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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lockport area gas prices fell six cents this week, according to AAA East Central’s weekly Fuel Gauge report.

The average price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline, based on reports from 22 stations in the Lockport area, was $3.327, down from $3.388 last week and $3.550 this time last year.

The average price for unleaded regular gasoline in New York today is $3.240.

The national average price of gasoline has remained below $3.00 per gallon for more than two weeks, with more than three-quarters of U.S. gas stations now reporting prices below this benchmark. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.88 per gallon, which is the lowest mark since December 2, 2010. Today’s price represents a savings of five cents per gallon compared to one week ago, a savings of 25 cents compared to one month ago, and 33 cents compared to one year ago.

The price at the pump is closely tied to the wholesale price of crude oil, and falling global oil prices have been the primary contributing factor to the price at the pump. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil, the traditional U.S. benchmark, dropped to its lowest level in more than three years this past Thursday ($74.21 per barrel). Lower crude oil costs are the main reason why drivers are paying  an average of 81 cents per gallon less than the 2014 peak of $3.70 per gallon (April 28). The downward pressure on prices is expected to continue through the Thanksgiving holiday, meaning drivers are likely to be giving thanks for the cheapest seasonal prices since 2009 when the national average registered $2.63 on the holiday.

Global prices for crude oil continue to fall, touching lows not seen since 2010. Market analysts continue to speculate on what action the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will take during the upcoming meeting, scheduled for Nov 27. Should the cartel opt to cut production, the price at the pump for motorists could return higher. If OPEC instead chooses to maintain market share by leaving production unchanged, global oil prices could slide even further.  At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled $1.61 higher at $75.82 per barrel.

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