MANATEE — Motorists are saving an average of $10 for a tank of gas compared WITH this time last year.
Gasoline prices crept closer to $2 a gallon last week and nothing is slowing them down. Domestic oil supply is at a three-decade high and forecast to keep growing. The price of oil fell to its lowest level in five years.
“Oil prices are plunging because there is so much oil in the market,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “It’s unclear exactly how long this will continue, but gas prices will keep falling as long as oil prices do. Right now, oil prices are forecast to fall through the first half of next year, which further increases the likelihood of $2 gasoline.”
The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded has fallen 35 cents in the past month, settling at $2.56 on Sunday. According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, prices are as low as $2.09 in Brighton, Tenn.; $2.16 in Albany, Ga.; and $2.27 in Orange Park.
“Gas stations in some Florida and Georgia cities could start selling $2 a gallon gas within the next 15 days," Jenkins said. "Although it is unlikely the national or state averages will fall as low, it could be a possibility if oil prices keep falling."
Last week, the price of WTI oil fell below $60 a barrel for the first time since July 2009. West Texas Intermediate settled at $57.81 a barrel Friday, $8.03 less than the week before and the lowest closing since May 2009.
"Gas prices are currently falling 1 to 2 cents a day," said Jenkins. "If that trend continues, pump prices could drop another 10 to 20 cents by Christmas day. Motorists will likely see the cheapest gas prices for the year-end holidays in six years."
On Dec. 25, 2009, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.59; it was $1.65 the year before. The 2009 Christmas day average prices in Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee were $2.63, $2.44, and $2.45, respectively.