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Jan-13-2009 13:08printcomments

Lower Gas Prices Expected This Week

After a couple weeks of increases, AAA expects gas prices will start to come down again over the next several days.

Gas station attendant

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - After increasing for nearly two weeks, gas prices are stabilizing and are expected to decline over the next few days, according to Oregon AAA.

"Seasonal demand for gasoline is at its lowest point of the year, and the drop in demand for gas caused by the struggling economy does not warrant a sustained rally in gas prices." AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says.

"The national average for regular unleaded jumps up 10 cents in the past week to $1.79, while Oregon's average increases ten-and-a-half cents to $1.91. AAA believes some gas station owners may have raised prices too quickly last week, and we urge drivers to shop around before filling up."

Crude oil today is trading around $38 per barrel after spiking to $48 per barrel last week.

Dodds says, "While higher fuel prices may become sustainable this spring as refiners continue to cut back on the production of gas, currently healthy fuel inventories and all of the negative economic trends point to lower gas prices in the short-term. In fact, a significant increase in energy prices now would likely result in an even weaker economy, and further declines in the year-to-year rate of fuel consumption by American drivers."

Despite the recent increases, gas prices are still well below where they were a year ago. The national average was $3.07 and Oregon's was $3.08.

Salem's average of $1.891 is the best price in Oregon. Portland follows with a gallon of regular selling for an average of $1.911.

Drivers in the Eugene/Springfield area are paying an average of $1.928. The average cost for gas in Medford/Ashland is $1.988.

Drivers in the Vancouver, Washington area are paying an average of $1.976 for self serve regular.

Three states still have averages for regular unleaded at or above $2 a gallon, up from two last week. The most expensive gas in the country for the 29th week in a row is Alaska at $2.51, followed by Hawaii at $2.31, California at $2.01,

Washington at $1.96 and Michigan at $1.94. Washington was also fourth most expensive last week.

Oregon's gas prices are ninth highest, up from 12th last week. Wyoming has the least expensive gas again this week with regular unleaded at $1.46 a gallon.

Diesel prices are also up for the week. The national average increases two cents to $2.43, while Oregon’s average jumps eight cents to $2.54 Hawaii has the highest statewide average price for diesel again this week at $3.89, followed by Alaska at $3.54, District of Columbia at $2.88, New York at $2.85, and Connecticut at $2.79.

Oregon's average diesel price is 15th most expensive this week, up from 16th last week. Washington's diesel price increases ten cents to $2.63 which is ninth highest, up from 13th last week. A year ago, the national average for diesel was $3.43 and Oregon's average was $3.40.

Source: Oregon AAA

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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