Pittsburgh-area gasoline prices this week are edging closer to their lowest mark in more than six years, diving 4 cents in the last week to $2.30 a gallon, according to a survey of more than 700 stations by price-tracking website GasBuddy.com.
This compares to the U.S. average of $2.06 a gallon this morning, after nosediving 9 cents in the last week.
The recent price decline validates analysts’ belief that gasoline prices will continue their downward trajectory through the end of the year amid stagnant demand, a glut in supply and uncertainty in the fuel markets. Pittsburgh prices have gradually fallen from an annual high of $2.98 a gallon in June, but in the last two months have stayed mostly flat.
Analysts widely expect prices in southwestern Pennsylvania to continue to drop and fall below roughly $2.15 a gallon by the end of the year. U.S. prices could fall below $2 a gallon by the end of the month, earlier than analysts expected.
Crude oil, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of the price of gasoline, has remained stubbornly low. Refineries that produce gasoline are running close to full steam after temporary seasonal maintenance put some out of service, adding more supply during a season when demand is at its lowest.
The European oil price benchmark, which is closely tied to the price of gasoline in the United States, has fallen in the month of November to below $45 a barrel.
“Oil prices seem likely to spend some time under $40 per barrel,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “It’ll come in handy not only the week ahead, but for the holiday season as well.”
Travelers hitting the road this Thanksgiving will likely pay around 70 cents a gallon less for a gallon of gasoline than they did last year.
This article was written by Daniel Moore from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.