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Albany joins trend of dropping gas prices

Retail gas prices decline in metro Albany by 12.7 cents per gallon from gas prices last week.

Jerrie Berry of Worth County fills up her vehicle at Murphy Express in East Albany on Monday. After pump prices jumped last week with the end of the partial federal government shutdown, the market moved back downward. In metro Albany Monday, the week-to-week decline for the average cost of a gallon of retail gasoline was 12.7 cents. (Staff Photo by Terry Lewis)

Jerrie Berry of Worth County fills up her vehicle at Murphy Express in East Albany on Monday. After pump prices jumped last week with the end of the partial federal government shutdown, the market moved back downward. In metro Albany Monday, the week-to-week decline for the average cost of a gallon of retail gasoline was 12.7 cents. (Staff Photo by Terry Lewis)

ALBANY — After pump prices jumped last week with the end of the partial federal government shutdown, the market moved back downward. In metro Albany Monday, the week-to-week decline for the average cost of a gallon of retail gasoline was 12.7 cents.

A windshield tour of Albany Monday morning found the lowest observed price for regular gas at $3.149 at the Flashfoods and Homerun stations at East Oglethorpe and the Liberty Expressway, and at the Liberty station on East Oglethorpe between Mock Road and Loftus Drive.

Other stations in East Albany ranged from $3.159 to $3.209. On the west side of the river, pump prices ranged from $3.189 to $3.269 per gallon. Some stations had lower prices if the customer used a gas card purchased from the station’s chain or was a member of a shopping club.

Of Georgia’s eight metro areas, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, metro Albany was the third-lowest at the pump Monday, trailing the Macon metro area at $3.147 and Columbus at $3.184. The highest average pump price was in the Atlanta metro area, $3.289.

AAA The Auto Club Group officials said that the bearish fundamentals of the fuel market have pushed retail gas prices down, a trend that is likely to continue this week.

“Gas prices will likely move lower this week and may continue the downward trend into November,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. “Supply and demand numbers are bearish and the easing of sanctions against Iran will also push prices lower in the coming weeks.

“Overall, pump prices should be pretty affordable come the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.”

Another organization that closely watches pump prices, GasBuddy.com, said Monday that U.S. motorists are paying $100 million a day less for gas now than they were a year ago.

“Last week saw new downward momentum in crude prices,” GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan said, “after staying above $100 per barrel for 111 days since early July, crude prices fell below $100 and just days ago closed as low as $96 per barrel.

“In turn, the sudden drops in crude prices have pushed gasoline futures down as well, with motorists on the winning side of this all. The national average has picked up some steam on its downward trend and in some areas of the U.S., the wholesale price of gasoline is nearing yearly lows, which is adding up to significant savings for motorists.”

Citing the Energy Information Administration, AAA officials noted that U.S. inventories rose 5.25 million barrels last week to 381 million barrels, the most since June, and said that production was up about 6 percent. Talks to suspend sanctions against Iran may increase global oil supply and also place downward pressure on fuel prices, AAA officials said.

Tropical weather has been a non-factor this fall as the “official” hurricane season entered its final five weeks. On Monday, the National Hurricane Center showed no tropical storm activity in the Atlantic region.

Despite the drop, Albany’s average is 1.7 cents per gallon higher than it was last month. Year-to-year, motorists on Monday saw an 18.8 cent improvement in Albany.

The Fuel Gauge Report said the national average for Monday was $3.285, down almost a dime from the $3.353 average on Oct. 21. That’s 12.7 cents per gallon cheaper than last month and a 26.3 cent savings from a year ago.

In Georgia, AAA found the average pump price for motorists was $3.257 Monday, down 1.9 cents from last week and a half-cent cheaper than a month ago. The average price was $3.41 in Georgia last year.

GasBuddy, which daily surveys 5,883 gas outlets in Georgia, said average retail gasoline prices in in the state had fallen 3.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.25 per gallon Sunday. In that time, GasBuddy said, the national average had fallen 5.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.30 per gallon.

In Georgia during the past week, prices yesterday were 13.1 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and were unchanged versus a month ago, according to GasBuddy’s surveys. The national average decreased 13.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stood 26.4 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.