Gas prices remain steady across nation

Drivers pass by on Broadway in Poteau.
News Reporter

Despite increased U.S. production, AAA Oklahoma said gas prices have remained steady across the nation.

In Oklahoma, the retail gas price average fell over the last few days to stand at $2.12 per gallon for self-service regular on Monday. AAA said on Thursday the average was $2.14.

“There is a lot going on globally that is having an impact here in Oklahoma,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma.

“The Russian energy ministry has released oil production data showing that their oil output is the same now as it was last month, causing the market to wonder if Russia will try to thwart efforts by OPEC to rebalance global oil supply.” 

The top five most expensive states for gas this week include Hawaii ($3.08), California ($2.99), Washington ($2.79), Alaska ($2.77) and Nevada ($2.61). States showing the largest increase in prices were Michigan (12 cents), Indiana (11 cents), Ohio (nine cents), Illinois (seven cents) and Kentucky (six cents). 

AAA reported the southern half of the nation posted the cheapest gas prices with eight of ten of the markets being in the south and southeast: South Carolina ($2.05), Tennessee ($2.07), Alabama ($2.07), Mississippi ($2.09), Arkansas ($2.11), Texas ($2.11), Louisiana ($2.12) and Oklahoma ($2.12).

"Gasoline prices are starting to pick up steam as a majority of states see their average rise over last week, a function of the season's theatrics coming into view: refinery maintenance and the transition to cleaner gasoline pumping up prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.

Here is a sampling of prices for Monday and Tuesday's dates for LeFlore County, as provided by GasBuddy:
• Tote-A-Poke (Poteau, no ethanol): $2.19.
• E-Z Mart (Howe): $2.00.
• Grand Slam (Pocola): $1.97.
• Quik Mart (Panama): $1.97.
• Shaq Mart (Spiro): $1.99.

Statistics from GasBuddy over the last five years show a range of prices for Monday's date: $1.69 per gallon in 2016, $2.30 in 2015, $3.34 in 2014, $3.54 in 2013 and $3.55 in 2012.

"Some states gas prices may slightly lag the upward trend being seen in 38 states as remaining winter gasoline inventories are purged," added DeHaan.

"However, as we grow closer to Baseball's Opening Day, the nation's motorists will be more likely to strikeout when trying to find $1.99 gas prices, which remain at just 8,000 stations across just handful of states. In a sign of what's to come in some of the nation's largest cities, motorists in Southern California have become the first in the lower 48 states to see the ugly 'three' showing up on gas station displays at street level."

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