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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lockport-area gas prices are stable, 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 $2.483, same from $2.483 last week and $3.733 this time last year. The national average is $2.338.

The price at the pump continues to reflect seasonality as refineries complete scheduled maintenance and prepare for the summer driving season. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 24 of the past 30 days, prices could still rise again this spring if global crude prices rise or domestic refineries experience production issues, the timing of this seasonal peak would be within the range of recent years but the “high” would be significantly lower.

Production issues have largely been resolved in the Midwest and on the West Coast, following a number of unexpected issues at refineries, which caused regional price spikes over the past few weeks. Despite these localized swings, the low price of crude oil has kept the national average relatively stable over the past month. Unless there are new regional refinery issues or global crude prices turn markedly higher, drivers can expect to see pump prices continue to slide leading up to the start of the summer driving season.

The global oil market remains in flux due to news of declining revenues for producers as well as the potential for additional supply to enter the market. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member nations posted their lowest net export revenues since 2010, due to reductions in oil exports from the countries and the sharply lower price of crude. Market watchers remain focused on the oil cartel for any signs of a move to cut production to stabilize prices.

At the close of Thursday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed down 95 cents at $49.14 per barrel. The NYMEX was closed on Friday in observance of Good Friday.

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