The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

September 28, 2013

Gas prices fall as weather, output calm markets

NEW YORK — Gasoline prices have fallen steadily throughout September, and drivers should look forward to even cheaper fill-ups in the weeks ahead.

The national average price for a gallon of gasoline is now $3.42, down from $3.59 on Sept. 1. The price is the lowest it’s been at this time of year since 2010 and is likely to keep falling.

“It’s a layup for me to predict lower prices until Columbus Day weekend,” says Tom Kloza, Chief Oil Analyst at GasBuddy.com and Oil Price Information Service, which tracks retail and wholesale gasoline prices.

Wholesale gasoline prices have fallen faster in recent days than pump prices, so drivers can expect to pay even less as the pump prices catch up.

Gas prices tend to decline soon after Labor Day, but last year they didn’t start going down until mid-October. There are a number of reasons for this fall’s drop in price, experts say:

— Refiners can switch to cheaper blends of gasoline in the winter months as clean-air rules are relaxed.

— Gasoline demand declines in the fall after the summer driving season ends. At the same time supplies rise, because refiners are still making gasoline as they keep operations humming to make heating oil for winter and diesel and jet fuel for shippers.

— This year, refineries have been relatively problem free. There have been no hurricanes, and few unexpected problems at refineries or pipelines, unlike last year.

Even high oil prices haven’t stopped gasoline’s decline. Oil briefly topped $112 in late August as a U.S. threat of military action against Syria made the market nervous about Middle East supplies. The price of oil has since fallen, but remains above $100 per barrel. Still, gasoline has dropped to its lowest price since Jan. 31.

Friday, oil fell 16 cents to close at $102.87 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Last year at this time drivers were paying 37 cents per gallon more than they are this year, on average, because Hurricane Irene and refinery and pipeline problems disrupted gasoline production in August and September. California prices rose sharply in late September, then hit a record $4.67 per gallon in early October.

There are no such problems this year, though California drivers are again paying the highest average price outside of Hawaii and Alaska, at $3.95 per gallon, according to AAA, OPIS and Wright Express.  South Carolina drivers are paying the least, at $3.11 per gallon.

For the year, the national price is on track to average $3.56 per gallon, 7 cents less than last year’s record of $3.63. That would save U.S. drivers $9 billion this year.

Despite the recent drop, the national average is unlikely to fall back to $3.29 per gallon — this year’s low, set in early January — unless the price of oil falls under $100 per barrel, GasBuddy’s Kloza said.

That could happen if tensions in the Middle East don’t flare up again and the hurricane season remains tame. U.S. oil production is expected to hit a monthly rate in October that the country hasn’t reached since 1989. Also, Saudi Arabian exports typically rise in late fall and winter as the country uses less of its oil to generate electricity for air conditioning, pushing global supplies higher.

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Poll finds Clinton trouncing entire GOP field

    Hillary Clinton isn’t only the strong front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, but she’s well ahead of every potential Republican rival, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll.
     

    April 16, 2014

  • Ukraine bares teeth against eastern uprising

    In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, government forces repelled an attack Tuesday by about 30 gunmen at an airport, beginning what the president called an “anti-terrorist operation” to try to restore authority over the restive region.
     

    April 16, 2014

  • U.N. Security Council sees grim images of Syrian dead

    The U.N. Security Council fell silent Tuesday after ambassadors viewed a series of ghastly photographs of dead Syrian civil war victims, France’s ambassador said. The pictures showed people who were emaciated, with their bones protruding, and some bearing the marks of strangulation and repeated beatings, and eyes having been gouged out.

    April 16, 2014

  • U.S.: Russia causing Ukraine unrest

    The White House on Monday said there was “overwhelming evidence” that Russia is fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but suggested that President Barack Obama has not yet concluded that Vladimir Putin’s actions warrant broader sanctions on key Russian economic sectors.

    April 15, 2014

  • Woman arrested after dead babies found

    A Utah woman accused of killing seven babies she gave birth to over 10 years was arrested Sunday after police discovered the tiny bodies stuffed in separate cardboard boxes in the garage of her former home.

    April 14, 2014

  • Rome man killed in crash

    The Ohio State Highway Patrol Chardon Post is investigating a fatal crash that took place just after midnight Sunday.

    April 14, 2014

  • 3 dead in shootings at Kansas facilities

    Three people died Sunday when a gunman opened fire outside the Jewish Community Center and a senior living facility in Johnson County, Kan.

    April 14, 2014

  • High fees eroding many 401(k) accounts

    It’s the silent enemy in our retirement accounts: High fees.
    And now a new study finds that the typical 401(k) fees — adding up to a modest-sounding 1 percent a year — would erase $70,000 from an average worker’s account over a four-decade career compared with lower-cost options. To compensate for the higher fees, someone would have to work an extra three years before retiring.

    April 14, 2014

  • Abortion in cases of rape: New rifts in old debate

    Poll after poll over many years has shown that Americans overwhelmingly support legal access to abortion for women impregnated by rape. Yet the issue remains divisive, as demonstrated by two current rifts — one involving U.S. aid policy overseas, the other highlighting strategy differences within the U.S. anti-abortion movement.

    April 13, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video