The average price of gasoline fell below $3 per gallon in the United States for the first time over 46 months, according to GasBuddy.
“We have been watching the average fall since June, a rare feat that we had predicted in our 2014 forecast, but to see the magnitude of the decline over the last month has been astounding,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.
The last time the national average was under $3 was on Dec. 22, 2010, when it stood at $2.995 per gallon.
According to GasBuddy’s site, 47 states have at least some prices under $3/gallon, with the lone exceptions being Hawaii (cheapest gas is $3.75/gal), Alaska (cheapest gas is $3.42/gal), and Wyoming (cheapest gas is $3.02/gal). Just 15.7 percent of the nation’s 133,000 gas stations are charging more than $3.25/gal, while over 60 percent are charging under $3/gal. America’s daily gasoline bill stands some $108 million lower than one year ago.
In Turlock, there were multiple gas stations offering prices under $3/gallon on Friday. The cheapest gas in town on Friday could be found at both Costco and the ARCO at 1801 Lander Ave. at $2.89/gallon. The ARCO stations on N. Golden State, 2219 Lander Ave. and West Main Street had gas for $291/gallon.
“With the global decline of crude oil prices matched by the strong fuel production reported both in the U.S. and other major producers worldwide this milestone became inevitable,” DeHaan added.
How much lower could gas prices go?
“That’s the question everyone’s asking and we’re cautiously optimistic that the national average could fall further, perhaps by another 5 to 10 cents per gallon before year’s end. Some parts of the country such as the Southeast might see a greater decrease,” said Gregg Laskoski, another senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. “The next OPEC meeting is Nov. 27 and that may give us an indication of whether or not OPEC might try to curb production. If it does, that might stop the slide of oil prices. ”