Gas prices take a dive
Oklahoma’s pump price average for regular gasoline has tumbled 18 cents since hitting $3.53 on June 27, according to FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. The state average has declined for 14 straight days and is now $3.35 per gallon. Nationally, the average price of gas has fallen for 24 consecutive days. Today’s price, $3.565 per gallon, is the lowest since April 2.AAA reports these price drops are due to abundant refinery production, even as geopolitical tensions gain global attention. Russia and Ukraine returned to the forefront this past week when Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crashed in eastern Ukraine in an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists. Additionally, intensifying violence between Israeli and Hamas forces in Gaza has drawn headlines and concerns that the conflict could have a broader regional impact. Despite these events, oil markets have shrugged off global concerns, although West Texas Intermediate rose yesterday $1.46 per barrel to close at $104.59 after falling to a multi-month low below $100 a week ago. Meanwhile, domestic refinery utilization reached its highest level of the year last week, which has helped to push gas prices lower. Prior to the crash of Flight 17, the Obama Administration announced a new round of sanctions against Russia’s energy and financial sectors. Members of NATO and the European Union are also debating stronger sanctions against Russia, which could potentially impact global markets. There are four states today with lower state gas price averages than Oklahoma: South Carolina, $3.296 per gallon; Alabama, $3.314; Missouri, $3.339; and Tennessee, $3.346. Pacific states continue to lead the nation with the highest prices, led by Hawaii, $4.34; Alaska, $4.15; and California, $4.04.