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Gas prices still declining as demand increases

Staff Report • Jun 24, 2019 at 9:30 PM

NASHVILLE — Gas prices in Tennessee are still among the lowest in the nation.

Tennessee’s state average gas price is $2.35 per gallon for regular unleaded, making it the seventh lowest average price in the nation, according to AAA. This is the same as last week’s average, 19 cents less than one month ago and a quarter less than one year ago.

The national average is $2.66, which is 2 cents less than last week and 18 cents less than a month and year ago.

“The national average dropped another two cents on the week even as U.S. gasoline demand hit its highest level since the Energy Information Administration (EIA) began publishing data in 1991,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee public affairs director for AAA, in a press release. “Counterintuitively, as motorists drive demand to new heights, pump prices pushed even cheaper across the country on the week. This trend could entice motorists to travel more and even take some last minute road trips this summer.”

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Jackson ($2.42)

• Nashville ($2.41)

• Memphis ($2.37)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Chattanooga ($2.22)

• Cleveland ($2.26)

• Kingsport-Bristol ($2.27)

Refinery fire

At the end of last week, a massive fire took Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), the largest refinery on the East Coast, offline, causing concern about how gas prices would be affected.

The incident will likely lead to reduced gasoline production at the refinery, AAA reported. However, gasoline from Canada, neighboring refineries, and the Colonial Pipeline are likely solutions to help backfill supply, meet demand and relieve any tightness in gasoline supplies as a result of reduced gasoline production at PES’ refinery and keep gas prices cheap throughout summer.

What about oil?

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude increased by 36 cents to settle at $57.43, AAA reported. When compared to this time last year, domestic crude prices are cheaper by approximately $12 per barrel.

Crude prices climbed as tension rises in the Middle East. On Friday, it was reported that the U.S. was close to executing a military strike against Iran as a result of the White House’s belief that Iran was responsible for shooting down a U.S. drone in the region, as well as last week’s alleged attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

President Trump reportedly called off the strike minutes before it was to be engaged. Approximately 20% of global crude supplies flow through the Gulf of Oman, according to AAA.

Moving into this week, if tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalate, the market will likely continue pushing global crude prices higher due to increased market fears that a military standoff between Iran and the U.S. could limit global supply and access to crude.

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

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