AAA FUEL GAUGE: WV Gasoline Prices Drop 1.5 Cents Per Gallon

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AAA FUEL GAUGE: WV Gasoline Prices Drop 1.5 Cents Per Gallon

After six weeks of steady increases, West Virginia gas prices finally dropped 1.5 cents a gallon this week. The current average price for a gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline is $4.085.

According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge, crude oil prices moved upwards to $102.55 Monday, recovering some of the record losses seen during last week’s sell-off.  Despite this gain on the day, crude prices have declined nearly $11 since last Monday.

While the beginning of last week was dominated by media coverage surrounding President Obama’s announcement that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, this news likely had little to do with the unprecedented decline in crude oil prices on the week.  Bin Laden’s death certainly marks an important victory in the war on terror and a blow to al Qaeda operations, but it does not have an immediate impact on instability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region that has been at the root of the rise in oil prices over the last several months.  This being said, the dip in the price of crude oil futures immediately following President Obama’s Sunday night announcement, despite their quick recovery, showed signs of a market that was overbought and wary of news that might trigger a correction in prices.  Crude oil settled last Monday at $113.52. 

The remainder of the week saw a string of bearish fundamental data and geopolitical news that provided a series of body-blows to crude prices.  Tuesday brought a SpendingPulse report that showed U.S. gasoline consumption down one percent on the week and 1.2 percent year-over-year.  This data perpetuated concerns of demand destruction in the market, and was compounded in late afternoon trading by anticipation of Wednesday’s expected bearish weekly Department of Energy (DOE) report. 

On Thursday bearish factors piled on — the U.S. dollar showed strength and concerns increased surrounding slowing growth in the U.S. and abroad; crude oil traders rushed to take profits — in what was an all-time record volume of activity for crude futures; and the rout was on for crude oil prices.  Crude oil Thursday settled down $9.44 at $99.80 — down nearly 9 percent on the day and bringing the weekly losses to 12.4 percent.  This plunge marked the largest single day drop in prices since 2008.  Last week ended with crude oil settling down $2.62 at $97.18.  This capped a decline of $16.75 on the week, the largest weekly loss since oil began trading on the NYMEX in 1983.

In a week that saw major declines in crude prices, motorists began to finally see signs of some relief at the pump.  After rising for 44 consecutive days —the third longest streak on record — and coming within a cent-and-a-half of the $4 mark, the national average price of gasoline dropped last Friday and has moved lower each day since.  The current national retail average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $3.951.

  This price is down almost a penny since yesterday, but is up 19 cents from a month ago and remains more than $1 higher than a year ago. 

 This week’s average prices: West Virginia Average                                               $4.085

Average price during the week of May 3, 2011                                                          $4.100

Average price during the week of May 11, 2010                                                        $2.933

The following is a list of the average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:


















AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 80 local offices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and Kentucky servicing 2.5 million members.

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