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Tuesday, October 20, 2015
ENP STAFF REPORTS
news@eastniagarapost.com


Lockport-area gas prices have dropped another 2 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 2.379, down from $2.391 last week and $3.534 this time last year. The national average is $2.26.

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 10 consecutive days, reaching today’s price of $2.26 per gallon. Today’s average is a low unseen since February 2015, and represents a savings of 55 cents per gallon compared to the 2015 peak price of $2.80.

Regional volatility is common at this time of year due to fluctuations in supply and demand, resulting from both planned and unplanned maintenance.  Depending on the severity, these regional fluctuations in price can impact the national average. This year’s autumn refinery maintenance season was expected to be heavier than usual due to refineries operating at higher than normal rates in order to meet demand from the busy summer driving season. However, ample domestic supply kept a ceiling on pump prices in addition to helping to keep the national average relatively steady since September 15. This factor has also been a contributing factor to prices moving lower over the past several days. Barring any unanticipated disruptions in supply, and/or spikes in the price of crude oil, the national average could fall below the $2 per gallon threshold for the first time since 2009 before the end of year.

A number of factors have the potential to shift the global price of crude oil in the weeks ahead. The Iranian nuclear deal is once again front-of-mind, as global negotiators continue to move forward, which could bring Iranian oil back to the market in as little as two months. China’s economic growth rate fell below seven percent for the first time since 2009, putting a damper on speculations that demand from this country could offset some of the market’s oversupply. West Texas Intermediate opened the week falling below the mid-$40 per barrel range, despite closing the week up 88 cents and settling at $47.26 per barrel.



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