Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Money | By Michele Stevens

Gas prices continue slow decline, for now

Gas prices continue slow decline, for now

Nevertheless, federal data show domestic demand is lower, which has supported a slight drop in gas prices so far in December.

The federal government estimates the average price for gas will be around $2.45 per gallon next year, 5 cents more than the anticipated average for 2017. The decline is at least partly fueled by rising rig counts in the United States, likely coming as a result of higher oil prices that were fueled by OPEC's year-old production cuts which have caused a drop of almost 120 million barrels in US oil inventories versus last year.

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The least expensive gas price averages in Georgia were in Dalton at $2.25 per gallon, Catoosa-Dade-Walker at $2.26 and Warner Robbins at $2.26.

States with the highest average gas prices: Hawaii ($3.21), Alaska ($3.18), California ($3.15), Washington ($2.96), OR ($2.80), Nevada ($2.78), Pennsylvania ($2.76), CT ($2.71), NY ($2.68) and Montana ($2.62).

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"Gas prices have been falling in recent weeks, but it has been a slow drip", said Mark Jenkins, spokesman at AAA in Tampa. This year, the typical factors that drive gas prices down in winter were "outweighed" by the adverse impact of two major hurricanes, "steady" consumer demand, and "continued growth" in gasoline exports. Moving into 2018, market watchers will track domestic oil production investment in the determine how much OPEC's latest announcement will influence the market, AAA said. At the close of Friday's formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate, a crude oil benchmark, increased 96 cents to settle at $58.36. "With OPEC deciding last week to extend last year's agreement on oil production cuts, the future for gasoline prices isn't as rosy". Domestic oil inventory levels are lower than they were last year and gas prices are actually the highest they've been in three years.

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