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Jul-07-2009 12:37printcomments

Gas, Crude Prices Hit the Brakes: Pump Prices May Have Reached Summer Peak

Crude oil prices hit a six-week low today with crude trading around $63 per barrel after holding steady around $70 the past few weeks.

Gas pump

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Gas prices may have peaked for the summer, according to Oregon AAA. They often reach their summer highs close to the Independence Day holiday, and barring any unforeseen events, pump prices may slide in the coming weeks.

The national average for regular unleaded drops three cents this week to $2.60 while Oregon's average falls two cents to $2.78.

AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says, "A year ago, pump prices were at record highs, well above $4 a gallon. This year, consumers can fill up for about $1.50 a gallon less."

Crude oil prices hit a six-week low today with crude trading around $63 per barrel after holding steady around $70 the past few weeks.

Dodds says, "Investors appear to be in the midst of a short-term correction with concerns about the troubled global economy and growing anxiety over when a recovery might begin. Especially worrisome is the latest U.S. Department of Labor report which showed job losses had surged more than expected in June. The report seems to reaffirm the belief that the economy is stuck in a recession."

Much of the first half of 2009 was been marked by a steady climb in oil and gas prices after the market lows of late 2008. With the July 4th holiday marking something of an unofficial halfway point for the year, investors may be taking stock of where oil prices have been thus far in 2009 and where they are likely to end the year.

Global economic data continues to indicate a stalled recovery, international oil supplies remain vast, and demand has, for the most part, remained lackluster.

Given the slower pace of the global economy, and barring any major storms or geo-political events that disrupt the flow of oil, retail gasoline prices are likely to come down, following the correction seen in crude oil prices in the short term.

National Average (Regular)

Current $2.604 Month Ago $2.613

Year Ago $4.108

Oregon's statewide average is $2.775. The city of Portland has the lowest average for regular at $2.735. Salem's cost of $2.747 is the second lowest in Oregon. Eugene/Springfield drivers are paying an average of $2.758, and motorists in Medford/Ashland are seeing an average of $2.793 for a gallon of regular gas. Self-serve gasoline in Vancouver, Washington is selling for $2.818.

AAA says two states have averages for regular unleaded at or above $3 a gallon, same as last week. Hawaii has the most expensive gas in the nation again this week with regular unleaded at $3.29, followed by Alaska at $3.06, California at $2.96, Washington at $2.85 (holding steady at 4th most expensive for the fourth consecutive week and down two cents in the past week) and New York at $2.82.

Oregon is sixth most expensive, up from seventh last week. Missouri has the least expensive gas in the country again this week at $2.37.

Diesel prices are down a bit this week and are more than $2 a gallon cheaper than a year ago. The national average drops a penny to $2.62, while Oregon’s average also slips a cent to $2.66.

Hawaii has the highest statewide average price for diesel again this week at $3.92, followed by Alaska at $3.46, District of Columbia at $2.92, New York at $2.87, and California at $2.84.

Oregon's average diesel price is 19th most expensive, same as last week. Washington's diesel price holds steady at $2.79 and is seventh highest, same as last week.

A year ago, the national average for diesel was $4.80 and Oregon's average was $4.84.

Source: Oregon AAA

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Daniel Johnson July 8, 2009 3:25 am (Pacific time)

Current gas prices in Calgary are around 90 cents/litre which translates into about $3.40 US gallon. No one here even raises an eyebrow until it goes over $1/litre or approaches about $4 US gallon.

gp July 7, 2009 12:53 pm (Pacific time)

The higher the better. Hope it gets to $10 fast. It is a resource that has better uses than fueling automobiles. Get out of your car and onto your feet and your bike and public transport. The biggest difficulty is in your head. Put your car keys in a box, a locked box and give the key to your neighbor and have them take the key to their workplace for a week. See what happens. You might like walking with your spouse up to get an ice cream cone on a hot summer evening and not even feel too guilty over the calories because you are burning a few on the walk. Take the dog, if you can remember where her leash is. Has it really been so long since the poor mutt had a good long evening walk? Then you can graduate to daily walks to get fresh produce and milk. Hey, hey, hey. You don't need a car to go grocery shopping if you pick up only what will fit in your back pack or the basket of your bike. No need to drive to the gym if you are riding your bike to work, no need to watch tv if your life is filled up with good conversation with your child while you are walking to the park.

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