For the fourth week in a row, Oregon drivers are enjoying the largest monthly drop in gas prices in the country as the statewide average plummets 47 cents during this span.
For the week, the Oregon average for regular unleaded is down a nickel to $3.07 a gallon, the lowest price since late December 2010. The national average for regular unleaded falls another four cents this week to $2.93 a gallon which is the lowest price since early December 2010.
In Hermiston, the average price for a gallon of gas is around $3.25.
“The national average has dropped for 47 days in a row which is the largest consecutive decline since 2008, plunging 42 cents during this time,” said AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds. “The Oregon average may be leveling off, as it gained a tenth of a cent overnight which is the first increase in a couple of months.”
Drivers on the West Coast are enjoying the largest monthly savings at the pump: Oregon (-47 cents), Washington (-44 cents) and California (-40 cents).
Retail gas prices are well below their 2014 highs. The national average peaked at $3.70 on April 28, while the Oregon average reached its 2014 high of $3.98 on July 3. Current prices represent an estimated savings of more than $250 million each day for American motorists. A decrease in retail gasoline prices is often compared to a tax cut because it can inject billions of dollars in non-gasoline spending into the economy. “Barring any unanticipated market-moving events this winter, the retail price for gasoline is expected to remain relatively low and consumers are likely to experience the lowest Thanksgiving prices since 2009,” Dodds adds.
The average price at the pump is below the $3 per gallon threshold in more than half (27) of the states, with consumers in South Carolina ($2.67) paying the nation’s lowest prices. Although Hawaii ($3.99) continues to have the highest average for retail gasoline, the state average fell below $4 a gallon on Saturday for the first time since Jan. 9, 2014. California is fifth most expensive at $3.21, while Oregon and Washington both remain out of the top ten most expensive states for gas.
Fueling the welcome decline in gas prices has been the multi-month drop in crude oil costs with prices for West Texas Intermediate down to a multi-year low of $77.19 per barrel last Tuesday, which compares to a 2014-high of more than $107 per barrel on June 20. Adding momentum to falling prices last week was an unexpected move by Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, to lower the price per barrel for crude sold to the United States. Market watchers are now focused on the Nov. 27 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with analysts paying close attention to how the cartel will respond to falling global prices.