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Monday, January 26, 2015

Lockport area gas prices dropped nearly five 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 $2.541, down from $2.613 last week and $3.592 this time last year.

The national average continues to march toward $2.00 per gallon and has fallen for a record 123 consecutive days. While the streak of daily declines in the national averages continues, the rate of decline has slowed in recent days. This slowing decline has been largely reflective of a number of Midwestern states where prices have moved higher over the past week due to a series of refinery issues in the region.

The Northeast is bracing for a major winter storm that could dump up to three feet of snow on parts of the region. While a snowfall such as this might pressure gasoline prices immediately higher on distribution concerns, the longer term impact is expected to be downward pressure on pump prices from lower demand, as drivers stay off the roads. While gas prices are likely to increase this spring due to seasonal demand and maintenance, barring any major increase in the global price of crude, AAA expects the national average to remain below $3 per gallon during 2015.

The death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah caused the global oil markets to slightly rally this past week on rumors that OPEC’s largest producer could possibly reassess its production levels and potentially decrease the current glut in global oil supply. By sustaining its current production levels, the resiliency of high-cost production countries like the U.S. and Canada will continue to be tested as the market is left to self-regulate at price levels that have not been seen in more than half a decade. At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate was down 72 cents, settling at $45.59 per barrel — its lowest price in six years.

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