After all-time high prices for gas across the country earlier this spring – sending national and state averages above the $5 per gallon mark for the first time in history – the national average has dropped below $4 Thursday.
Price averages across the U.S. peaked at $5.01 on June 14. Now, for the first time since March 5, the national gas price average has dropped below $4 per gallon.
Three counties in Oklahoma still have averages higher than $4 a gallon. Coal County in the southeast is highest at $4.41 per gallon followed by Ellis County in the northwest at $4.22 and Beaver County in the Panhandle at $4.06.
Oklahoma City’s average is $3.58, down from $3.75 a week ago and the $4.44 average recorded a month ago. Prices in Tulsa average $3.45 compared to $3.59 a week ago and $4.23 one month earlier.
The national average price Thursday for regular grade, self-service gasoline dropped to $3.99 per gallon, down 14 cents in the last week, down 68 cents from a month ago, down $1.01 cents (20%) since hitting a record-high in June ($5.01), yet remains 81 cents higher than this time last year.
“It’s been five months since the national gas price average was below $4 a gallon,” said Leslie Gamble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Oklahoma. “After peaking in mid-June at $5.01, the national gas price average, as well as prices in Oklahoma, have fallen consistently as crude oil prices have moved below $100 per barrel and gasoline demand has fallen off as motorists adjust their driving behaviors.”
Multiple factors determine the fluctuation of prices at the pump – the price of crude oil (50-60% of a gallon of gasoline is made of crude oil), refining costs, taxes, supply and demand, international conflict, economic uncertainty, COVID and hurricane season to name a few.
Oklahomans have been among those paying the least for gas. Today, with an average price of $3.55 a gallon across the state, Oklahoma has the fourth lowest gas prices in the nation. It trails Texas ($3.49), Arkansas and South Carolina ($3.53) and is tied with Tennessee and Georgia. Yet, a year ago today, Oklahomans paid an average of $2.88 a gallon, 67 cent lower than they are currently.
“Motorists have undoubtedly felt the pain at the pump this summer,” Gamble noted. “Downward movement in gas prices will definitely make a difference for most people. AAA is cautiously optimistic that pump prices will continue to fall, particularly if the global price of crude oil does not spike, however the overall situation remains very volatile.”
In Oklahoma, a record high of $4.66 a gallon was set on June 15, 2022. A month ago, the average had dropped to $4.40.