As oil has seesawed, making gasoline prices hard to predict, several organizations, led by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), expect the price for a gallon of regular to average little more than $2 this year. In 12 states, the prices already have breached that level on the way down.
U.S. regular gasoline retail prices this summer (April through September) are forecast to average $2.19/gallon (gal), 6 cents/gal lower than forecast in last month’s STEO and 44 cents/gal lower than last summer. U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are forecast to average $2.06/gal in 2016 and $2.26/gal in 2017.
As the summer ends, so will the high demand for gas for holiday travel, particularly after Labor Day, less than two weeks away.
The current price of oil slightly favors lower gas prices. After a 52-week high of $54.91 a barrel, crude has dropped back to $47. A deal between Saudi Arabia and OPEC seems far off. Nigerian oil production should increase as it puts down rebel activity that has severed some pipelines. Venezuela has to pump as much as its can, even if the exports give it only modest help.
Most of the states with oil below $2 are near the Gulf of Mexico or refinery rich South Carolina. They are Alabama ($1.868), Mississippi ($1.905), New Jersey ($1.911), Virginia ($1.911), Tennessee ($1.916), Arkansas ($1.949), Louisiana ($1.962), Delaware ($1.963), Texas ($1.974), North Carolina ($1.991), Oklahoma ($1.992) and Missouri ($1.999).