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Monday, November 30, 2015

Lockport area gas prices have dropped another six cents in the last 14 days, 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 2.26, down from $2.32 last week and $3.20 this time last year. The national average is $2.04.

Drivers this year paid the lowest gas prices for Thanksgiving since 2008, and the national average has now fallen for 24 straight days. Today’s average price of $2.04 per gallon is within fractions of a penny of the multi-year low reached this January, and the national average remains poised to fall below the $2 per gallon benchmark by Christmas. Gas prices are down three cents per gallon for the week, 14 cents over the last month and 74 cents compared to a year ago.

The national average has dropped for 24 of the past 30 days, largely due to the resolution of unplanned and planned refinery maintenance. The latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration points to rising refinery runs and output reaching its highest rates since September. Demand for gasoline typically declines during the winter months and the gasoline market may become even more oversupplied in the near term, which should keep gas prices relatively low. Barring any unanticipated disruptions in supply, or swings in the price of crude oil, retail averages are expected to continue to fall leading into 2016.

Oversupply and a strengthening U.S. dollar continue to impact global oil markets, keeping downward pressure on the price of crude oil. Geopolitical tensions between Russia and Turkey have yet to lead to any sustained increases in prices, and early reports indicate that tensions between the two countries will have little impact on production in the Middle East. OPEC is scheduled to meet this Friday, and analysts expect that the cartel is unlikely to reduce production despite the relatively low price of crude oil.

Domestic crude oil inventories remain elevated compared to previous years, and talks are now shifting toward the potential impacts of a surplus in gasoline inventories. West Texas Intermediate opened this week’s formal trading posting gains after closing out Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX down $1.33, settling at $41.71 per barrel. Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.

East Niagara Post is the official media sponsor of Hockey Day in Lockport.


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