By on September 24, 2014

Low Gas Prices Circa 2012

Once upon a time, a gallon of regular could be had for under $3. Then, prices climbed as reduced production and geopolitical uncertainty played their respective roles. However, 2014 could feel like 2010 again as prices tumble back down to $3/gallon.

A report issued by GasBuddy last week forecasts that the average national price for a gallon of regular could fall between $3.15 and $3.25 by the end of the year, with 30 states expected to pump gas for prices below $3/gallon during the period.

The report bases its forecast on three factors: the transition from summer to winter-blend gasoline, the latter easier to produce by refiners; lower crude prices per barrel, led in part by boosted production in areas such as Alberta and North Dakota; and a combination of overall lower consumption over the autumn and winter months, more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road, and fewer younger drivers hitting the road.

Right now, 17 states in the South, East Coast and Great Plains already have stations delivering gas at $3 or less per gallon, with the Springfield, Mo. Metropolitan Statistical Area holding the lowest average at $3.005/gallon. Meanwhile, the West Coast will likely keep the highest prices per gallon during the period, though said prices will see the most severe drops through November and December.

Finally, though 2010 is considered a convenient reference point, GasBuddy states this season’s average won’t match that year’s low point, when the average price/gallon was $2.828.

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45 Comments on “US Average Gas Price Per Gallon Falling To $3.15 By Year-End...”


  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    I filled up for $2.94 over the weekend in Northwest Arkansas. Boo yah!

  • avatar
    brux2dc

    Where are the gas prices only 10c apart? Around here (DC) it’s a 50c difference from regular to premium. Don’t even get me started on the whole 89 octane being 10c less than 93 octane when 87 is 40c less than 89. Should be a law about that!!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yeah, in MY area, the gasoline comes in from the PEMEX refinery in Mexico, goes by way of one of the refineries in El Paso, TX, for blending, and then gets to a tank farm near me by underground pipeline.

      And still 86-octane RegUnl is $3.29/gal, 88-octane PlusUnl is $3.45/gal, and 91-octane PremiumUnl is $3.68/gal in my area.

      It doesn’t make sense. Unless we purposely export more gasoline and diesel to Europe because the oilcos can charge even more per gallon selling it to the Euros.

      Many of us, unless we drive a vehicle with a tiny low-compression engine, are still forced to spring for PlusUnl or PremiumUnl. Many cars will run on the cheapest 86-octane but the anti-knock sensors managing the engine dumb down the power enormously by retarding the timing to keep the cacophony of knocks, rattles and pings from being heard.

      No Federal or State government is going to legislate a law that would reduce their tax revenue. In fact, many states are looking at increasing, as in raising, the taxes they levy on each gallon of gasoline and diesel for the general public, with a lesser increase for AVGAS 110/115, kerosene and Jet-A/JP-4/JP-8.

      That is bound to happen because America has a glut of oil, yet is still reducing its consumption of gasoline y-o-y. That also means less profits for the oilcos, so they turn elsewhere for the money, like exporting to Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Desert Cat,
        You’ve been disproven multiple times on your comments about the US having an oil glut. It simply is not true. 40% of US imports are oil, which costs our nation hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Full stop.

        We are not energy independent because we continue to consume more oil than we produce. Because of the gains in production and consumption from technology introductions, we may some day produce enough oil to cover consumption, but that day is not today.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          VoGo, we all know that your loyalties do not lie with oil or oil products. And I can accept that. To each their own.

          Your beliefs do not affect or alter MY lifestyle. I am a big consumer of oil and its products. And a huge polluter as well. (And I don’t care because I prefer to drive and generate my own power when we have a blackout, to continue my life of leisure and comfort I worked so hard for).

          It is my contention that oil or its products should not have to cost as much as it does because we have more oil available to us in America that we can process or refine. And we keep the price high because we choose to export the stuff for more money than we can get for it here at home.

          Oil is artificially kept in the ground because the oilcos are in the game for profit. And profits are derived by jacking up the cost of oil.

          In some places the stuff still bubbles up out of the ground and it is more than a nuisance. Ask anyone who lives near such places about the smell, and the taste of their well water. No fracking there – just a natural occurrence.

