Las Vegas motorists have seen the price of gasoline drop in the last month.
And they are not alone.
According to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge survey, Las Vegas motorists were paying an average of $3.49 a gallon for regular unleaded fuel on Monday — about 18 cents cheaper than the average of $3.67 a month ago. It’s also 14 cents cheaper than the $3.63, the average local price a year ago, according to AAA.
Several local stations were even cheaper than the average. According to gasbuddy.com, several Las Vegas stations were selling regular unleaded under $3.30, including the typically busy Arco station at West Flamingo Road and South Jones Boulevard.
Across the nation, the average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps fell 3.99 cents in the past two weeks to $3.5586 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc. That survey covers the period ended Friday and is based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, Calif.-based company.
The average, which reached a year-to-date peak of $3.795 in the period ended Feb. 22, is about 20 cents below the year- earlier price of $3.7591 a gallon.
The reason for the price drop appears to be an abundance of gasoline.
“We have tremendous gasoline production occurring here and American refiners are running at very high rates of capacity,” Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey, said in a telephone interview. “There is no tightness in supply; if anything we have an oversupply of gasoline in the United States.”
The highest price for gasoline in the lower 48 U.S. states among the markets surveyed was in Long Island, N.Y., where it averaged $3.82 a gallon, Lundberg said.
The lowest price was in Charleston, S.C., where customers paid an average of $3.22 a gallon. Regular gasoline averaged $3.80 a gallon in Los Angeles.
U.S. gasoline stockpiles tumbled 4.03 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 16 to 218.4 million, the lowest since May, according to data compiled by the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department.
“Since there is no supply emergency occurring worldwide for crude oil, that leaves gasoline without a major hike from crude anytime soon,” Lundberg said. “A further decrease in the price at the pump is more likely than a rise. We may see a few more cents decline in the next several days.”
West Texas Intermediate crude on the Nymex climbed 45 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $106.42 a barrel in the two weeks ended on Friday.
Crude inventories fell a third consecutive time in the week ended Aug. 16, dropping 1.43 million barrels to 359.1 million, the lowest level in almost a year. Inventories at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for WTI, fell 1.09 million barrels to 37.4 million, the lowest level in 17 months.
WTI will probably decline in the coming week on speculation that demand from refineries will drop with the end of the peak-demand summer driving season, a Bloomberg survey showed.
Twenty of 33 analysts, or 61 percent, forecast crude will decrease through Friday . Seven respondents, or 21 percent, predicted an increase and six said there would be no change.
The record Las Vegas price for gasoline still stands at $4.27 a gallon reached on June 21, 2008, according to AAA.
The Review-Journal contributed to this report.