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.”