Not since 2004 have gasoline prices been this low. The decline in price is only expected to continue to drop as U.S. oil prices also resume to fall. According to AAA, oil is just slightly more than $38 per barrel as of Monday. The national average, as of yesterday, is $2.59 per gallon of gasoline. This is an 11-year low that is only expected to decrease even as demand has increased and the problems being faced by some refineries continues.
As is usually the case, Houston averaged slightly lower than the national average at $2.33 a gallon according to a recent GasBuddy survey. The AAA goes on to state that they are projecting prices to drop below $2 by the end of December. It would appear that this decline could only be stopped by something unexpected in the marketplace.
Although it should be noted that it is typical for gas prices to fall in the fourth quarter of the year due to a decrease in demand. The sharp decline in oil prices is, of course, the major contributor to the dip in price. Some analysts have also been on record saying that gas prices would be at $2 if not for some operational and maintenance obstacles that occurred at U.S. refineries. Over the summertime, there was a notable increase in demand, which also was a factor.
Not since February of 2009 have oil prices fell below $40 a barrel. Back when this occurred gas prices were around $1.90 a gallon.
Currently, in Texas and 11 other states, there is at least one gas station that is selling gasoline for under $2 a gallon. Which state is currently selling the average cheapest gas at this time? According to AAA, you can find gasoline in South Carolina for $2.11 per gallon on average. The last time gas was this cheap was in late 2008 to mid-2009, and the national average was under $2 per gallon.
Currently in Houston the average gasoline price fell around 4.4 cents a gallon. This percentage drop, which as of Sunday put the price at $2.33 a gallon, was lower than the national average. The national drop was slated at 7.1 cents per gallon according to GasBuddy.
An analyst from GasBuddy was quoted saying that, “The Midwest saw gasoline prices plunge after it was reported that BP was looking to bring its Whiting refinery (in Indiana) online in the days ahead.” This senior petroleum analyst went on to say that, “Should this eventually be confirmed, prices could fall through at least Labor Day in the Midwest. On the flip side, motorists in the Northeast should now be on alert after a major fire struck a PBF refinery in Delaware City on Friday. The market hasn’t really had a chance to react, but it could turn ugly at the pump in the days ahead for motorists in that region. Elsewhere, the West Coast saw prices decline, along with the Gulf Coast, East Coast and Rockies- virtually everyone saw gasoline prices fall in the last week.”