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Monday, December 7, 2015

This week, Lockport area gas prices are down by a penny, 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 is $2.243 down from $2.255 a week ago and $3.155 this time last year.

The national average is $2.033 and poised to fall below $2 per gallon for the first time since 2009. Although prices declined at smaller increments this week, many drivers in the region are experiencing savings over last week, 19 cents month-over-month and about 65 cents year-over-year for this time. Averages are expected to continue to decline into 2016, with 23 states already averaging below the $2 mark.

With the conclusion of the fall maintenance season and less winter demand pressuring prices downward, domestic supplies continue to remain high, helping to keep prices low. In fact, only nine states saw increases in average prices this week, with Ohio seeing the largest increase at 6 cents.

Additional market factors continue to keep prices down, including last week’s decision from OPEC to continue current production levels, exacerbating the present imbalance between global supply and demand. The cartel will not meet again until June, indicating the imbalance is likely to persist.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, production levels continue to outpace 2014 and existing demand, that along with relatively low crude oil prices, are also keeping prices at the lowest levels in years.

Focus remains on the Federal Reserve, with a strong U.S. jobs report expected to trigger a rise in interest rates, which often leads to a strong U.S. dollar. A stronger U.S. dollar makes oil more expensive for those with foreign currency.

U.S. crude oil and gasoline supplies are nearing an all-time high, leading to questions of continued production and storage capacity, despite reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing a loss of more than 5,000 jobs in the oil and gas extraction sector over the past two months.

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