Gas Prices Slide into December

C-store customers can prepare to see the lowest pump prices of the year.

On Monday, Nov. 26, the national gas price average hit $2.56—seven cents lower than last week. It’s also only seven cents higher than the lowest gas price average of the year, which was $2.49 back in January. May brought the most expensive price of $2.97, AAA reported.

“Trends are indicating that the month of December may bring some of the cheapest gas prices of the year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Currently, 19 states already have gas price averages less expensive than a year ago so as U.S. gasoline demand remains low and supply plentiful, motorists can expect to save at the pump as long as the price of crude oil doesn’t spike.”

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Gas prices have been less expensive in the U.S. as crude oil sells at $57/bbl and cheaper – the lowest prices of the year. However, market observers warn crude could see an increase following the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting on Dec. 6 in Vienna, Austria. At that meeting, OPEC is expected to curtail crude production by 1 million to 1.4 million barrels per day, which could cause crude prices to rise due to reduced global supply, in turn causing gas prices to turn higher in America.

Ohio (-14 cents) saw the biggest weekly price change. Missouri ($2.18) and Oklahoma ($2.21) have the least expensive gas. Hawaii ($3.76) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.61).