Gas Prices Fall Further As Oil Futures Collapse

Gas Officially Below $2.00 in Midwest and Gulf Coast

Gas price trend for week of January 5, 2015The price of a gallon of gas is cheaper than at any time in the past six years, with the official U.S. gas price now down to a mere $2.21 per gallon, off almost nine cents from last week’s price, and down $1.50 since the end of June 2014. The current pricing is detailed in the weekly gas price survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The regional average gas prices in the Midwest and Gulf Coast states are now officially below $2.00 per gallon, with the Midwest enjoying gas averaging about $1.97 and the Gulf Coast drivers enjoying gasoline at $1.99.

The price of gas continues to follow the track of crude oil, which has collapsed under the weight of strong supply and weak overseas demand. West Texas Intermediate crude, WTI, fell below $50 on Monday, triggering a massive stock market selloff. WTI was trading just over $48 per barrel in early Tuesday trading, and the overseas crude, Brent, was trading just above $51. By comparison, both futures indices were trading well above $100 per barrel over the summer, with Brent pushing past the $110 boundary at one point.

Gas prices below $2.00 in the U.S.

Gas prices are below $2.00 in many states. Photos credits (from left): Shirlice Irick, Ben Irick, Eric Scallion.

However, domestic oil production in the U.S., combined with high output from OPEC member states, has resulted in a glut of oil at a time when the broader global economy is slowing. The result is high output and lower demand, translating into very low retail gas prices. However, there is consensus among Arab OPEC nations that crude will return to between $70 and $80 per barrel by the end of the 2015.

Anticipating A Crude Oil Rebound

Reuters quoted unnamed OPEC ministers last week, most of whom agree the current decline in prices will stabilize and “find new equilibrium” by the end of the year. The sources told Reuters the reason they expect a turnaround is that they do not foresee the global economy slipping into a new recession, but rather enduring a momentary period of slowdown before growing once more.

In the meantime, the travails of low crude oil prices will remain bad news for producers but good news for American drivers. One motorist in Texas told he was able to fill up his small car for only $22, and that was using premium unleaded. For many drivers around the country, the cost of topping off the tank is about 40% lower than it was just six months ago.

Truckers Getting Big Break With Low Diesel Prices

That savings also translates to the hauling industry. Truckers have been enjoying slowly declining diesel prices for nearly a year, with the declines accelerating in recent weeks. As it stands, the average price of a gallon of diesel is now about $3.14, which is about 75¢ less than just a few short months ago. For a tractor-trailer with a 150-gallon tank, that translates into $113 in savings for every fill-up.

Region by region, the area with the highest diesel prices continues to be the New England and Central Atlantic states, where the cost is $3.29 and $3.30, respectively. California has the most expensive diesel at $3.34 per gallon.


Gas Prices Settle Just Under $2.30 In Latest Weekly Survey

Year-end Gas Prices Down 30% From Start Of 2014

Gas price trends for week of December 29, 2014The average cost of a gallon of gas dipped another dime during the past week to settle at $2.30 per gallon, according to the latest weekly survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The cost of gas is now over a dollar less than it was when the year started, and some drivers are paying as much as $1.18 less for gas than they were when 2014 began. Region by region, the most expensive place to get gas remains the West Coast, where the average driver is paying about $2.62 per gallon, but even that price is 91¢ lower than at the beginning of the year.

The cost of diesel also dropped a fair amount during the past week, with the average trucker paying about 7¢ per gallon less than last week, and the average hauler paying about 69¢ less than a year ago. Overall, the U.S. average diesel price is now just $3.21 per gallon. Because of refinery and supply issues, the most expensive place to get diesel is currently the New England states, where the average price is $3.37 per gallon. California comes in a close second, with the average diesel price ticking in at $3.36 in the Golden State.

