After four months of gasoline price increases, consumers have received a break at the pump in April.
The Oklahoma statewide average price of a gallon of regular gasoline dropped to $3.60 on Monday, down 6 cents over the past week and 14 cents from a high of $3.74 on April 6, according to AAA Oklahoma. The price is 10 cents less than it was one year ago.
The lowest price in the Oklahoma City area was $3.28 a gallon at eight locations, according to GasBuddy.com.
“We're seeing some stability in the price of oil,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “The big double-headed dragon of global demand and global politics (is) easing off.”
The international Brent crude price for oil closed at $118.71 on Monday, down 5 cents on the day and down more than 3 percent since April 4. The price has slid largely because of ongoing debt troubles in Europe and slowing manufacturing in China, Mai said.
Crude oil prices had climbed through the first three months of the year in part because of concern that international sanctions against Iran could cause oil supply disruptions. But Saudi Arabia has increased production to replace Iran's previous sales level.
While consumers have received a price break in recent weeks, it may be too early to celebrate.
“I don't feel confident saying that's it for the spring,” Mai said. “Prices typically peak in May when refiners go through the transition to produce summer fuels. I don't feel comfortable saying we've weathered the worst of it until about a month from now.”
But there is less speculation that the country could experience $5 gasoline this summer, he said.
“I never bought into that,” Mai said. “My feeling was that in Oklahoma we would top out about $3.75 or $3.80.”
Nationwide, the average price for gasoline was $3.86 on Monday. Nine states had average prices of $4 or more per gallon.