U.S. retail gasoline prices have fallen for five weeks in a row, with the average cost per gallon on track to drop below $3 by Christmas, but drivers may soon see an end to the price declines, according to fuel savings platform GasBuddy on Monday.
The average price for regular gasoline was down 14.4 cents from a week ago to $3.21 a gallon Monday, with prices down a fifth consecutive week, GasBuddy data show. Prices are also down 56.5 cents from a month ago, and 11 cents lower than a year ago.
Average regular unleaded gas prices over the last year
The relief in prices is saving Americans about $20 per fill-up, compared with six months ago, said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. Gas prices averaged $5.016 on June 12 and hit a record high of $5.034 on June 16.
He also pointed out that 15 states now have average gas prices of $2.99 or less, and the national average is “on schedule” to fall below $3 by Christmas.
Read: Gas prices are now lower than at this time last year. Could they fall below $3 a gallon in the months ahead?
The Keystone Pipeline, which transports oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast has been shut down since Wednesday evening following a major leak that spilled oil in Kansas. That has provided some support to oil prices
in recent days.
De Haan, however, told MarketWatch that the shutdown’s impact on gasoline is likely to be “minimal,” as much of this oil flows to the Gulf, “where there are more options to replace any lost barrels” from the pipeline. A couple of refineries may have “some challenges in sourcing” oil the longer the pipeline remains down, he said.
Still, he warned that “we’re getting closer to the gradual end of the decline” in gasoline prices, which could happen sometime between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Looking further head, one of the major factors for the outlook for oil, and gasoline, would be China and developments tied to its zero-COVID restrictions, De Haan said, which ultimately impacts energy demand.