Ollie Moore of San Jon washes her windshield Monday while purchasing gas at the Texaco/Allsup’s on the corner of Prince and 21st streets. She was headed home after returning from Lubbock on business. CNJ staff photo: Rick White.
By Jack King
Gas prices are down in the region, some merchants said Monday, mirroring prices across the state and nation.
In Clovis, gas prices have dropped about 8 cents in recent weeks at the Town and Country stores, said Robert Eggleston, director of petroleum marketing for the chain, which is based in San Angelo, Texas.
At the Colonial One Stop, 4104 North Prince St., prices have dropped between 7 and 10 cents, said store supervisor Scott Lubera.
According to AAA, the automobile and travel service company, gas prices are down statewide, with most average prices for regular unleaded gas about 3 or 4 cents less than a week ago.
Nationwide, retail gas prices dropped more than 4 cents per gallon in the past two weeks, according to a survey by The Associated Press.
The average for a gallon of self-serve gas Friday, including all grades and taxes, was about $1.55, a decrease of 4.33 cents a gallon from Oct. 24, according to a Lundberg Survey of 8,000 stations.
This was a decrease of 4.33 cents a gallon from Oct. 24, the date of the last Lundberg Survey.
Lubera said Colonial One Stop’s price dropped in Clovis because its wholesale price dropped “and we’re nice enough to pass on the difference,” he said.
Eggleston said prices in the gasoline market have dropped because of a number of factors.
“The Department of Energy has released a report saying there is too much domestic supply, and the Middle East has settled down somewhat, so supply prices are down. Also, normally at the end of the year refineries diminish their inventory, so they won’t be taxed on it. The way they do that is to lower prices,” he said.
As for whether gas prices will stay down, Eggleston said, “If I could predict that, I would not be working.
“Historically, prices continue dropping through December. The lowest prices of the year are frequently on Dec. 31. They continue to drop until after the first of the year, then begin rising again,” he said.
The Lundberg Survey noted that a slight recovery in the crude oil market could slow or reverse the price declines. If oil prices remain around $31 a barrel or continue to rise, the price drop would be reversed, said oil analyst Trilby Lundberg.
Oil prices are being supported by a production cut of 900,000 barrels on the part of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (0PEC), which went into effect Nov. 1 and improvements in the economic condition of the United States and abroad, the study said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.