Nice surprise at the pump

Aug. 06, 2014 @ 03:30 PM

It should be a recipe for escalating oil and gas prices.

An ongoing civil war in the petroleum-producing country of Iraq. A horrific conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. A commercial jet flying over Ukraine shot down in a military zone in the disputed eastern region of the European nation.
Instead, so far this summer gas prices not only haven’t skyrocketed but are falling.
Motorists in North Carolina are paying the lowest gasoline prices in more a month, AAA Carolinas reports. Prices at the pump during July were less per gallon on average than a year ago.
The current average for self-service unleaded in the Piedmont Triad is $3.37 per gallon, though some High Point service stations on Wednesday were sporting prices as low as $3.22 per gallon. The local average is down from $3.50 per gallon a year ago, according to Charlotte-based AAA Carolinas.
Veteran AAA Carolinas spokesman Tom Crosby said it’s unusual for a set of international conflicts to not jolt petroleum prices. Several reasons explain why, with the main one being adequate supplies of oil.
“As we rely less on overseas oil and at the same time consume less at home with more fuel-efficient cars, we have a perfect storm for declining prices at the pump,” said David Parsons, president and chief executive officer of AAA Carolinas.
So far, the series of international conflicts haven’t affected the supply of petroleum, Crosby told The High Point Enterprise.
“In the past we’ve had a knee-jerk reaction of what could happen. Right now, we’re waiting to see if something does happen. I think that’s the difference,” Crosby said.
Also, in the United States, domestic refineries are running at full production, Crosby said. No tropical storms or hurricanes have threatened to cause disruptions this summer.
More fuel efficient cars also have lowered overall demand for gasoline, he said.
The current average gas price in North Carolina is 20 cents less than the Memorial Day holiday, AAA Carolinas reports.
“Gas prices are in good position for the remainder of the summer driving season as long as refinery production remains strong and oil costs do not rise due to unexpected issues,” according to AAA Carolinas.
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