Crude Oil Hits Fresh Lows On The Year

Meanwhile, domestic crude oil prices hit a fresh low on the year Monday, closing at $53.76. West Texas Intermediate is well on track to have shed more than 20% of its contract price during December, although there remain two trading days in 2014. Brent Light Sweet Crude, the overseas benchmark, is also coming off lows for the year, having closed below $58 on Monday. At present, both futures indices were up in early Tuesday trading.

The crude contracts are a strong indicator of where gasoline prices are heading in the next several weeks. Crude prices are down nearly 50% for the year, and as the price of crude has fallen, particularly since the middle of the summer, retail prices have followed. The corollary has been very close, too. At its peak price in 2014, regular unleaded topped out at $3.71 in late April, and again at $3.70 in June. WTI hit its peak in June, as well, before beginning a slow decline that accelerated as the holidays began.

Domestic Oil Production Still Expanding, But Likely To Slow

The likelihood of crude continuing to fall is beginning to wane, however, as oil riggers in the United States have begun shutting drilling operations for the time being. Bloomberg news cited a report from Baker Hughes this morning that U.S. oil drillers idled more rigs last week than at any time since 2012, primarily because the cost of driller is not justified when prices fall below a specific floor.

U.S. oil refinery

U.S. oil production has contributed to a significant slide in crude oil futures, but some U.S. companies are temporarily idling rigs, which could slow production growth and potentially halt the decline in crude prices.

Moreover, Bloomberg News is reporting today it expects the U.S. crude supply to remain at 387.2 million barrels on the week, which the media group reports as the highest stockpile of crude since 1982. Reporters cited U.S. statistical data and their own surveys when publishing their data. Bloomberg also reported this morning that domestic oil production is at its highest levels since tracking began in 1983.


Gas Prices Fall 15¢ In Single Week

Prices Below $2.00 Per Gallon In  Some Areas

Gas price trend for week of December 22, 2014The price of gas continued its precipitous decline during the past week, falling an average of 15¢ to settle at $2.40 per gallon. The figures are detailed in the weekly gas price survey from the Energy Information Administration, a branch of the Department of Energy. In some regions, the price of gas is so low it is closing in on the $2.00 per gallon level, and for a few lucky drivers across the Gulf Coast, the price is actually below that threshold for the first time in several years.

This week’s price decline is so dramatic, it underscores the close bond between the price of consumer gas and the futures markets. Crude oil futures are down by half since the middle of the summer, when gas prices were averaging about $3.70 per gallon, nationwide. Since then, domestic crude oil, West Texas Intermediate, has fallen from a high near $105 per barrel down to close at $56.22 on Tuesday. WTI has been trading between $50 and $60 per barrel for the past two weeks, ever since it close under $60 on December 11. Brent Light Sweet Crude, the overseas benchmark, is also down substantially in the past six months, from $111 per barrel at the end of June to $60.68 on Tuesday. Brent has closed under $60 twice in the past ten days.

As Goes Crude, So Goes Retail Gasoline

Gas prices through the year and at the end of 2014

At left: The price of gasoline has fallen so dramatically, the cost is below $2.00 per gallon in some areas of the United States, including at this station in Round Rock, Texas, near the Dell Campus, which is adjacent to the Texas 45 toll road. Meanwhile, the accompanying price chart from the E.I.A. displays the dramatic rise and fall of gas prices during 2014. Photo: Eric Scallion. Chart and data: E.I.A.

The question of how low prices will go is a point of contention among energy analysts, but the general mood is that the current glut in oil will likely last well into 2015. A report on Bloomberg news this morning details the trio of issues that have converged to impel the biggest yearly drop in oil prices since the Great Recession began in 2008. Those factors are high output by the United States, where the shale boom has help production rise to its highest levels in 30 years, continued high output by OPEC nations, and a slowing global economy that will continue to reduce worldwide demand in the coming months.

While the U.S. economy is growing at a fairly good pace – the Commerce Department reported gross domestic product rose at an annualized 5 percent rate during the third quarter – market watchers from Europe to the U.S. agree the rise in American demand for gas is not enough to offset the lower demand overseas.

