The average price of gasoline in some portions of southwest Ohio has fallen more than 60 cents in 20 days as Midwest refineries have increased production. And barring any other refinery problems, these prices will likely hold at or near this level through the July 4th holiday, a petroleum market analyst said Tuesday.
Earlier this month, the average price of unleaded regular gas shot up to nearly $4 a gallon. As of Tuesday afternoon, the average price had fallen to $3.35 a gallon in the Dayton and Springfield areas, the lowest it has been since mid-April and four cents lower than it was a year ago.
“This is one of the larger swings that I can remember,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, the parent of various gas price-monitoring websites throughout the nation, including southwest Ohio.
Prices in the Dayton area on Tuesday ranged from $3.06 to $3.59 a gallon. In the Cincinnati metro area, the average price was $3.54 a gallon, with prices ranging from $3.24 to $3.89 a gallon, according to DaytonGasPrices.com and CincyGasPrices.com.
DeHaan attributed the drop to maintenance work being completed at a major ExxonMobil refinery in Joliet, Ill. Consumers also cut their gas consumption when prices were higher, and oil prices have fallen a bit since early June, he said.
Prices could rebound a bit next week ahead of the holiday, but DeHaan does not foresee a significant increase.