Expect gas prices to fall below $3

(Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

(Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Is it possible the average price at the pump could be below $3 a gallon by the time leaves begin to change?

Absolutely, according to experts who follow fuel price trends, and some areas of Georgia have already broken the barrier. At one station in Macon on Friday, unleaded regular was selling for $2.90, and in Duluth and Suwanee prices were as low as $3.04 and $3.05, respectively.

Higher oil production, an existing ample supply of fuel, falling crude oil prices, lukewarm consumer demand and a drop in contracts for wholesale delivery of fuel to gas stations in the fall are the right ingredients for a further drop in gas prices.

Barring any unforeseen calamity that might disrupt production or distribution, such as a hurricane that would interrupt delivery from the Gulf of Mexico or block tankers from arriving in Savannah, or a major conflict in the Middle East, the price trend should continue, even with the arrival of summer and more vehicles on the road for vacations.

“[T]he market is suggesting gas below $3 by Halloween, and certainly by Thanksgiving,” Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service, told USA Today. Some experts, however, note that gas prices typically drop in the fall before rising again as winter fuel demands kick in.

While consumers in Macon may be seeing prices already below $3, AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady said it will be a while before prices that low become widespread in metro Atlanta.

“I think prices will continue to trend as they have,” Brady told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I think we could dip below $3 in some areas. I don’t think we are going to see a below-$3 average across the board.”

According to the OPIS’ latest figures, the average price for regular unleaded gas Friday in metro Atlanta was $3.28, which is down 21 cents from a month ago and 29 cents from a year ago. Regular unleaded was already as low as $3.04 and $3.05 at Costco and Kroger stations, respectively, in Duluth and Suwanee, according to Atlantagasprices.com. Gas was highest in Atlanta, especially in the northeast and northwest, with some stations selling regular unleaded for as high as $3.79.

The national average price for regular unleaded is currently $3.47. Earlier this year there were fears that gas prices could hit $5 a gallon this year, mainly due to Mideast tensions, oil refinery glitches that hindered supplies and energy speculation.

115 comments Add your comment

General Ledger

June 22nd, 2012
1:23 pm

That sounds great but what do the “experts” know? Weren’t these the same people who said gas would be $5 by Memorial Day 2012?

Chris

June 22nd, 2012
1:28 pm

funny how they are expected to be lowest around election time

Fletch

June 22nd, 2012
1:33 pm

Chris – “funny how they are expected to be lowest around election time”

Ah yes, another moronic reference to the mythical “magic wand” that allows the POTUS to raise or lower fuel prices at will.

LaNita

June 22nd, 2012
1:35 pm

That’s just too funny. We were at 3.49 a gallon yesterday. Today we are 3.54. Going down i think not.

Robert

June 22nd, 2012
1:40 pm

My area QT and Shell always raise the gas price 10-20 cents on Friday afternoon – just in time for the weekend. Is that price gouging?

J. R. Ewing

June 22nd, 2012
1:44 pm

Ewing Oil is back in business!

ATinSAV

June 22nd, 2012
1:44 pm

I just paid 3.14 in mid-town Savannah.

paul

June 22nd, 2012
1:49 pm

went to nashville earlier this week and gas in chattanooga area is $3.01

Dekalb comments

June 22nd, 2012
1:59 pm

@ Fletch 1:33 p.m.

I couldn’t agree more. There is a belief among some that the President has some magic incantation he (or eventually a she) chants that raises or lowers gasoline prices. This is never affected by supply, demand, global tensions, weather, etc. Interestingly this is usually asserted only when the incumbent in the White House has a “D” by his (or her) name, but never an “R”.

These same experts were telling us we would have $5.00 or higher gasoline by the summer. Well yesterday was our transition to the first full day of summer and prices are well below $4.00 and continuing to drop. So I give these “experts” as much credence as I do the local meterologist. Wait, I give my local tarot card reader greater credence than either of these!

old hairy grandma

June 22nd, 2012
1:59 pm

I just got my gas to the lowest it’s been in years, by lowering my beans intake. Oh what a relief!!!

William Coit

June 22nd, 2012
1:59 pm

I paid $2.99 in Southaven Mississippi on my way back home from Memphis.

john jordin

June 22nd, 2012
2:00 pm

Of course reporters only do LINEAR PROGRESSIONS.If a curvilinear happens they hope you have a short memory.

John

June 22nd, 2012
2:05 pm

Just in time for the pre-election American psyche.

Mark

June 22nd, 2012
2:12 pm

The rise in oil prices a few months received intense media coverage and there was lot of blaming of the President by Republicans. So why aren’t we nowseeing Republicans praising the President and headlines like “Gas May Be Free By End of Summer!”?

Fort Myers

June 22nd, 2012
2:13 pm

The bigger question is: Why such a disparity in the price – $3.79 in Northwest ATL and the average in Georgis is $3.28. Someone is ripping the people of Georgia off. We need some oversight of gas prices in this state.

