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AAA explains falling gas prices

LAWTON, Okla._Gas prices are dropping locally and across the state partially due to the decrease in the cost and demand for oil.

Oklahoma has the fifth-lowest average price of gas in the nation, at $3.30 a gallon. That's down $0.22 over the past month. AAA Oklahoma says those prices are the lowest we've seen since February.

Chuck Mai, vice president of public affairs, said he's been studying gas prices for 27 years and knows how complex it is, but he pointed out a few factors both in the United States and overseas.

"The gas prices really are a reflection these days of what oil is doing. And oil has fallen quite a bit in the last five weeks, down from $108 a barrel, to $101 a barrel," said Mai.

The value of oil has decreased largely due to the fact that the violence in Ukraine has not negatively impacted the oil supply in that country the way speculators originally feared.

"It appears they are not going to be in jeopardy. The price rose dramatically in mid to late June because of the fighting in the Ukraine, the civil unrest. And the thought was that the oil fields down south in Ukraine were going to be harmed and production might be curtailed," said Mai.

As for influences on the falling gas prices in our country, Mai says the trend toward driving fuel efficient cars is a small, but still important factor.

"Americans have finally learned how to conserve. We're using less fuel in our everyday driving and that helps to decrease the demand,” explained Mai.

He warns that consumers shouldn't get too comfortable with the lower prices and offers a few tips on how we could possibly keep them low temporarily.

"If you can find a lower priced station, frequent that station, tell your friends, tell your neighbors. AAA.com has a web site that you can go to and find out where the lower prices stations are. If we all buy lower-priced fuel, then the prices will go down for all of us," said Mai.

Mai says as long as the price of oil remains around $101 a barrel, he believes prices could continue to fall.

 

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