Gas prices dip under $3, still higher than a year ago

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | 5:42 p.m. CDT; updated 9:24 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Gas prices fell below $3 at some stations around Columbia on Monday. The stations were busy during rush hour with people filling their tanks for cheaper prices than usual.

COLUMBIA— A $3 increase in the price of crude oil on Tuesday might signal a temporary end to price declines at the gas pump, according to a spokesman for AAA in Missouri.


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Mike Right of AAA in Missouri said the price of crude oil was about $83 per barrel Tuesday afternoon but could change by Tuesday night.

A spot check late Tuesday afternoon found gasoline prices at $2.99 per gallon at Break Time, HyVee and Philips 66, which stood in contrast to the average price of $3.79 per gallon in Columbia this April.

Greg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for Gas Buddy, cautioned not to put too much weight on one day’s fluctuations in crude prices.

“If crude goes up $2 a barrel today or a few dollars tomorrow, an increase today could be nullified within a few hours," Laskoski said. "It’s the long term that can tell us more than price spikes in the middle of the week.”

While gasoline prices have dipped recently, they are still higher than the price of $2.45 a year ago, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

According to Right, it's not out of the question for gas to return to that price, but crude oil would need "to continue to hover where it is now as the supply of gasoline increases.”

Ron Leone, the executive director of Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, said that low prices should continue, but it's difficult to make accurate predictions.

“Something could happen to impact the supply or distribution, but if everything remains calm, they should stay down," Leone said.

The price at the pump is influenced by three main factors: the cost of crude oil, the cost of refining oil and state and federal taxes, according to Leone.

Leone said the recent price declines have been driven by demand, the sluggish economy and the cost of crude oil. In addition, demand tends to go down in the fall.

“Vacations are done, so demands go down, then prices go down," Leone said.

He said demand is also down because of the bad economy.

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Corey Parks September 27, 2011 | 8:51 p.m.

Thank you Mr President for the lower fuel prices. Progress as Promised.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 27, 2011 | 9:19 p.m.

Corey, please let us know how the President addressed either of these three price factors mentioned in the article:

"the cost of crude oil, the cost of refining oil and state and federal taxes"

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 27, 2011 | 9:59 p.m.

John, I believe that was Cory's attempted sarcasm. The meaning is that it is Obama's fault that Europe's economy is moving slowly because of fear of repercussions from the situation with the Greek debt.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks September 27, 2011 | 10:10 p.m.

If you remember correctly back in June the President authorized the release of our Strategic Oil Reserves to help flood the market and lower the cost. They estimated that it would start in July and carry on for the next few months. I think we are just now seeing the beginning of the reductions.
Genius I tell you.

In reality though my belief is that the cost of crude is linked to supply and demand and a few X factors but when there is a world wide recession and less available money to the majority then less traveling and less fuel purchased. What good is a 140 dollar barrel of oil when people are not buying as much of it.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks September 27, 2011 | 10:12 p.m.

And you cant forget about this I am still waiting for him to fill up my tank. He has already paid peoples mortgages..

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 27, 2011 | 10:31 p.m.

Well, I will admit in hindsight that it was a good financial decision to sell a bit from the strategic reserve. It can be replenished at a lower rate with the government keeping the profit. If the reserve were larger and the advisers competent I would support doing that more often.

(Report Comment)

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