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Gas prices trickle lower after surge

Staff Reports • Updated Jun 5, 2018 at 9:00 AM

The summer driving season is in full swing, and it opened with the most expensive gas prices in four years. 

Fortunately, the prices at the pump started to trickle lower. 

The national average price of $2.95 per gallon was 2 cents less than the week prior. The discount at the pump was driven by strong declines in the price of oil – which influences about half the price of gasoline. 

Gas prices in Tennessee declined nearly 3 cents last week. The state average of $2.70 was 10 cents more than a month ago and 60 cents more than the same time last year. 

The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Jackson at $2.75, Nashville at $2.75 and Memphis at $2.70. The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Johnson City at $2.63, Chattanooga at $2.64 and Clarksville-Hopkinsville at $2.66.

Crude oil prices hit seven-week lows last week as the dollar gained strength and U.S. oil rig count reached the highest level since March 2015. The factors compounded the downward pressure on crude – initiated when Russia and Saudi Arabia revealed interest in raising crude output. The price of oil sank to $65.81 on Friday, after it reached a four-year high of $72.24 per barrel two weeks ago.  

“Gas prices could drop 10-15 cents based on recent oil price declines,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. “The discount will not happen overnight, because it usually takes a couple weeks for shifts like this to play out at the pump. However, any downward potential would be wiped out if futures prices suddenly bounce higher.”

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