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Gas prices lowest since April

Staff Reports • Updated Aug 3, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Gas prices have fallen 3 cents since last week, reaching Sunday’s average price of $2.14 per gallon, which is the lowest mark since April and the lowest price since 2004. 

Sunday’s price was 15 cents less than one month ago, 53 cents less than last year, and $1.38 cheaper than this same date two years ago. While gas prices are likely to remain relatively low heading into fall, there is potential for an increase if there is an unexpected impact to supply or distribution, such as a hurricane.

“Motorists are seeing some of the cheapest gas prices for this time of year in over a decade,” said Josh Carrasco, spokesman for AAA. “Abundant fuel supplies and declining oil prices are the main contributors to the drop in price at the pump. It’s between $5-$7 cheaper to fill your tank compared to last year, and those savings are motivating more Americans than ever to take a road trip this summer.”

Tennessee gas prices have declined for 53 consecutive days, dropping 30 cents during that time. Gas prices were below $2 since July 15 and only 1-in-10 gas stations in the state are selling gas above that price. The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $1.89, which was 4 cents cheaper than a week ago, 19 cents lower than a month ago and 49 cents less than this time last year. The lowest regional averages in the state are Chattanooga at $1.751, Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol at $1.803 and Clarksville-Hopkinsville at $1.814. Eighty-eight percent of gas stations statewide sell gas for less than $2 per gallon. 

Gas prices have been falling at a rate of 3-5 cents a week and if prices continue on their downward trend we should see the state average dip below $2 in the next two weeks. The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.08, which was 4 cents cheaper than a week ago, 17 cents lower than a month ago and 45 cents less than this time last year. Despite paying the lowest seasonal prices in 12 years, there is always the possibility that unexpected events could lead to higher prices later this summer. For example, crude oil costs could rise due to disruptions in supply, stronger-than-expected economic growth or geopolitical tensions overseas. In addition, regional prices could increase due to refinery problems, production cuts, stronger-than-anticipated demand or hurricanes that impact distribution and production. 

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Text Intermediate crude oil was down $1.53 on the week to settle at $41.60 per barrel.

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