Tumbling crude oil prices around the world have helped send the national retail average price for gas to $1.83 today, down seven cents per gallon on the week, 18 cents for the month and 21 cents per gallon cheaper than a year ago. Motorists typically enjoy falling gasoline prices in early winter due to decreased demand for gasoline, which also helps to push prices downwards.
WTI crude closed out Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX up $2.77, settling at $32.19 per barrel. The price of crude oil has dropped more than 70 percent compared to the June 2014 high ($107.26 per barrel), and expectations that both global and domestic supply will continue to outpace demand are helping drivers to save at the pumps. The rout in oil prices continued this week as crude oil settled below the $30 per barrel on multiple days (closed Monday, $28.46 Tuesday, $26.55 Weds., $29.53 Thurs.). Many expect the oil market to begin to rebalance in 2016, but a number of questions remain. Specifically, a central focus will be the impact of Iranian oil returning to market, and if any changes in global oil demand will be significant enough to help offset some of the current glut in supply.
“The sharp decline in oil costs since the year began has the potential to lead to even lower gas prices if global oversupply and economic concerns continue,” said Martha Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Consumers should continue to benefit until the switchover to summer blend gasoline takes place.”
Oil production remains high even as prices dip. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports expectations of an additional 285 million barrels of oil by the end of 2016.
AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:
- Fuel Price Finder (AAA.com/fuelfinder) locates the lowest fuel price in your area.
- Fuel Cost Calculator (FuelCostCalculator.AAA.com) helps budget travel expenses.
- TripTik Mobile (AAA.com/mobile) plots fuel prices along your travel route.
- AAA’s Member Rewards Visa® Credit Card (AAA.com/financial/AAAvisa.htm
) accumulates double points on fuel purchases.