Low oil prices weigh on Pittsburgh-area gasoline

Four weeks ago, GasBuddy analysts "called bottom", predicting USA prices would begin rising.

So, about all those warnings from petroleum analysts predicting gas prices would rise 30 cents per gallon by the end of March? Statewide, we're down 7¢ to $2.34.

The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Tampa Bay on Monday was $2.15 and the average for the state was $2.27, according to AAA. This is seven cents more expensive than last week's average.

"The oil market suffered a "mini collapse" last week, following reports of a record build in domestic crude oil", said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.

Regardless, falling gas prices are always welcome, especially this time of year.

The gas company says the change in gas prices in New Haven during the past week, prices Sunday were 45.7 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 3.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. "Prices could drop 5-10 cents int he short term, but this downward trend may be only temporary".

According to GasBuddy, because of the complex relationship of oil, gas and middleman US refineries, motorists may not see as large a decline at the pump as they may hope, but experts don't expect a sharp increase in the price of gas anytime soon.

On Monday, the average in the Bradenton-Sarasota area was $2.22 per gallon, according to AAA's daily fuel tracker.

Last year, Pittsburgh-area prices increased 73 cents from late-February to mid-June. States posting the highest prices are Hawaii ($3.092 a gallon), California ($3.006), Washington ($2.832), Alaska ($2.764) and OR ($2.672). It now sits at $2.30 per gallon.

But you can still find some significantly lower prices around New Castle County where DE gas prices-dot-com reports almost a dozen stations are charging $2.09 or less.

$1.90/g in 2016, $2.50/g in 2015, $3.73/g in 2014, $3.92/g in 2013 and $3.97/g in 2012.

That customary spring spike we've been expecting appears to be on hold as oil prices have hit their lowest levels - less than $49 per barrel - since late November. The contract closed at $48.49 on Friday.

  • Larry Hoffman