Gas prices stabilizing

Have gas prices hit their peak? It’s too early to tell, but a month of consistent increases came to at least a brief end after the average national cost of a gallon of regular unleaded hit a recent high of $3.56 a gallon on March 16.

The national average is at $3.54 a gallon this morning as crude-oil prices have continued to stabilize themselves in the wake of the natural disasters in Japan that have impacted that nation’s economic output and thus demand for oil supplies in the short term.

Continued unrest in the Middle East heightened by UN Coalition forces taking action in Libya over the weekend are acting as a counterbalance on the crude-oil market. A barrel of oil is trading at $103 at the opening of trading Monday morning.

“While no one is ready to call this week’s stability at the gas pumps a trend, the recent slowing and even declines in some areas is welcome news for motorists,” Martha M Meade, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Given the uncertainty in the crude oil market following continued unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, and last week’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan, it’s too soon to tell what the short or long term effects will be on gas prices.”

Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at freepress2@ntelos.net.


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