US Gas Prices Drop Below $2 per Gallon at Nearly 1 in 5 Gas Stations

Dec 20, 2018

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Just in time for the holidays, gasoline now costs less than $2 per gallon at nearly 20% of gas stations in the United States.

Tuesday’s national average was $2.37, according to AAA, which also reported that the rate was four cents cheaper than the same time last week, 26 cents cheaper than a month ago and 5 cents cheaper than a year prior. However, about 10% of the nation’s gas stations still charge more than $3/gallon, many of which are located in California. The nation’s highest-ever price occurred on July 17, 2008, when gas prices averaged $4.11 across the country, according to AAA.

Oil prices in the US have dropped by more than a third since the beginning of October, and was trading at around $47 a barrel (20 gallons) Tuesday afternoon. The Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) stated that more than half of the nation’s gas stations charge $2.25 or less per gallon as of Monday, with Missouri’s state average reaching a nation low of $1.96. Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and South Carolina aren’t far behind, with gas prices estimated to drop below the two-dollar mark by the end of the week, according to a senior petroleum analyst for fuel-tracking app GasBuddy.

GasBuddy also noted that 31 states boasted at least one gas station offering fuel for less than $2/gallon, and one station in Texas charged $1.65 – the lowest rate in the nation.

The sharp cost decrease comes from consistently high rates of global oil production, including within the US, coupled with the global economy’s effect on oil demand. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) recently agreed to lower production numbers in an attempt to boost dropping prices. The unexpectedly low numbers are in direct opposition to analyst predictions that prices would increase to around $100 per barrel. In contrast, gas prices topped $2.90 per gallon across the nation, and the decline has saved Americans about $225 million per day as a result of the current gas price decline.

Featured photo by Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia / Getty Images.

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