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Monday, August 3, 2015

Lockport-area gas has decreased another three cents, 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, is 2.711, down from $2.738 last week and $3.738 this time last year. The national average is $2.651.

The resolution of localized refinery issues and lower prices for crude oil has kept downward pressure on the national average price at the pump, which has fallen for 19 consecutive days. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.65 per gallon. Drivers are paying the lowest averages for this date since 2009, and today’s national average represents a savings of 85 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year. The national average is now 15 cents per gallon lower than the 2015 peak price of $2.80 on June 15.

The national average has steadily dropped, yet volatility continues to characterize several regional markets due to unexpected draw-downs in supply. While some states may not experience significant price drops as a result of regional supply and distribution issues, the national average is expected to keep moving lower leading up to the Labor Day holiday, barring any unexpected spikes in the price of global crude oil or unexpected disruptions to domestic production.

The global price of crude oil continues to sink on expectations that the market will remain oversupplied in the near term. Recent reports suggest that Chinese manufacturing has fallen to its lowest level in two years. Weaker growth means lower than projected oil demand, which could further increase the glut in global petroleum supplies. Reports that Iran is planning to increase oil output when sanctions are lifted, combined with the U.S. increasing its rig count, has also contributed to major crude benchmarks (Brent and West Texas Intermediate) opening this week’s trading session at multi-month lows. At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI closed down $1.40 at $47.12 per barrel.

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