While much of what happens in energy markets may seem esoteric to the average consumer, the corollary between crude and retail gasoline is unmistakable. Particularly in the face of high domestic production, drivers are not likely to see gasoline prices reversing course any time soon. Brent and WTI futures for February delivery are not any higher than the January contracts, which are influencing the price of gasoline today.

Diesel Prices Also Down, More Consistent From Region To Region

That price of gas has fallen $1.30 in the past six months, but the price of diesel has also come down substantially in the past six months, although the declines have not been quite as dramatic as retail gas. Diesel prices, on average, fell 14¢ per gallon last week to settle at $3.28 per gallon. As with regular automotive fuels, diesel prices vary region by region, but the disparity from one section of the nation to the next is not as dramatic as with unleaded gas.

For instance, the lowest prices for gasoline are found along the Gulf Coast, where the average consumer is paying about $2.18 per gallon. The highest average price, by survey region, is the West Coast, where prices are still about $2.70 per gallon. That is a range of 52¢. On the other hand, diesel’s highest prices are presently found on the East Coast, where the cost is $3.43 per gallon in the New England states, higher than California, where the price averages $3.41. The lowest cost is across the Gulf Coast, where prices for diesel are about $3.18. That puts the range for diesel at only 33¢; the fact diesel is more costly than unleaded gas also means that, mathematically, the cost of the fuel is more consistent from region to region.


Gas Prices Crumble Amid Supply Glut And OPEC Discord

Domestic Crude Down Almost 50% In Six Months

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our weekly report was not published for the week of December 8, 2014. However, we have the weekly E.I.A. price survey for the week available, and it may be viewed or downloaded.

Gas price trends for week of December 15, 2014The price of a gallon of gas has plunged in the past two weeks to record lows for the decade, and prices are poised to go even lower. Commodities experts agree consumers are benefiting from a glut of domestic shale oil and a recent decision by OPEC members not to alter production levels overseas.

As a result the average U.S. consumer is paying almost a quarter per gallon less for gas than just two weeks ago, according to the latest survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The E.I.A. report shows the average U.S. gas price is now $2.55 per gallon, down 13¢ in the past week, which follows a 10¢ decline the week earlier.

Gas price trends for the week of December 8, 2014

Top: The price of gas declined a stunning 13¢ per gallon last week. Above: The current price decline comes on the heels of a 10¢ decline the during the previous week.

The price of gas has declined so substantially that it is now almost 70¢ less than at this time last year, and prices, nationally, are about $1.15 less than just six months ago. That translates to a savings of $17.25 for every 15-gallon fill-up, and it is not just the general public that is benefitting.

Diesel Prices Declining At Faster Pace

After slow-paced price declines for most of the summer and autumn, truckers and fleet operators are realizing a substantial benefit from the lower crude oil prices, which has lead to lower costs for diesel. The average price of a gallon of diesel is down 45¢, year on year, and now averages $3.42 per gallon nationwide. Even in California, where prices remain higher than most states, the cost of diesel is down over 50¢ on the year to $3.55 per gallon.

That kind of a price decline means a substantial savings for the operation of a single tractor-trailer rig, to say nothing of the savings for small to large fleets of trucks. Given the average rig will hold about 250 gallons of diesel, a savings of $125 for every stop quickly aggregates into the thousands-of-dollars range.

Crude Continues Trading In Low $50’s Range

Domestic crude oil, West Texas Intermediate, has been trading in the lower $50 range for the last several days, although prices rebounded somewhat during early Tuesday trading. However, Brent Light Sweet crude, which is the overseas benchmark, was down early Tuesday after OPEC ministers again stated they would not cap production to control pricing.

Meanwhile, the reduced oil prices have touched off global instability in some regions threatened by the lower pricing, particularly unstable African nations, including Libya and Nigeria. In South America, the Venezuelan economy, already feeling a pinch due to civil unrest this year, is poised to suffer setbacks due to a sharp decline in revenues from oil exports.


