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Monday, December 29, 2014

Lockport-area gas prices dropped nearly four 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 $2.851, down from $2.889 last week and $3.663 this time last year.

Average gas prices in two states – Missouri and Oklahoma have dropped below $2.00 per gallon for the first time since 2009. The national average has fallen 95 days in a row for a total of $1.06, and prices have plummeted 40% since June. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.29 per gallon, and motorists are saving 11 cents per gallon compared to one week ago. AAA estimates that drivers are saving more than $500 million per day each day compared to the highs in both the spring and summer.

The global oil market remains in a state of perceived oversupply due to record production from the United States combined with lower than expected global demand. Despite falling crude prices, Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest exporter of petroleum, has reiterated the cartel’s intention to maintain current production levels and allow the market to self-correct. This move could put pressure on production with higher cost production areas, such as the United States, facing a market where low prices make production unprofitable. The ripple effects of prolonged low oil prices could also pose a challenge to countries whose economic stability is dependent on revenue from oil production. As has been the case in recent years in Egypt, Libya and Iran, this sort of geopolitical unrest can impact global supply and pressure oil prices higher on the threat of a disruption.

On Friday, at the close of formal trading, West Texas Intermediate closed down $1.11 per barrel at $54.73 per barrel on the NXMEX.

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