Despite ongoing refinery problems, average Oklahoma gas prices Tuesday were at the lowest levels for this time of year since 2004. According to FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com, the state average of $2.456 per gallon for regular gasoline is nearly 12 cents below the average posted only seven days ago and puts Oklahoma among the 10 states with the largest week-over-week pump price declines.
“Due to the steep drop in crude oil prices, gas prices have fallen recently across the nation to a U.S. average price Tuesday of $2.577, down almost 23 cents from the 2015 high of $2.804 recorded on June 15,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “Prices should continue to fall this autumn due to declining demand and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline. In fact, a couple of dozen stations are selling E-10 enhanced fuel for under $2 per gallon in the Oklahoma City area, although the citywide average is nearly nine cents above Tulsa’s due to higher prices being charged for pure gas in OKC.”
BP’s largest crude distillation unit at its Whiting, Indiana, refinery remains out of commission due to a malfunction reported on August 8 that triggered dramatically higher prices in the central U.S. Repairs to the unit are reported to be ongoing, and the company has yet to release a date they expect the unit to return to production. However, BP has purchased additional fuel supplies and has fulfilled all of its contracts. Regional supplies are still uncertain due to the outage, but prices in the region have moved lower over the past week as speculation has built that supply issues might not be as dire as first thought.
Motorists in the Pacific Northwest continue to pay the nation’s highest averages with three of the five states with averages above $3 per gallon located in this region. California ($3.45) leads the pack, followed by Alaska ($3.43), Nevada and Hawaii (both at $3.17) and Washington ($3.02). Drivers in South Carolina ($2.11) are paying the lowest average at the pump.
Crude oil prices have continued to sag due to persisting global oversupply and concerns about the health of the Chinese economy. China is one of the world’s largest and most rapidly growing economies but evidence of slower than projected growth in that nation is rippling through global markets, putting more downward pressure on the price of crude. At the close of yesterday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate settled at its lowest close since Feb. 23, 2009, down $2.21 at $38.24 per barrel.
Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.