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Summer brings rare gas price reprieve

Posted: August 8, 2014 5:43 p.m.
Updated: August 8, 2014 5:43 p.m.
 

Continuing into August, drivers in California — and throughout the Unites States — are seeing gas prices at some of their lowest levels in years, officials said Friday.

At the beginning of this week, the average price nationwide for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline stood at around $3.50 a gallon — its lowest level for early August since 2010, according to AAA.

That average dipped even lower throughout the week, falling to around $3.48 a gallon as of Friday, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

This week continued a recent trend of gas prices plunging nationwide, including in California.

“Falling gas prices are nearly the opposite to what we usually see this time of year,” said AAA spokesman Avery Ash in a post on the AAA website. “Refineries are running at full tilt and there is more than enough gasoline in the market, which has helped bring down prices despite multiple overseas conflicts.”

Gas prices in Santa Clarita ranged between $3.79 and $4.09 a gallon as of Friday, according to GasBuddy.com, a price-tracking website.

Statewide the price of an unleaded gallon of gasoline Friday stood at $3.93, according to AAA. That’s down roughly 4 cents from a week ago and 21 cents from a month ago.

Tuesday, July 29, marked the first time since March that Californians paid, on average, less than $4 a gallon for gas, according to AAA.

“Gas prices may cost less than in recent years this August as long as refinery production remains strong and oil costs do not rise due to unexpected issues,” Ash said.

Analysts with GasBuddy attributed the recent slide in gas prices in part to stabilizing oil prices worldwide. Barring something like a tropical storm shutting down refining operations on the Gulf Coast, gas prices will likely slide heading into autumn.

Demand for gasoline typically declines in autumn, and autumn blends of gasoline are easier to manufacture, according to GasBuddy.

“Currently, we see about 24 stations in four states where gasoline sells for less than $3 a gallon on the street,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at GasBuddy, in an online post. “By November, we’ll probably see thousands of sites where $3 a gallon can be beaten.”

Despite recent decreases, California still has the third-highest average gas price in the country, trailing only Hawaii’s $4.33 a gallon and Alaska’s $4.11 a gallon.

By comparison, the lowest gas prices can be found in South Carolina, where drivers spend about $3.20 a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline.

Lmoney@signalscv.com
661-287-5525
On Twitter @LukeMMoney

 

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