The national average for regular unleaded stood at a four-year low of $2.73 Thursday, according to the AAA Daily Report — not even close to $2….but the statewide average was $2.50 or less in Missouri ($2.41), Mississippi ($2.49) and South Carolina ($2.50). Cities such as St. Louis ($2.32) and Amarillo, Texas ($2.38), were even lower, and dozens of gas stations were beating those prices.
GasBuddy.com reported prices as low as $2.13 in the St. Louis area, and several stations were selling regular at $2.14. AAA estimated that more than 15 percent of stations around the country were selling regular for less than $2.50.
Gas prices have declined for 70 straight days, the longest consecutive daily decline since fall 2008.
AAA said it expects gasoline to drop another 15-20 cents per gallon by the end of the year and for prices to “remain relatively low this winter.”
“We could see prices drop to the lowest levels since the Great Recession if the cost of crude oil continues to set multi-year lows,” AAA spokesman Avery Ash said in a press release.
“While it is possible that a small handful of gas stations in the Southeast and Midcontinent may soon offer gas prices for less than $2 per gallon this month, it would probably take crude oil prices dropping another $25-$30 a barrel for the national average price of gasoline to reach that point,” the AAA report said.
The notion that pump prices could dip below $2 gained traction last week when, while most Americans were celebrating Thanksgiving, the OPEC oil cartel couldn’t reach consensus to cut oil production to curb a five-month decline in prices. After OPEC decided to continue producing 30 million barrels per day, despite a global glut of oil, the price of oil plunged even more.
U.S. oil prices hit a four-year low of $63.72 a barrel last week.