much of the price spike seen throughout Oklahoma and other states in the region.
While prices have dropped in recent weeks in Oklahoma, areas closer to the affected refineries are still experiencing higher prices. Chicago averaged $4.25 on Wednesday, down just a penny over the past month.
While Oklahoma prices have fallen steadily in recent weeks, Mai said the drop likely is not over yet.
“I think prices will continue to fall through the summer unless something happens in the Middle East,” Mai said. “That's been the trend in recent years. Once we weather the refinery transition in late spring from winter to summer-grade fuel, the prices tend to fall in June and July. We've had some exceptions to that rule, but generally over the last 10 years, that's been the norm.”