          Choose what you want to believe. Your condescending assertions do not alter what individual Americans choose to believe, or reduce their use of oil any less.

          America will have plenty of oil available for at least the next two hundred years, and more as new techniques and technologies for extracting the stuff are developed to get at oil in places not yet explored.

          The Chinese must believe that too because they sure are contracting for areas that have never been explored, all over the planet.

          Could it be the Chinese know something you don’t? Hey, even the Canadians are ready to pipe their abundance of oil to the Pacific Coast for export to China, because America can’t process all of it.

          If we had more refineries in America, we could process all that oil. But that would also drastically drop the price for gasoline and diesel, and with it, the profits for Big Oil.

          Such hate for a benevolent natural resource!

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            Refinery capacity in the US is fine, this is why we import oil and export refined product. If refinery capacity was constrained we would be importing product along with our oil.

            Oil prices are set by global supply and demand, with 40% of US petroleum need met by overseas oil this is where the price is set. Domestic oil is cheaper because it is transportation locked. If UP charges $10 a barrel to ship from Bakken to East Coast Refineries then Bakken suppliers will get $10 less per barrel than Saudi suppliers.

            Most of the trade with Europe is us shipping them diesel (they can not make enough) and them shipping us gasoline (there is no market for gasoline in Europe). I was a big fan of more diesel vehicles in the late 80’s early 90’s. Now with Europe 80% (guessing here) diesel I prefer the US stick with good old gasoline which will be cheaper than diesel for the foreseeable future.

            Oil is dropping in price because the middle east needs money, the Chinese economy is slowing (European economies are also slow), and we are using less.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          VoGo, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the US has an oil glut, but oil production in the center of the country has exceeded the pipeline capacity. More expensive rail transport makes up the difference. The West Texas Intermediate price of oil in Cushing, OK has been noticeably lower than the international Brent crude oil price for several years. As new pipelines are built, the price spread decreases.

          http://marketrealist.com/2014/07/must-know-why-west-texas-intermediate-brent-spread-narrowed/

    • 0 avatar
      sco

      I agree, the whole pricing scheme for different grades of gas makes little sense to me. The price gap between grades in NoCal is 10 cents which at roughly $3.84/gallon amounts to less than a 3% difference. I cant come up with an example of any manufacturer offering multiple similar consumer goods (excluding maybe cars themselves) that vary in price by 3%. My thought is that all grades cost the same to produce and that the 3% difference (or more depending on your area) is what the gas companies have found they can get away with.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        But in California, you are already paying a buck more per gallon than elsewhere in the nation.

        The last time I went to California, I carried in 20 gallons of gas on my Hitch Carrier Rack from Quartzsite, AZ, to last my stay in California. Lotsa people did the same. Even those going to Lake Havasu from outside California.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    I hope Canada follows suit. Even $1.20/L would be a break. It’s currently 128.9 c/L in my neck of the woods, which is the lowest it has been for months.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This will have several effects:

    1. Booming truck sales. Critics will credit Ford’s aluminum truck.

    2. Slowing small car sales. Critics will blame car prices.

    3. Slowing hybrid and EV sales. Critics will blame the vehicles.

    4. Injury to CAFE calculations for Ford, GM, and Chrysler. Tesla will benefit.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    It’s been around 3.05 and 3.15 around my area of Raleigh for a week or two. Conversely Eastern NC is still extremely high at 3.28 or so.

    Virginia is below the $3 mark.

    Filled the H2 with the low fuel light on, up at 3.18 a few weeks back, it got to $85 and I kept trying to push it, that is until it came out the vent telling me there was no room left.

  • avatar
    jmo

    The QE chickens have finally come home to roost. It’s the hyperinflation! It has all come to pass just as the intertubes predicted.

    Goooooooooooolllllld!!!!

  • avatar
    Toad

    We have not heard much from the “peak oil” crowd lately…

    Maybe they were busy protesting climate change in New York. It must suck to keep thinking the world is about to end and it just won’t happen.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      The decreases in the spot price of crude that has taken place in the past few months does not a long term trend make. The reality remains that demand from developing countries…like China and India…will continue to trend upward, while the reserves of easily extracted/refined crude will trend down.

      It’s like the difference between weather and climate, but I don’t expect you understand a concept like that either.

