Nationwide, the price of a gallon of regular gasoline has been drifting lower by about half a cent a day over the last month, and energy analysts say that trend should continue over the next few weeks, in at least some states.
“Drivers are getting a respite,” said Rodney L. Waller, a senior vice president at Range Resources, an oil and gas company based in Fort Worth. “But it’s a tenuous respite based on all the changes in the global oil market and the opening and closings of refineries across the U.S.”
Gasoline prices are dropping primarily because of a decline in global crude oil prices, stemming from an easing of tensions in the Middle East and growing oil supplies, bolstered in recent months by the rapid return of Libyan oil exports and increased production from Saudi Arabia. Because oil is priced in dollars, the firming value of the dollar in recent weeks in the wake of the European financial crisis has also helped reduce prices.