You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

breaking news

Suspect in 2016 Boca drug deal slaying to appear in court today

A spring surprise? Gas prices head down as oil market plummets


Motorists are about to experience a spring surprise. Gas prices have declined slightly as the price of crude oil fell last week and could drop as much as 5 to 10 cents a gallon in the next couple of weeks, AAA said Monday.

The falling prices are unexpected at this time of year when gas prices typically rise as refineries undergo maintenance and switch to more expensive summer fuel blends.

Monday, Palm Beach County’s average had already dipped 2 cents a gallon to $2.49 from $2.51 a week ago, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. Florida’s average stood at $2.27 Monday, down 1 cent from a week ago.

Enjoy it while it lasts. It’s likely that prices will go back up as Memorial Day approaches.

“The oil market suffered a ‘mini collapse’ last week, following reports of a record build in domestic crude oil,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “This will postpone the customary spring-time gas price spike. Prices could drop 5-10 cents in the short term, but this downward trend may be only temporary.”

Monday, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 17 cents to $48.29 a barrel, an 8 percent drop from a week ago.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com said, “A sudden plunge in the price of oil is likely to weigh on gas prices, at least temporarily. With little warning or expectation, crude oil last week broke out of the rut it had well established, with crude prices falling out of a 3-month range of $51-$54 per barrel to $49.

“Naturally, when oil prices take a beating such as they did last week, one might expect gasoline prices to move in lockstep, but due the complex relationship of oil and gasoline prices and the middleman- U.S. refineries- motorists may not see as large a decline at the pump as they may hope for- but certainly stay tuned,” DeHaan said.

While he remains optimistic that the annual spring rally at the pump could be less severe than expected, DeHaan added that it remains difficult to know where the new path will lead oil prices in the week ahead.

Oil prices initially rose on Nov. 30, when OPEC agreed to cut production by some 1.2 million barrels per day, in an effort to reduce the global oversupply of oil, AAA said. As OPEC implemented those cuts, the U.S. ramped-up production and supplies. U.S. oil production has risen 1.6 percent since the beginning of the year.

Crude inventories also climbed a total 9 percent. Inventories first reached a new all-time high four weeks ago, and have grown every week since.

“Although it could take several weeks, analysts believe oil prices could recover by the time OPEC meets again in May,” Jenkins said. “Meanwhile, refineries will have to battle rising demand as they begin pumping summer-blend gasoline into the market in April and May. All these factors could push pump prices 20-40 cents higher by Memorial Day.”

Demand has been sluggish so far this year, yet it rose 7 percent last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Total gasoline supplies are also down 2.6 percent. These fundamental shifts would normally push gas prices higher, but are not strong enough to outweigh the downward pressure from falling oil prices, which dramatically influence the cost of producing gasoline, AAA said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Employee at West Palm Publix accused of stealing from co-worker
Employee at West Palm Publix accused of stealing from co-worker

A West Palm Beach man is accused of stealing a fellow Publix employee’s credit cards then running up charges at a Walmart, according to an arrest report. Jornan Diaz, 18, is facing nine counts of fraud and one larceny count and was released from the Palm Beach County Jail March 16 after posting a $30,000 bond. » Download our PostNOW app...
NEW: Trainer’s license revoked when greyhounds test positive for drugs
NEW: Trainer’s license revoked when greyhounds test positive for drugs

A greyhound trainer based at the Palm Beach Kennel Club had his licensed revoked this month after state investigators found 24 instances where dogs under his care tested positive for drugs before races in 2016. Yoanly Savon’s license was revoked March 8 by the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering within the Florida Department of Business and Professional...
Small dog dropped off at West Palm Beach clinic with mouth bound shut
Small dog dropped off at West Palm Beach clinic with mouth bound shut

Veterinarians are working to save the life of a 1-year-old pup who was dropped off at an animal clinic with its mouth bound so tight it cut to the bone. The 7-pound Yorkshire Terrier mix, named Pixie, had an elastic hair tie around her snout that cut a 3/4-inch-deep gash between her eyes and nose, Paws 2 Help founder Eve Van Engel said late Sunday...
Suspect in 2016 Boca drug deal slaying to appear in court today
Suspect in 2016 Boca drug deal slaying to appear in court today

A man believed to be a suspect in a 2016 fatal shooting in Boca Raton has been transported to Palm Beach County Jail and will appear in court Monday morning. Matthew Lewis, 23, faces charges of second-degree murder with a firearm in the June 2016 death of 25-year-old Jacob Walsh. Lewis was booked into the county jail on Saturday. Download our PostNOW...
FHP investigating fatal crash on I-95 in Fort Pierce
FHP investigating fatal crash on I-95 in Fort Pierce

A fatal crash on southbound Interstate 95 early Monday has prompted authorities to close a rest area in St. Lucie County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The crash, near mile marker 132 in Fort Pierce, was reported shortly before 4:40 a.m. Check our live traffic map to plan your commute. FHP’s traffic incidents website said a rest area...
More Stories