Gas prices will fall through record Memorial Day weekend travel

HERALD STAFF REPORTMay 20, 2014 

TAMPA -- Crude oil supplies in the Gulf Coast continue putting downward pressure on the price of gasoline.

Bay News 9 reports Bradenton gas prices ranged between $3.49 and $3.59 Monday. The cheapest gas in Bradenton was being pumped at Sam's Club, 5300 30th St. E., with the highest at BP, 2790 Manatee Ave. E.

The highest gas price in Manatee County was $3.91 per gallon for regular at Mobil, 430 Gulf Of Mexico Drive and Channel Lane on Longboat Key.

Palmetto gas prices ranged between a low of $3.56 at Murphy USA, 512 10th St. E., and a high of $3.74 at Shell, 7219 U.S. 41 N.

Sarasota regular gas prices ranged between $3.49 at two 7-11s and a Gas Express and a high of $3.65 at Shell, 8471 N. Lockwood Ridge Road.

However, prices are not in a free fall as demand reached its highest level since 2009, according to the Energy Information Administration.

More than 31.8 million Americans -- a record -- will fill their gas tanks and take a trip of 50 miles or more this Memorial Day weekend.

The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline fell 1 cent last week. The average price in Florida dropped 3 cents, while prices in Georgia and Tennessee fell 2 cents.

"AAA has forecast gas prices to be at or near last year's levels during the Memorial Day holiday weekend," said Mark Jenkins, AAA-The Auto Club Group spokesman. "However, the margins of decline have been modest in the past week and prices could be slightly higher than a year ago. Even still, gas prices at these levels are not enough to keep people from traveling during the holiday."

Gasoline prices have been declining since the beginning of May, which is typical this time of year, following the end of refinery maintenance leading up to the May 1 deadline to begin producing summer-blend fuel.

With this transition complete, falling averages are increasingly likely to reflect gas prices have peaked for the spring in many parts of the country.

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