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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Lockport-area gas has fallen by nearly eight cents in the last week, according to AAA East Central’s weekly Fuel Gauge report, based on reports from 22 stations in the Lockport area.

This week’s Lockport area average price of $2.413 is eight cents lower than a week ago and $1.19 lower than this time last year.

The national average is $2.290. National average fuel prices stabilized Monday, following 37 days of consecutive declining prices.

Despite this plateau, drivers are continuing to save 20 cents, on average, month-to-month, thanks to lower crude oil prices, declining domestic demand and the switch to winter-blend fuels. However, heavier refinery maintenance scheduled for this fall, may cause prices to remain steady and possibly rise as maintenance occurs.

The market’s current oversupply is expected to keep prices relatively low even during maintenance work, and five states (Mississippi, South Carolina, New Jersey, Alabama and Tennessee) are averaging less than $2/gallon.

Uncertainty regarding global oil demand continues to impact crude prices. Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate opened Monday’s trading with losses. Additional uncertainty comes as China, which accounts for 12 percent of global oil demand, announces plans for a national cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions. Although the effects of this on the global market are unknown, less demand for oil may exacerbate the market’s current oversupply and place a ceiling on global oil prices.

Supply and demand are expected to heavily influence oil prices in North America, as declines of oil rig counts are reported. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, sustained low oil prices could indicate a reduction in investment in exploration and production activities.

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