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Gas prices trickle lower as summer driving season begins

Staff Report • Jun 4, 2018 at 2:00 PM

NASHVILLE — The summer driving season is now in full swing, opening with the most expensive gas prices in four years.

Fortunately for motorists, prices at the pump are finally starting to fall.

Gas prices in Tennessee declined nearly 3 cents last week, AAA reported. The state average of $2.70 is still 10 cents more than a month ago and 60 cents more than this time last year.

On a national level, the average price of $2.95 per gallon is 2 cents less than last week, according to AAA. The discount at the pump is being driven by strong declines in the price of oil, which influences about half the price of gasoline.

“Gas prices could drop 10-15 cents based on recent oil price declines,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, in a press release. “The discount will not happen overnight because it usually takes a couple weeks for shifts like this to play out at the pump. However, any downward potential would be wiped out if futures prices suddenly bounce higher.”

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Jackson ($2.75)

• Nashville ($2.75)

• Memphis ($2.70)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Johnson City ($2.63)

• Chattanooga ($2.64)

• Clarksville-Hopkinsville ($2.66)

What about oil?

Crude oil prices hit seven-week lows last week as the dollar gained strength and the U.S. oil rig count reached the highest level since March 2015, AAA reported.

These factors compounded the downward pressure on crude, initiated when Russia and Saudi Arabia revealed interest in raising crude output. The price of oil sank to $65.81 on Friday after reaching a four-year high of $72.24 per barrel just two weeks ago.

To view daily gas price averages, visit GasPrices.AAA.com.

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