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Decline at the Pump Extended to Seventh Straight Week

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The streak has hit seven weeks: gas prices are down, yet again. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline is down 7.8 cents per gallon over the last week to $2.53 per gallon, the lowest level since March 16, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 10 million individual price reports. The national average price of diesel saw modest relief as well, falling 2.4 cents to an average of $3.19 per gallon. Motorists in many states are even seeing prices fall under $2 per gallon.

“The $1.99 club has seen its membership swell in the last week with the number of states with stations priced at that level or lower spiking to 18. Texas, New York, Missouri, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Michigan, Virginia, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois all have at least one station at $1.99 or less, and the good news is it won’t end there,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Oil prices have seen another weekly rout, with WTI crude oil shedding over $6 per barrel or some 14% to close the week at a mere $50 per barrel. While many may be a skeptic of the White House taking some credit, the Trump Administration’s reluctance to punish Saudi Arabia for its role in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is likely leading Saudi Arabia to push against large cuts in crude oil production, fearing potential fallout from Trump. In the week ahead, motorists in most states will likely see further drops, saving the country $125 million a day versus prices in early October.”

Energy markets got slammed again last week with crude oil surrendering 14% in value in a week that saw a barrel of WTI crude oil fall from $56.76 a barrel to an anemic $50.42, while Dated Brent abandoned its lofty $66.76 perch to end the week’s trades at $58.80. Refined products failed to escape the bearish dragnet and lost nearly 20 cents a gallon by the end of the week’s trading session on Friday, relief that will soon be passed along to millions of motorists. Compared to 30 days ago, American motorists are keeping $117 million of their money every day due to the near free fall in gas prices.

The gloomy outlook for oil continued a seven-week slide which once saw the crudes hold a $26 premium at the outset of October. Measures such as the release of supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a call by the Trump Administration for OPEC producers to make up for the expected drop in global supplies with the sanctioning of Iran, only to then give exceptions to virtually any country that wanted them, has set in motion the historical decline in oil’s popularity. Not only has trade tensions between the U.S. and China convinced skeptical energy traders that a weaker economic outlook is unfolding, but a dramatic rise in U.S. oil output to over 11.2 million barrels a day, has convinced most that energy prices are significantly overvalued. The result is, therefore, a foregone conclusion and short of a doubtful prospect that OPEC and Russia will commit to dramatic cuts in their crude outputs at the December 6 OPEC meeting in Vienna, petroleum prices are not likely to rise in the near future.

Gas prices now stand 3 cents higher than their year-ago level, closing what was once a 65 cent per gallon gap versus a year ago with further declines very likely in most states in the coming week, while states in the Great Lakes may see gas prices climb, as they do every few weeks, following a known behavior called price cycling.

All 50 states saw average gas prices move lower in the last week, while the following states led decliners:

States with the lowest average gas prices: Oklahoma ($2.15), Missouri ($2.19), Texas ($2.20), South Carolina ($2.20), Louisiana ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.24), Delaware ($2.24), Alabama ($2.25), Kansas ($2.25) and Kentucky ($2.26).

States with the highest average gas prices: Hawaii ($3.68), California ($3.59), Washington ($3.35), Alaska ($3.23) and Oregon ($3.18).

GasBuddy is a company that connects drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop. As the leading source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews. GasBuddy’s first-of-its-kind fuel savings program, Pay with GasBuddy, has saved Americans more than $4.5 million at the pumps since its launch in 2017.