Reel

June 22nd, 2012
2:15 pm

The largest scam industry is the oil business. Oil companies have been trying for years to condition Americans to $3-4/ gallon for a few years now. That conditioning will continue for a few more years so that the oil company profits can continue for individual and corporate stockowners. When you consider the record profits this industry produces each and every year, you begin to wonder why our politicians are not speaking about prices. Lobby money is tough to resist to secure reelections and there are more than enough lobby entities to take care of the pols.

Fletch

June 22nd, 2012
2:18 pm

Fort Myers – “We need some oversight of gas prices in this state.”

WHAT?!!!! That my friend is called REGULATION, and it’s one step away from free healthcare and giving everyones money away to the lazy SOsB who occupy the lower rung. We’ll have none of that here!

Pipeline Man

June 22nd, 2012
2:19 pm

You need to check wih industry expert Simon Holland about this.

rob

June 22nd, 2012
2:20 pm

to all the idiots that blame the president for high gas prices, why don’t you blame him for high blood pressure too. DAMN GET A LIFE.

Smokewagon

June 22nd, 2012
2:24 pm

Mark – With gas prices over $3.00 / gal. and the strict no drill for America policy there will be absolutely no praise for Obama.

Fletch

June 22nd, 2012
2:27 pm

Smokewagon – “Higher oil production, an existing ample supply of fuel,”

Soooooo…….drilling more for export will do what exactly?

Candylicious

June 22nd, 2012
2:29 pm

Time it gets to $3 a gallon we’ll be clamoring for full size SUVs and you won’t be able to give away a Prius. Then as always it’ll migrate back to $4-5, probably by the end of the year, at which point we’ll all become environmentalists again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

beeg1

June 22nd, 2012
2:29 pm

There is more to this than meets the eye. Government around the world has much to do with the price of petroleum products; especially in the Middle East!

Smokewagon

June 22nd, 2012
2:34 pm

Fletch – Plenty of oil available from countries that hate us and spend profits from our purchases to wage war against us. I prefer that we produce our own oil and keep it here.
American Jobs
American Profits
American Pride

Fletch

June 22nd, 2012
2:36 pm

Smokewagon – “I prefer that we produce our own oil and keep it here”

That would be great, except that the United States isn’t in the oil business. All oil belongs to the companies who own the leases. The companies who own the leases are foreign entities. Without forming US Oil Inc, or nationalizing the existing wells, we don’t really get a say as to where the oil produced in our waters or in our fields goes. At this point in time, it all goes to the highest bidder.

Vampire Bill

June 22nd, 2012
2:39 pm

It’s sad that I’m looking forward to 3.00 a gal like it’s some kind of a deal. How about 1.29 a gal? That was reality not too long ago.

Jane

June 22nd, 2012
2:42 pm

I saw gas in Duluth at $3.05 on Wednesday. But it does usually go up for the weekend and drops on Monday. Usually its the cheapest on Wednesdays.

Jane

June 22nd, 2012
2:45 pm

I agree that they are conditioning us for $4/5 gallon gas prices. The oil companies have made billions off this country in the last few years. They have made enough money to last them several life times. And that still is not enough which is why gas prices are high. We need to go back to the days when gas was under $1.00 per gallon. Believe it or not it wasn’t that long ago.

NancyB

June 22nd, 2012
2:45 pm

It’s a nice time to reside and work in Gwinnett County.

Smokewagon

June 22nd, 2012
2:47 pm

Fletch – That is sad but true but I would love to see things change in the oil industry. Heck I would love to see more vehicles fueled by natural gas which is also abundant.

Fletch

June 22nd, 2012
2:52 pm

Smokewagon – “I would love to see more vehicles fueled by natural gas which is also abundant.”

Count me in on that.

Humble~

June 22nd, 2012
2:53 pm

Can’t WAIT!

Chanticleet

June 22nd, 2012
2:56 pm

The POTUS has the ability to nuke any country that deserves it, and you don’t think he has influence over gas prices? Do you remember the last time gas drop this much? That’s right 2008. Do you know what else happened in 2008? I’ll be damned, a Presidental election.

learnsomeecon

June 22nd, 2012
2:56 pm

Can you say POTUS ’s doube dip recession? It’s here, granted by definition it may not be confirmed for 3 quarters but I’d like to welcome all the Keynesians to the party. When the US gets a cough, the world gets the cold. The worst econmy in our lifetime, fueled by negligence and overreach of many government policies, has speard to the world and the bottom has fallen out on gas demand, its just simple economics. Check out history and Carter era fuel policy among others. That whole doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome?

gutdawg

June 22nd, 2012
3:01 pm

Augusta area gas is all below $3 a gallon. I paid $2.93 a gallon this morning. A couple of places had it temporariy at $2.84 a gallon last weekend.

Motocross Survivor

June 22nd, 2012
3:03 pm

Give me a break, it’s an election year and Obama knows these gas prices rising would likely spell doom for his re-election.

TomCat

June 22nd, 2012
3:06 pm

I have noticed that every presidential election year, the gas prices go down and down. Until about 3 months after the election is over. Then the oil companies raise them. Coincidence? I think not.

You libs

June 22nd, 2012
3:06 pm

Enter your comments here

PTC DAWG

June 22nd, 2012
3:08 pm

I’m a Libertarian, the POTUS has no influence on fuel prices.

