Gas Prices Should Begin Steady Decline

Gas Prices
Photo Courtesy: UPI

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Sept. 8 (UPI) — Though refinery issues kept retail gasoline prices somewhat elevated, a switch to a different blend of gas will be a net industry win, reports.

The price watchdog website reports a national average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $2.39 per gallon, about 2.8 percent less than last week and 8 percent lower than one month ago. The national average price is 30 percent, or $1.04 per gallon, less than this date in 2014.

An outage at BP’s refinery in Whiting, Ind., last month skewed the national average price higher because gas prices in the Great Lakes states spiked by up to 50 cents per gallon. Low output from a Chevron refinery in California, meanwhile, is keeping prices elevated in many regional states.

Though the national price ahead of the long Labor Day holiday in the United States was the lowest in roughly a decade, motor club AAA said last week prices would’ve been even lower without those refinery issues. reports it may be the refiners that push prices lower in the coming weeks when they switch after Sept. 15 to a so-called winter blend of gasoline, which is less expensive to produce.

“For refiners they win because the winter blends are less taxing on the refinery to make. As these blends are less taxing to produce, they are also cheaper,” retail market analyst Jeffrey Pelton said in a briefing. “This is where the consumer wins, as some of that cost saving at the refiner’s end will get passed on to them.”

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show retail gasoline prices averaged $3.49 per gallon on Sept. 15, 2014 and fell 3 percent by the first week of October.

GasBuddy finds a handful of major metropolitan U.S. cities are recording an average retail price below $2 per gallon, with Spartanburg, S.C., posting the lowest price nation-wide at $1.90 per gallon. South Carolina is the only state with a full-state average below the $2 mark at $1.96 per gallon.


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