Gas Prices Continue To Tumble As Crude Futures Sink Further

Gas price trend for week of December 1, 2014Some Analysts Predicting Oil At $50 Per Barrel Due To Shale Boom

The price of regular unleaded gas continued its months-long tumble to settle at an average $2.78 per gallon, according to the latest weekly price survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The E.I.A. report also shows diesel prices continued their price drops during the past week, with the nationwide average coming in at $3.60 per gallon. On average, American drivers are paying about 93¢ per gallon less for gas than they were just six months ago, which translates to $13.95 of savings for every fill up of a 15-gallon fuel tank.

Regional Prices Continue Falling At Different Rates

Gas prices around the country still vary widely by region, however, with the West Coast continuing to tally the highest prices in the country. Even so, for drivers from California to Washington State, the average price of $3.02 per gallon is welcome relief after a summer in which prices were regularly well above the $4.00 mark. The lowest prices in the country continue to be found in the Gulf Coast states, where the average price is now about $2.53 per gallon, but some stations near Austin had gas for less than $2.50.

Crude Oil Leading The Way To Lower Prices

Meanwhile, the price of fuel is expected to keep falling as it follows the trends in crude oil futures. Domestic crude, West Texas Intermediate, is now less than $70 per barrel to its lowest point in over five years. As WTI goes, so goes Brent Light Sweet Crude, which is also trading just above $70 these days. The reason is, of course, the U.S. shale boom, which has produced a much larger crude oil surplus than originally expected by both drillers and refineries.

Michael Yoshikami, founder of Destination Wealth Management, told CNBC Tuesday it was not unrealistic to think domestic crude could fall as low as $50 per barrel. Another oil market analyst, Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix in Zurich, said Brent could still trade in the $60-$70 range, like WTI does currently, particularly if the U.S. supply remains high and overseas producers continue their high level of output.


Gas Prices Continue Free Fall Going Into Thanksgiving

Prices Plunge Another Seven Cents In One Week

Gas price trend for week of November 24, 2014Even as freak snowstorms buffet many parts of the nation, the supply of gas, coupled with the multi-year low prices of crude oil futures, have continued to push the retail price of gas to fresh lows for 2014. The nation’s average price of gas fell over 7¢ per gallon during the past week to settle at $2.82, according to the latest weekly price survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In the Gulf Coast region, some drivers are enjoying what might be called “super low” gas prices, because premium gas is below $3.00, at some stations, a new threshold not commonly seen until the current spate of price declines. Along the broader Gulf Region, the average price of regular unleaded is the lowest in the nation at $2.59.


Gas prices in the Gulf region, like at this station near Austin, Texas, have fallen low enough that even premium prices are below the $3.00 threshold. The average Gulf price for regular unleaded is now $2.59 per gallon, the lowest in the country. Photo: Eric Scallion.

The week-on-week declines in fuel prices extended to diesel, which fell over 3¢ per gallon in most places. Prices in the Midwest and along the West Coast, a substantial survey region, fell by more than 4¢ per gallon. The U.S. average diesel price is now $3.62, with the Lower Atlantic states enjoying the lowest cost at an average $2.44 for the region. Truckers moving across the Rocky Mountain states and the broader West Coast region will pay the highest per-gallon prices for diesel at $3.74 and $3.72 per gallon, respectively.

2014 Crude Trends Differ From 2013

The price of fuel has been going down steadily since the end of June, when the summer peak in prices brought regular unleaded gas to $3.70 across the nation. Crude prices began to decline near the end of June, both on the domestic index, West Texas Intermediate, and the overseas benchmark, Brent Light Sweet Crude.

Interestingly, the price of diesel has been going down steadily since March 10, save for a two-week bump in prices at the end of April and another two-week upward lurch at the end of June. In each case, the price of unleaded gas also spiked, reaching spring time and summer peaks, respectively. For 2013, the prices of diesel and regular unleaded gas followed each other in a close trend line, which seems to have broken just ahead of spring in 2014.