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      I know right? They were carrying on wildly about how the new normal would be $90+ a barrel, and we’d resort to baking rocks and tar-sands, or using fluid-injection to push out trapped pockets of oil once the easy oil was exhausted!

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        In many places in America, the crude still bubbles up out of the ground; places like the grasslands of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and the desert of New Mexico.

        And the only way to get that black tar off your car is with gasoline.

        Don’t get me started! I spent almost a whole Saturday removing the oil splatters from my wife’s Grand Cherokee after we got home from a trip through those same areas I listed.

        We have more oil than we can possibly use!

  • avatar
    dwford

    In CT most stations are in the high$3.30’s to low $3.40s, but I found a couple stations at $3.26 the other day.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    I see it short lived. Last time we got down to around $2.99/gal it shot back up to the $3.30 range in a week.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      When the refineries start cranking out Summer-grade gasoline, the price will pop up again. Right now, going in to Winter, the gasoline costs less to refine and blend into a Winter-blend, and demand is going down since Summer-travel is over.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Once upon a time, I pumped gas for 18 CENTS a gallon. Some days in a gas war at 15-16 cents a gallon. I could fill my 57′ VW for under $2.00, My 48′ Cadillac for under $3.00. I just filled my Miata in Southern Oregon, receipt in hand, for $45.32

    Inflation since then has been somewhere around 1100% 11X18 is only a $1.98.

    I remember in 1978 having driven from Portland, Or. all the way to Neah Bay on the Straights of Juan de Fuca in the extreme NW corner of the US in my Suburban for a weekend of Salmon and Halibut fishing, and some crabbing, stopping at the little 1930’s gas station there to fuel up for the trip back. There was a line behind me of about ten vehicles waiting to get the now exorbitantly high priced fuel, the owner of the station, just shook his head and commented… “If you all keep paying this price for fuel, they will keep charging it and you will never see the end of it” He was so prophetic.

    Having said all that, I think fuel should be about $10.00 a gallon.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “I think fuel should be about $10.00 a gallon.” That may yet come to pass and certainly if the Uber-Left Liberal Greenweenie Democrats and Eco-freaks have their way. But to his credit, O hasn’t acceded to their demands, so far, severely disappointing them. And the Keystone Pipeline may be delayed but it will happen. Rail can’t handle all the oil being transported.

      I think Europe comes pretty close to the $10/gal now, but it hasn’t deterred any of my German relatives from owning and driving two cars per household, or more, some with very respectable engines, like the S500 Mercedes, or the 750iL BMW.

      Most of my Portuguese relatives don’t even own a car because they live near, or have access to, and excellent public transportation system, in their residential system. But they don’t hesitate to rent one if they go on vacay.

      Last time I was in Portugal, I was impressed. My rental stayed parked and we hopped trams, trains or buses for just about everywhere we went. Kinda like New York City…….

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Here in the Delaware Valley I’ve seen regular as low as $3.29 at the sketchy quasi-Citgo, but most Sunocos and BPs still list regular in the $3.30s, still pretty good considering it was up in the ’70s earlier this year.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The Swag decade is back. 2010-2013 never happened. Tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    Californians are in for a minimum 10 cents per gallon tax levied by the California Air Resources Board 1 Jan 2015.
    Social justice, green and bullet train.
    The fools won’t have the slightest notion that they voted it.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      CA voters are pretty dim bulbs. We’d likely not vote for the bullet train today knowing what has transpired since we voted in favor of it, and the same can be said of most of the tax increases that promised one thing and delivered something else.

      Yet we keep voting for it. As long as it’s sold as “It’s for the children”, we’d vote for anything.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    So in constant dollars, we’re back to the prices of:

    2012
    2010
    2008 (the all-time highest also occurred then)
    2007
    2006
    2005
    1983

    “http://www.randomuseless.info/gasprice/gasprice.html”

  • avatar
    turboprius

    Does anyone else remember Chrysler’s $2.99 gas guarantee back in mid-2008? They’d give you a gas card that charged $2.99 for gas, and it was good for like two or three years.

    Then, they went bankrupt and gas prices fell below $2.99 (at least in my Confederate, RWD truck utopia).


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