Tulsa motorists are benefitting from some of the lowest gasoline prices in the nation.
Last week, AAA reported that the average price for a gallon of gas in Tulsa was $1.43 – at that time the lowest in the nation in major metropolitan areas.
Across the country, Oklahomans were paying the least at the pump for regular gasoline – $1.576. Only Missouri comes close at $1.60.
“Crude oil’s in a free fall amid plentiful supplies, increased exports from Iran, and concerns that problems in the Chinese economy will reduce fuel demand,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “While this is not good news for the oil industry or the state of Oklahoma, these low gas prices are making driving more affordable, incentivizing motorists to hit the highway for a good-fashioned American road trip, weather permitting.”
Tumbling crude oil prices around the world have helped send the Oklahoma retail average price for gasoline to its lowest mark since January, 2009. Last week’s price is $1.07 below the 2015 high of $2.65 recorded on July 22 and marks the thirteenth consecutive day the state average has fallen.
National retail gas price averages have fallen for 64 of the past 75 days (since January 20), for a total savings of 35 cents per gallon, reaching last week’s price of $1.87 per gallon. Gas prices are down eight cents per gallon on the week, which is the fastest pace gas prices have dropped since the middle of November.
Motorists typically enjoy falling gasoline prices in early winter due to decreased demand for gasoline and that also is helping to push prices downward. Despite recent declines, the national average price of gas is only 18 cents per gallon cheaper than a year ago.
In light of the recent downward shift in oil and gasoline, the Energy Information Administration has lowered its forecasts for the year. The EIA expects regular gasoline to average $2.03 per gallon, 37 cents lower than initial estimates and 40 cents below last year’s average.
Earlier this month, the EIA also forecast that monthly gasoline averages would reach as high as $2.56 in July; this year’s monthly average peak has been revised to $2.18 in June. The price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil is now forecast to average $38.54 per barrel, $10.13 lower than last year.
The price of oil has dropped more than 70 percent compared to the June 2014 high of $107.26 per barrel, and is at its lowest level since 2003. The rout in oil prices has continued last week with WTI closing January 20 at $28.46 per barrel on the NYMEX, a loss of 96 cents on the day.
AAA estimates Oklahoma’s annual average price of gas in 2016 will be $2.05 to $2.25 per gallon, although 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 persist.
The retail average in California ($2.74) continues to be the most expensive in the nation and remains relatively high due to lingering refinery issues impacting supply in the region. The Golden State is followed by regional neighbors: Hawaii ($2.64), Alaska ($2.48), Nevada ($2.40) and Washington ($2.31). On the other hand, a total of 38 states are posting averages below $2 per gallon and gas prices are below the $1.75 benchmark in 17 states, seven states more than a week ago. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.