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New data from GasBuddy is tracking the decline of gasoline prices in the United States as the summer season approaches, reporting that an estimated 5,100 stations across the country are now selling a gallon for less than $2 a pop – over two times as many stations as last week.
The national average stood at $2.302 per gallon, down four cents from last week and eight cents from last month. Still, year-over-year gasoline prices were up by ten cents.
“Factors playing a role [in the falling gasoline prices include]: weak demand and strong production, which continue to weigh on OPEC's output cut last November designed to cause prices to rise,” according to GasBuddy’s senior petroleum analyst, Patrick DeHaan. “The recent drop in crude oil is posing a much more serious threat and OPEC must soon decide how much market share it will sacrifice to keep oil prices higher - clearly the last cut just isn't enough.”
Gallon prices in certain states, notably California ($2.966), Washington ($2.886), Hawaii ($2.792), Oregon ($2.774), are higher than in others: Oklahoma ($2.038), South Carolina ($2.041), Tennessee ($2.103), Mississippi ($2.1137).
Brent and West Texas Intermediate barrel prices are down in recent weeks as Libya and Nigeria – both exempt from OPEC’s big production reduction - confirm high outputs for April. The two nations were spared from restrictive quotas due to long periods of domestic strife that had already hampered oil facilities. American shale oil producers have also ramped up the number of active rigs, rejuvenating a once abating supply glut.
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The bloc will meet on May 23rd in Vienna to discuss extending the cuts through the end of 2017. Currently, the group, as well as 11 other NOPEC nations, are only bound to their quotas until June. Led by Saudi Arabia, OPEC has reached a compliance rate of between 90-100 percent over the implementation period of the deal.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…