Gas prices spike, but are expected to fall soon

Gas prices are up again... way up. We saw a major jump just before the weekend, and things have not changed. In Lawton, you'll see $2.95 for a gallon of regular unleaded. And though Oklahoma has some of the cheapest prices in the country, the price of gas in Lawton is now among the highest in our state.

Here in Oklahoma, gas prices rise and fall depending on conflicts that may be happening across the world; but even though we've seen our gas prices spike, there may be relief on the way soon in the form of a 30 cent fall in prices.

AAA of Oklahoma predicts gas prices will soon drop. "Well the seesaw continues," said AAA representative Chuck Mai. "There's a whole list of factors helping to keep prices high, another list of factors helping to bring those prices down."

They're predicting a 30 cent drop in Oklahoma -- which will put Lawton's prices around $2.50 a gallon. "It seems like that's a pretty cheap price, but when you look at it historically, that's still awfully dog gone high," Mai said.

But to most drivers -- 30 cents is still a big difference. "That'd be a good savings," one Lawton driver said."And that's a surprise. So I'd be glad to see that. They'll probably go up again in May, but I'll take 30 cents off here in the early spring."

One of the factors causing this prediction: the failing economy. "There's not as much purchasing going on, not as many miles being driven, deliveries are off," Mai said. "So the consumption is off as a result and so when that happens that helps to bring down the price. So it's kind of a double edge sword; you suffer through the bad economy, but also it helps bring down the gas prices for all of us which is a good thing."

But another important factor that may soon cause gas prices to fall, a stateside surplus in gasoline. "We're at 14 year highs for the supply of gasoline in stock," Mai said. "So that's really good news. At the same time demand is low."

But remember that any threat to our gasoline supply overseas, or even the perception of a threat, could frighten the market.

"If more things happen negatively that impact supply or distribution, then all bets are off," Mai said.

Mai says while there are many things influencing this price drop, the stock exchange is looking years into the future -- and they don't seem to be as optimistic about gas prices down the road.