Pump Prices Drop Slowly Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

Saturday, 18 May 2024 07:11

Pump Prices Drop Slowly Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend Featured

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The national average for a gallon of gasoline kept up its descent this week, falling four cents since last week to $3.59. The primary reasons are weak domestic demand and oil costs below $80 a barrel for the past several weeks.

In Oklahoma, the gas average is $3.12 today, down 2 cents in the last week and 4 cents less expensive than one year ago. Today’s national average is $3.59, seven cents less than a month ago but six cents more than a year ago.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 

5/17/24

Week Ago

Year Ago

National

$3.59

$3.63

$3.53

Oklahoma

$3.12

$3.14

$3.16

Oklahoma City

$3.13

$3.12

$3.22

Tulsa

$3.12

$3.21

$3.07

Lawton

$2.99

$2.97

$2.95

Crude Oil

$80.06 per barrel (5/17/24)

$78.26 per barrel (5/10/24)

$71.57 per barrel (5/19/23)

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI settled at $80.06 a barrel. A decline in the U.S. dollar and back-to-back weekly declines in domestic crude supplies helped push the commodity over the $80 per barrel mark for the first time this month.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand rose modestly from 8.79 million b/d to 8.87 last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased slightly from 228 to 227.8 million bbl.  Lackluster pre-Memorial Day demand and steady or falling oil prices could lower pump prices.

The Weekend

“Barring an unforeseen event, the recent drop in pump prices is not likely to change anytime soon, which is good news for motorists planning to gas up and go for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend,” said Rylie Fletcher, spokesperson for AAA Oklahoma. “We anticipate road trips will break a record for the unofficial start of summer, signaling a busy summer travel season ahead.”

Road trips are expected to set a record. AAA projects 38.4 million people will travel by car over Memorial Day weekend, the highest number for that holiday since AAA began tracking in 2000. The number of drivers this year is up 4% compared to last year and 1.9% higher than in 2019. Traveling by car is appealing for many people because of the convenience and flexibility it provides.

This Memorial Day weekend drivers can expect similar gas prices as last year when the national average was roughly $3.53. Pump prices rose this spring but have held somewhat steady in recent weeks. Prices may creep higher as the summer driving season gets underway. The wildcard remains the cost of oil, and unlike last year, there are now two wars – in the Middle East and Ukraine – that could roil the oil market.

AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:

Next Weekend Gas Watch: Friday, May 24, 2024

 

About AAA:
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to more than 64 million members nationwide and more than 400,000 members in Oklahoma.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  AAA is a non-stock, membership corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can map a route, find local gas prices and electric vehicle charging stations, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information on joining or renewing a Membership, visit www.AAA.com.
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