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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Lockport area gas prices dropped nearly 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 $2.789, down from $2.851 last week and $3.671 this time last year.

The national average price of gas has fallen for a record 102 days to $2.20 per gallon, which is the lowest average since May 9, 2009. Drivers closed out 2014 on a high note with households saving an average of approximately $115 on gasoline in comparison to 2013 due to relatively low prices at the pump. The average price for retail gasoline hit multi-year lows during the last few months of 2014 and is expected to continue to fall as we begin 2015. Barring any significant fluctuations in the price of crude oil, the average price at the pump is likely to remain below $3.00 per gallon in 2015, although prices may see seasonal increases this spring as refineries undergo maintenance, or this summer as demand increases during the busy summer driving season.

The price of crude is continuing its downward slide due to excess supply and weak demand, and is on the precipice of falling below $50 per barrel today for the first time since April 2009. Global oil prices are expected to remain relatively low for the first half of 2015, which could put additional pressure on high-cost production countries like the United States. Although it is too early to tell what, if any, impact low crude prices will have on domestic production, it is worth noting that companies will increasingly face the choice of either continuing expansion plans or cutting capital expenditures in a market that offers significantly lower profit margins. The global price of crude has lost more than half of its value since mid-2014. At the close of formal trading on Friday, West Texas Intermediate fell by 58 cents per barrel and settled at $52.69. This marks the lowest settlement since April 30, 2009.

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