Year On Year, Gas Is Significantly Cheaper

Regardless of the crude oil trends, both diesel and regular gas are significantly cheaper than at this time last year. On average, regular unleaded gas is about 47¢ less than at this time last year, when gas prices were reaching their seasonal low. Prices across the Lower Atlantic states are nearly 60¢ per gallon less than last year.

The year-on-year spread is not as pronounced for diesel, which is about 22¢ per gallon cheaper this year than at this time in 2013. However, prices in some regions, like the Rocky Mountain and Midwestern states, are only 10¢ and 8¢ per gallon cheaper. However, prices across those regions are known to fluctuate wildly. Just three weeks ago, the YoY comparison put prices in the Rocky Mountain states at 14¢ per gallon cheaper than last year. For the Midwest, prices were actually higher year on year.

Gas Prices Likely To Remain Low For Near Term

That kind of volatility makes short-term price forecasting for those regions difficult. And forecasting crude oil prices can be equally troublesome, even in the face of ever-rising U.S. production levels. Some analysts have believe the price of crude will remain in a tight range in the mid to upper $70s of dollars per barrel. However, IG’s Chris Weston told Bloomberg News Monday he believes the price of crude has likely bottomed out or may be close, largely due to political and industrial movements in Libya and a potential move by Iran and Saudi Arabia to cut production in the coming weeks.

Year On Year Gas Savings Could Near Or Exceed $80-million

In the meantime, the price of gas remains poised to provide holiday drivers with bonus this Thanksgiving. The American Automobile Association is predicting about 41.3-million U.S. drivers will journey 50 miles or more from home this week. Applying the average year-on-year U.S. gas price savings, that means the American drivers will save, in the aggregate, about $78-million in fuel costs.

That figure is predicated on the following assumptions: A car getting an average 25 miles per gallon, with at least a 100-mile round trip that would consume four gallons. Extending the formula to include AAA’s holiday traffic projection, that translates to about a combined 185-million gallons of gas among 41.3-million drivers, multiplied by the current U.S. price average of $2.82 per gallon, versus the $3.29 price point at Thanksgiving last year.


Gas Prices Keep Falling As Keystone XL Pipeline Debate Rages

Glut Of Oil Pushes Crude Prices Lower

Gas price trend for week of November 17, 2014The cost of a gallon of gasoline fell another nickel across the U.S. last week, this according to the latest gas price survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The weekly E.I.A. survey shows the average U.S. cost for a gallon of regular unleaded is now only $2.89, with prices far lower in some regions. For the Gulf Coast, the cheap spot of the nation, a gallon of gas will only set you back $2.67, on average.

Prices continued to fall between three and six cents per gallon across every survey region in the past seven days. Even in California, where prices remained above $4.00 per gallon most of the summer, prices fell nearly 7¢ in the past week to settle at $3.15, nearly $1.00 less than just a few months ago. For many drivers, the retail price declines have been exceptionally beneficial on the wallet, the construction of the last leg of the Keystone XL pipeline has the potential to add to that benefit.

A tale of two stations? Not really. These pictures, from Google (left) and from Owen Miller (right) show how gas prices have swung wildly in the U.S. in the past two years. No price decline in recent years has been as dramatic as the one experienced since the end of June. Crude oil is down 30% and unleaded is down more than 80¢.

A tale of two stations? These pictures of a Prime Energy station in Middleborough, Massachusetts, from Google (left) and from user Owen Miller (right) show how gas prices have swung wildly in the U.S. in the past two years. No price decline in recent years has been as dramatic as the one experienced since the end of June. Crude oil is down 30% and unleaded is down more than 80¢.

Crude oil prices have continued to plummet in the wake of slowing global demand and an increase in production from the United States. Furthermore, nations belonging to the OPEC cartel have been unable to influence production that would slow the decline in foreign crude prices, and as a result, both domestic and overseas crude remain at multi-year lows. West Texas Intermediate, the domestic benchmark, is at its lowest point since the start of 2009.

