The price of a gallon of regular gasoline is $5.99 at the Shell Station in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the highest in the country, according to GasBuddy. The station sits near several of the Disney resorts outside Orlando. Some of the traffic from these resorts goes to the Orlando Airport, which is close to the Shell Station.
Another piece of evidence that gas stations near the airport have an unusually high price is that the nearby SunCoast Energy station has a price of $5.95 per gallon.
The gas price in Florida, based on the average cost of a gallon of regular, does not explain the nearly $6 price. Florida gas prices average $1.82, just above the national average. Orlando prices are $1.73, well below the national average. Gas taxes and levies in Florida are $0.55 per gallon, the seventh highest in the country, and well above the national average of $0.48. By comparison, the state with the lowest gas taxes is Alaska at $0.307, based on data from the American Petroleum Institute .
The two locations in Florida are an anomaly. Most of the stations with among the highest gas prices in the United States are in and around the large cities in California, which has the highest average price among all states. In fact, 20 of the top 25 stations with highest gas prices are in California. These cities include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Thousand Oaks, Studio City and San Bruno.
That national average will go lower, probably much lower. Crude oil prices have dropped to $30, although they have recovered modestly. A year ago, the price was nearly $65 a barrel.
No matter what the location is, one main reason for the drop in gasoline prices is the sea of available oil, due in part to a flood from Saudi Arabia, and perhaps to falling demand as the global economy slows. Despite the loud protests of other OPEC members, the kingdom said it will keep pumping.
Oil inventory is not the only factor. Proximity to refineries is also an issue. The average gas price in Missouri and Oklahoma are $1.45 a gallon, and in Texas $1.59. All are near the huge refineries south of Houston and the Gulf of Mexico, which is dotted by deepwater oil drilling platforms.
Even if gas prices drop, the unique situations of the two stations outside Orlando won’t change. They sit is a small area where they can get away with gas prices near $6.