Gasoline prices across the nation have fallen so far this month that Americans are paying more than $100 million less per day for the fuel than they did a year ago, according to a firm that tracks gas prices nationwide.
Southwest Ohio is no exception, with prices at some area stations approaching or falling below $3 a gallon. And prices are expected to fall another 10 to 15 cents barring a major jolt to the oil industry or the nation’s economy.
“Generally speaking, we expect prices to continue to come down incrementally over the next few weeks. We have strong crude oil inventory, healthy gasoline inventory and our refineries are operating very well,” said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.
GasBuddy operates more than 250 websites that use volunteer spotters to monitor local gas prices at 140,000 gas stations across the country.
In the Dayton-Springfield area, the average price of regular-grade gas was $3.13 a gallon and falling as of early Monday afternoon. That compares with $3.30 a gallon a week ago and $3.43 a year ago.
At least one station monitored by GasBuddy spotters — the BP station at Ohio 725 and Byers Road in Miamisburg — was charging $2.99 a gallon on Monday.
In the Cincinnati area, the average price of regular was nearly a dime higher at $3.22 a gallon as of early Monday afternoon. That compares with $3.38 a gallon a week ago and $3.29 a year ago.
Gas prices typically decline in the fall as refiners switch to a less-expensive winter blend of gas and people travel less. But oil prices also have a lot do with the recent price plunge, said Patrick DeHaan, another analyst for GasBuddy.com
DeHaan said crude oil prices stayed above $100 a barrel for 111 days since early July, but fell to $96 a barrel in recent days.
“In turn, the sudden drop in crude prices have pushed (future contracts for gasoline) down as well, with motorists on the winning side of this all,” DeHaan said in a statement Monday.