Analysts Say Crude Prices Will Remain Low

Meanwhile, new geopolitical risks that might otherwise push up crude prices are likely to only bump futures contracts from time to time, according to a pair of analysts who spoke to Bloomberg last week. Dan Dicker, the senior contributor to, said he believes the current market will trap crude prices in a narrow range. Scott Bauer, from Trading Advantage, said he believes traders will likely sell contracts that get up to $81 per barrel and reacquire contracts when they fall to $76. As of Tuesday morning, WTI is trading under $75, while Brent Light Sweet Crude is hovering just above $78 per barrel.

Diesel Prices Falling, But Not As Quickly

The good news for the American driver also translates to good news for the American hauler. Truckers have continued to enjoy diesel price declines through the summer and into the fall. The average price of a gallon of diesel fell last week to $3.66. Although there was a slight price bump in the West Coast region, all other regions enjoyed a week-over-week price decline.

The Midwestern states, where diesel prices soared by double digits last week, watched a leveling of prices. The other region hit by last week’s power price surge was the Rocky Mountain states, where prices fell three cents this week. Overall, however, diesel prices remain anywhere from 70 to 80 cents per gallon higher than unleaded gas.


Gas Prices Nosedive Amid Sluggish Global Demand

Prices Continue Falling, With A Glitch For Truckers

Gas price trend for week of November 10, 2014The price of a gallon of gas continued to fall through the floor during the past week, according to the latest weekly gas price survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The weekly E.I.A. report shows the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded will now set you back a mere $2.94, down just over a nickel from last week, and down 77¢ since gas prices hit their peak in the last days of April and again in late June.

Crude Oil Prices Fall As Production Increases And Demand Withers

The news comes as crude oil prices continue to tank. On the international markets, Brent Light Sweet Crude was trading down again Wednesday, flirting with crossing under the $81 per barrel mark. For the domestic benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, the price is off significantly in intraday trading and was closing in on the $77 mark.

The surplus of domestic shale and sluggish demand, both overseas and in the United States, has put crude oil and, consequently, retail gas prices into a downward spiral. The E.I.A. has cut its domestic crude pricing forecast for 2015. The E.I.A. projection for the coming year is that WTI will average about $77.75 per barrel, posed to the original forecast of $94.58. The E.I.A. estimate for Brent has been cut to $83.42 from $101.67.

The E.I.A. administrator, Adam Sieminski, wrote in an email statement that the current growth in the global oil supply, even in the face of weaker consumer demand, will keep crude prices suppressed. Forecasts for U.S. domestic production project an increase in domestic crude output from 8.5-million barrels per day to over 9.4-million next year, the highest domestic crude production since 1970.

Truckers Hit With Surprise Price Hikes

Tractor trailers at a Florida's Turnpike service place.

Truckers traveling across the Midwest and Rockies will be paying far more for fuel this week than their counterparts in other regions. Prices spiked by 8¢ across the Rockies and a stunning 16¢ per gallon across the Midwest.

But the current news is unlikely to assuage concerns for truckers, many of whom have been hit with a surprise and costly price increase during the past week. The E.I.A. survey shows price spikes across the Rockies and in the Midwest contributed to a solid increase in the cost of diesel during the past week. Overall, the U.S. average diesel price is up by a nickel, exactly the opposite of the retail gasoline market.

While many regions across the eastern seaboard enjoyed price declines, a stunning 16¢ per gallon increase in prices across the Midwest, coupled with an 8¢ per gallon price hike in the Rockies, all but wiped out positive price points from other survey regions. For truckers making cross-country trips, the weekly price spike is likely to be quite costly.

Perhaps the only good news in the mix, for drivers of diesel-powered engines, is that the Midwest and Rockies generally have volatile price swings, often due to weather. That volatility is likely to drive prices back down over the next week, as crude oil stocks and production remain high.


