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Oklahoma seeing gasoline prices below $3 again

Gasoline prices have tumbled over the past two weeks as refiners have switched to less-expensive winter fuel blends and as several refinery outages have been repaired.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: October 27, 2012

Prices are dropping faster now because the traditional October price decline was delayed by market fear, said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma.

“The price at the pump is coming more in line to where it should have been ordinarily,” Mai said. “The recent price run-up we saw over the past few months didn't have any basis in market conditions. It was more based on speculation and fear because of Iran and Israel and Turkey and other factors that never materialized as a threat to supplies.

“Those things can all change day-by-day, but right now, everything is in place for prices to continue to edge down through the end of the year.”

There is, however, one large potential threat looming in the Caribbean. Hurricane Sandy is aiming for the eastern seaboard and could threaten refineries in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“That could be a factor if it hits the mid-Atlantic region,” Laskoski said. “A lot of those refineries will probably shut down for safety reasons as the storm approaches. There could be a fairly tight supply within the next 72 hours in parts of the Atlantic, but I don't think this is going to be something to have a long-term impact on gasoline prices.”

While the price of gasoline has dropped over the past month, not everyone is happy.

Jesse Staley drives a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta that runs on diesel.

He filled up for $3.85 a gallon Friday at a Murphy USA station that was selling regular unleaded gasoline for $2.95.

“When I bought this car, diesel was $1.15 a gallon. Now it's almost $1 more than gasoline,” he said.

The statewide average price for diesel was $3.98 a gallon, up four cents over the past month.

“Typically demand does not fluctuate with diesel because it is mostly used by 18-wheelers, which don't have a demand season or an off season,” Mai said. “Diesel also uses a more expensive, low-sulfur formulation the EPA rolled out about a year ago.”

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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