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Summer travel season begins with lowest gas prices in 12 years

Staff Reports • Updated Jun 27, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Gas prices opened the summer travel season averaging the lowest price in 12 years. 

Since June 1, Tennessee gas prices averaged $2.07 – 9 cents less than the same period last year, and the lowest since 2005 when prices were at $2.03. 

“Lower gas prices will make it more enticing for Americans to take extended, or more frequent road trips this summer,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. “And when travelers spend less at the pump, they are left with extra cash to spend on lodging, shopping and dining out.”

Gas prices in Tennessee averaged $2.02 Sunday, yet motorists found gas prices well below $2 a gallon at many service stations throughout the state.

Tennessee ranks sixth among states with the lowest daily average price for gasoline. 

Gas prices are on a hot streak, and fell for the 27th consecutive day Sunday, for a total discount of 10 cents during that time. 

The state average declined 3 cents last week, according to AAA, whose data is collected from credit card swipes and direct feeds from 120,000 gas stations nationwide, in cooperation with OPIS and Wright Express. 

The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Nashville at $2.06, Memphis at $2.05 and Clarksville-Hopkinsville at $2.02. The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Chattanooga at $1.92 and Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol at $1.99.

“Oil prices moved even lower last week, dragging gas prices down with them,” Jenkins said. “Oil prices are having a hard time stabilizing amid fears that oversupply will continue dominating market. The slump at the pump is not over yet. Prices are falling at a steady rate, and motorists should see another round of discounts this week.”

Crude oil prices averaged the lowest in 10 months. U.S. crude inventories decreased by 2.5 million barrels to 509.1 million, but remain 1.8 percent higher than last year.

Domestic crude production rose by 20 barrels, averaging 7.1 percent higher than last year. Refineries continue running strong, operating at 94 percent capacity. Wholesale gasoline was down 2 cents from the week before. 

Domestic gasoline production increased last week, averaging 10.2 million barrels per day. Gasoline supplies inched lower nationwide, but higher in the Gulf Coast.

Gasoline demand surged 5.9 percent higher than the week before but remained 1.6 percent lower than the same time last year.

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