Gas Prices Officially Fall Below Three Bucks

Prices Slip As Crude Falls Below $80 Per Barrel

Gas price trend for week of November 3, 2014

Gas prices officially fell below the crucial $3.00 level in the latest EIA price survey. However, prices in many regions have been below that threshold for a few weeks. In some urban areas, like at the South Florida gas station pictured below, that price point is just being seen.

The U.S. average price for a gallon of gas is now officially below the $3.00 per gallon threshold, according to the latest pricing survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The E.I.A. reports shows over half of all survey regions now average under that same benchmark.

The highest price for gas is still being paid on the West Coast of the U.S.; however, even in that survey district, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded is down to $3.24. Remove expensive California from the formula, and the West Coast average is, itself, only $3.13, in line with other regions where the price of gas remains above the $3.00 mark, including New England and the Rocky Mountain states.

The plunge in retail gas prices tied to the steep decline in recent weeks of the price of crude oil. Both domestic crude, West Texas Intermedia, and the overseas benchmark, Brent Light Sweet Crude, are down significantly from their early-summer highs. WTI is even trading below $80 per barrel, the first time it has been that low in 30 months, according to CNBC.

Gas prices in Oakland Park, Florida on November 2, 2014In the meantime, some hedge fund managers are calling for short-term prices to remain low and move lower. Andy Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates told CNBC earlier today he expects the average gas price in the U.S. to be $2.80 by the Thanksgiving holiday. That would certainly be great news for drivers hitting the road during that critical travel weekend. If that prediction holds true, that price point would also be 91¢ less than the peak price earlier this year. The U.S. average topped off at 3.71 at the end of April.

Diesel Prices Fall, But Not As Fast As Unleaded

Truckers and other drivers of diesel-powered vehicles are experiencing a break at the pump, too; however, the price declines for diesel have not been as steep as those for their gasoline-powered counterparts. Diesel fell only about a penny per gallon during the past week, much smaller than the six-cent decline for regular unleaded gas.

Even so, the price of gas for all vehicles, whether gasoline or diesel, is down significantly from a year ago. For regular gas, the cost of a gallon of fuel is now 27¢ less than last year; diesel is down over 23¢ from this period in 2013.


Gas Prices Poised To Slide Below $3.00

Prices Continue Their Autumn Fall

Gas price trends for week of October 27, 2014The nationwide average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fell to $3.06 during the past week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That figure is down six cents from the previous week. As with all weekly surveys, this week’s E.I.A. report shows some regions enjoyed a larger decline, particularly the West Coast, where prices fell 10¢ per gallon to settle at a regional average of $3.32. The cheapest regional prices were found across the Gulf Coast region, once again, where the average retail cost for gas is now only $2.83 per gallon.

Part of the reason for the decline in prices is the high output of U.S. shale production and a slowing global demand. The price of crude oil futures, particularly West Texas Intermediate, has fallen dramatically since its summer highs. Price have been trading in a narrow range for days, flirting with the potential of falling below the $80 per barrel threshold.

Year Over Year, Gas Is Significantly Cheaper

That has been good news for drivers. The cost of gas has fallen so much in the past several weeks, the cost of fuel is now anywhere from 17¢ to 30¢ per gallon cheaper than at this time last year, depending on the survey region. That good news extends to truckers, too, who are also paying substantially less this year for diesel fuel.

Overall, the price of diesel has not fallen as dramatically as gas prices in recent weeks; however, the year-over-year price difference of diesel fuels is identical to the price of gasoline. For both types of fuel, the U.S. average price is 24¢ cheaper than 2013’s rate.

There are indications retail prices could push even lower, especially if crude oil prices continue their free-fall. In fact, overseas crude oil prices, which have also fallen substantially, may not have the power to reverse course with the same gusto as in previous years. The reason is a decline in the pricing power member nations of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The reason comes back to U.S. shale production, according to Jeff Currie of Goldman Sachs. Mr. Currie made his comments on CNBC, telling reporters that the United States has more power to influence price swings.