Retail gas prices are tumbling as a result of plunging crude oil prices around the world.
The national average is at its lowest price since February 2009 while Oregon’s average is at its lowest level since February of last year. For the week, the national average for regular skids eight cents to $1.88 a gallon. The Oregon average dips a dime to $2.17.
In Hermiston, gas can be had for as low as $1.97 a gallon.
“This is the eighth-largest drop in the country this week,” says AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds. “These drops are the largest since November of 2015. Gas prices typically decline in the fall and winter due to decreased demand.”
The price of crude oil has dropped more than 70 percent compared to the June 2014 high ($107.26 per barrel), and expectations that both global and domestic supply will continue to outpace demand are helping drivers to save at the pumps. The rout in oil prices continued over the past week and crude oil settled below the $30 per barrel benchmark for the first time since 2003. AAA previously estimated the annual national average price of gas in 2016 will be $2.25 to $2.45 per gallon, although the sharp decline in oil costs since the year began has the potential to lead to even lower gas prices if global oversupply and economic concerns persist.
A total of 38 states are posting averages below $2 per gallon, and drivers in Oklahoma ($1.59) and Missouri ($1.62) are paying the nation’s lowest prices. Gas prices are below the $1.75 benchmark in 17 states, which is seven states more than a week ago. Retail averages in California ($2.75) continue to be the most expensive in the nation and are relatively high due to lingering refinery issues impacting supply in the region. The Golden State is followed by regional neighbors: Hawaii ($2.63), Alaska ($2.48), Nevada ($2.41) and Washington ($2.32). Oregon ($2.17) is sixth most expensive for the sixth week in a row.