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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lockport area gas prices have jumped twelve cents to $2.202 a gallon, according to AAA East Central’s weekly Fuel Gauge report. The average price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline last week, based on reports from 22 stations in the Lockport area, is $2.079. This time last year, gasoline was $2.551 in Lockport. The national average is $2.114.

Record-high fuel demand, declining refinery production and rising oil costs have pushed the national average price of gas to $2.11 per gallon. Despite the recent increases, pump prices are down 33 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.

Prices may move higher during the second quarter of the year in select regional markets due to intermittent supply challenges and increased demand for gasoline. The relatively lower price for gasoline is also reportedly prompting more drivers to take to the roads, and the U.S. EIA’s weekly estimates on gasoline consumption are approaching levels typical for the summer months. This increase in driving may put pressure on local gasoline markets and cause prices to move higher if demand outpaces the available supply of gasoline. However, consumers remain poised to benefit from substantial comparative savings as we enter the busy summer driving season, and it is likely that most drivers will pay the cheapest summertime prices in 12 years.

As largely expected, major oil exporters failed to reach an agreement during the much-anticipated meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC countries over the weekend. U.S. domestic production fell to a level unseen since September 2014, and the U.S. oil rig count is at its lowest level since November 2009. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate was down $1.14 and settled at $40.36 per barrel. Oil prices have dropped even further today due to the news out of Doha, and this could provide some relief for gas prices.

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