Some Oklahoma City area drivers found an unexpected treat Monday when they went to fill up their gas tanks: gasoline for less than $3 a gallon.
About a dozen gas stations dipped below the $3 mark on Monday, according to oklahomacitygas
Oklahoma's average price continues to drop as well, falling 23 cents over the last 17 days, according to AAA Oklahoma.
Monday's average of $3.341 a gallon was the state's lowest in more than six months, AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai said. Oklahoma City averaged $3.253 a gallon on Monday, while Tulsa drivers paid an average of $3.331.
“These lower prices are largely the result of worsening economic conditions worldwide, which are driving down crude oil prices as well as expectations for future demand for oil,” Mai said. “At the same time, the U.S. dollar has been gaining strength, giving oil prices even more downward momentum.
Another factor in lower prices, he said, is refineries now have completed their transition to making cheaper-to-produce winter blends of gasoline.
Mai also said concerns about the softening global economy and Europe's ongoing debt crisis have slashed crude oil prices, with West Texas Intermediate hovering about $81 a barrel.
Lower oil prices have contributed to reduced gasoline prices.
The last time prices in Oklahoma were as low as they were Monday was March 4, when the state average was $3.338 a gallon, Mai said.
“These lower gasoline prices are certainly good news for Oklahoma motorists; however, there is still quite a bit of uncertainty regarding gasoline prices on the long term,” he said.
Mai said prices should continue to inch downward as long as nothing disrupts gasoline or oil supplies in the U.S. or abroad.
“How far and how fast depends on how quickly the troubled economies of the world, including our own, start to show signs of recovery,” he said. “To get a sense of where local pump prices are headed, watch crude oil prices, track the Dow, and chart the strength or weakness of the U.S. dollar.”
Only eight states had cheaper gasoline than Oklahoma on Monday, according to AAA's daily gasoline price website, www.FuelGaugeReport
Twenty-four states still had gas price averages below $3.50 per gallon, with California the highest at $3.889.