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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lockport-area gas prices are still trending downward, 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 2.606, same from $2.635 last week and $3.685 this time last year. The national average is $2.471.

Pump prices continue to drop and most drivers should pay the lowest gas prices for Labor Day weekend since 2004. Drivers nationwide continue to benefit from the relatively low price of crude oil with today’s average about 96 cents per gallon less than a year ago.

Despite the persistence of some regional refinery issues, average U.S. gas prices are falling at the fastest rates since December. The BP refinery outage in Whiting, Indiana, which sent prices markedly higher in the Midwest several weeks back, has resumed production. Prices continue to fall week-over-week in the previously impacted states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The East Coast is currently facing its own production challenges with reports that the Phillips 66 Bayway refinery in New Jersey is operating at reduced rates. Barring any major supply disruptions consumers remain poised to pay the lowest national average for the holiday weekend in 11 years.

Market fundamentals remain bearish, even as oil prices staged a rally late last week that pushed prices a bit higher compared to early-week trading sessions where both Brent and West Texas Intermediate exceeded multi-year lows. China’s economic health and the potential for Iranian oil to return to markets remain front of mind, and are expected to keep downward pressure on global crude oil prices. At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled at $45.22 per barrel recovering from six and a half year low of $38.25 per barrel reached last Monday.

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