TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA/AAA)-Gas prices have declined 14 of the last 16 days. During that time, the national average price has declined 2 cents. Pump prices have drifted lower on increased inventories and declining oil prices.
"Gas prices are falling now, but fundamentals are pointing higher," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Gulf Coast refineries are moving into their peak maintenance season, causing them to reduce gasoline production at a time when demand is slowly rising. This seasonal trend, could push gas prices 25-50 cents higher by June, unless oil prices do not recover as expected.
"Crude oil prices recorded a new 2017 low of $47.72 on Tuesday, but returned to nearly $49 a barrel by the end of the week. Conversations swirled following comments from the Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, that OPEC would be willing to extend production cuts beyond the six-month agreement, especially if global inventories stay bloated. The energy minister’s comments gave little support to the market as the OPEC production freeze continues to be diluted by elevated U.S. production.
Tampa Bay gas prices dropped from $2.15 a week ago to $2.14 this week.