That said, I had to laugh at the poster calling for regulation. Free market works best. Gas is higher or lower in different areas because of many factors…cost of doing in business is not the same everywhere for one thing…I could go on, but the original poster wouldn’t understand.

You libs

June 22nd, 2012
3:09 pm

I’m worried sick for all those people who were blaming Obama for the high gas prices a few weeks ago. Has anybody seen them? Could we put their pictures on milk cartons or something?

Oh, and would be rude of me not to say “thank-you, Mr. President.”

proud to be an ignorant Tahoe driver

June 22nd, 2012
3:09 pm

Sorry, I don’t consider that a big price drop. If it drops below 2.50 a gallon, call me.

Also, I’m a big deal and you WILL recognize this.

Fletch

June 22nd, 2012
3:10 pm

Motocross Survivor – “it’s an election year and Obama knows these gas prices rising would likely spell doom for his re-election.”
……………………………………..________……………………
………………………………,.-‘”……………….“~.,………………
………………………..,.-”……………………………..“-.,…………
…………………….,/………………………………………..”:,……..
…………………,?………………………………………………\,…..
………………./…………………………………………………..,}….
……………../………………………………………………,:`^`..}….
……………/……………………………………………,:”………/…..
…………..?…..__…………………………………..:`………../…..
…………./__.(…..“~-,_…………………………,:`………./……..
………../(_….”~,_……..“~,_………………..,:`…….._/………..
……….{.._$;_……”=,_…….“-,_…….,.-~-,},.~”;/….}………..
………..((…..*~_…….”=-._……“;,,./`…./”…………../…………
…,,,___.\`~,……“~.,………………..`…..}…………../………….
…………(….`=-,,…….`……………………(……;_,,-”……………
…………/.`~,……`-………………………….\……/\……………….
………….\`~.*-,……………………………….|,./…..\,__………..
,,_……….}.>-._\……………………………..|…………..`=~-,….
…..`=~-,_\_……`\,……………………………\……………………
……………….`=~-,,.\,………………………….\…………………..
…………………………..`:,,………………………`\…………..__..
……………………………….`=-,……………….,%`>–==“…….
…………………………………._\……….._,-%…….`\……………
……………………………..,<`.._|_,-&“…………….`\………….

DC

June 22nd, 2012
3:12 pm

I like it when oil jumps up $3 per barrel and gas goes up .10 – .15 per gallon. Oil drops $3 and gas goes down .02 or .03. Gas usually jumps at 10 cent increments and goes down a penny or two at a time.

John Blaze

June 22nd, 2012
3:13 pm

I would love to see gas go up to 7 or 8 dollars a gallon. The fallout would be incredible.

TMM

June 22nd, 2012
3:15 pm

Fletch,

Is that Marge Simpson or the creature from “Alien”?

Fletch

June 22nd, 2012
3:16 pm

TomCat – “Until about 3 months after the election is over. Then the oil companies raise them. Coincidence? I think not.”

……………………………………..________……………………
………………………………,.-‘”……………….“~.,………………
………………………..,.-”……………………………..“-.,…………
…………………….,/………………………………………..”:,……..
…………………,?………………………………………………\,…..
………………./…………………………………………………..,}….
……………../………………………………………………,:`^`..}….
……………/……………………………………………,:”………/…..
…………..?…..__…………………………………..:`………../…..
…………./__.(…..“~-,_…………………………,:`………./……..
………../(_….”~,_……..“~,_………………..,:`…….._/………..
……….{.._$;_……”=,_…….“-,_…….,.-~-,},.~”;/….}………..
………..((…..*~_…….”=-._……“;,,./`…./”…………../…………
…,,,___.\`~,……“~.,………………..`…..}…………../………….
…………(….`=-,,…….`……………………(……;_,,-”……………
…………/.`~,……`-………………………….\……/\……………….
………….\`~.*-,……………………………….|,./…..\,__………..
,,_……….}.>-._\……………………………..|…………..`=~-,….
…..`=~-,_\_……`\,……………………………\……………………
……………….`=~-,,.\,………………………….\…………………..
…………………………..`:,,………………………`\…………..__..
……………………………….`=-,……………….,%`>–==“…….
…………………………………._\……….._,-%…….`\……………
……………………………..,<`.._|_,-&“…………….`\………….

Fletch

June 22nd, 2012
3:17 pm

TMM – “Is that Marge Simpson or the creature from “Alien”?”

LOL, neither. It just saves time when addressing inane comments such as the ones above.

Capital City Club clown

June 22nd, 2012
3:17 pm

Did somebody mention being a big deal? Because I am certainly big time. Everyone thinks so.

Mister.Earl

June 22nd, 2012
3:19 pm

In its relentless coverage of rising gas prices, Fox News made some outrageous predictions of $5, $6, $7 and even $8 a gallon gasoline by summer. But these predictions have proven to be nothing more than wishful thinking by a network that hoped to use high prices at the pump as a campaign issue against President Obama.

arnold

June 22nd, 2012
3:20 pm

It’s O’bamas fault.