Sam's Club members take advantage of some of the lowest fuel prices in the area Thursday at the pumps on Miamisburg-Centerville Road. Gasoline prices are falling as the price of oil plunges and supply rises.
The WOKV Money Watch brings you more good news for your wallet.
Thanks to a massive jump in gasoline inventories two weeks ago, gas prices are flattening out.
Since last week, Jacksonville’s gas prices have fallen three cents to today’s average of $3.40 a gallon. WOKV’s oil expert Gregg Laskoski – a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com – predicted last week that prices would decline slightly.
“Ordinarily we might see an increase of maybe two or even three million barrels from the Department of Energy data,” Laskoski says. “But when they reported it two weeks ago, it was up by more than seven-and-a-half million barrels.”
Laskoski says any time you have a dramatic increase in supply without a concurrent increase in demand, you have to expect the price to be reduced.
“We still expect these prices to be pretty flat, perhaps for another week to even two weeks,” he says.
By mid-February, gasoline inventories will begin the switch to summer blend gasoline which is more expensive to produce than the winter blend.
“That’s the annual increase that we see every year – every spring – and it’s warranted by that federal mandate for the summer blend,” Laskoski says.
He believes it’s “certainly possible” that this summer will bring prices above four dollars. On the national level, he says over the last eight years prices have peaked at about 90 cents a gallon above the price at the beginning of the year.
“So certainly the same could hold true for Jacksonville,” Laskoski says.
At the beginning of the year, Jacksonville was at $3.26 a gallon. Adding 90 cents would make it $4.16.
But the good news, Laskoski says, is that we could see prices move lower than the $3.63 average for 2012. He attributes the high average to “all these extensive price spikes” that occurred because of Superstorm Sandy and other catastrophes.
Laskoski says 2013 could have a lower average price than 2012 if we have a “relatively calm year.” That would mean no major catastrophes with U.S. refining infrastructure and no war in the Middle East.